Draught Proofing Recommendations

Whether you’re looking to make improvements before you have your EPC done, or are following the recommendations after getting it done, these improvements always seem to be a little expensive.  At EPC Bromley we feel that this needn’t be the case.

The improvements that are going to have to greatest effect on your energy efficiency rating are things such as a new boiler (up to and sometimes over £1,000); solid wall insulation (£4,000-£10,000, depending on the size of your property); and Solar PV (around £6,000 – £9,000).

These aren’t exactly cheap but each one will give you a significant improvement on your energy efficiency.  You might even be considering the dreaded but often weirdly recommended solid floor insulation.  A massive expense, a huge upheaval but for very little reward, why it’s constantly recommended is anyone’s guess?  The recommendation from EPC Bromley is not to bother with this.

The cheapest and one of the most effective ways to make your home more energy efficient is draught proofing.  Remember, there are two considerations when you are trying to make your house warmer.  Firstly, what it says on paper, secondly, what makes it feel warmer.  Draught proofing definitely fits into the second category, especially on houses built in 1939 or before.

Where do you need to draught proof?

  • Doors and Windows  – The edges are the most obvious places but don’t forget about letterboxes and keyholes.  If you aren’t able to install double glazing or can’t afford to, then remember that secondary glazing can be just as effective.
  • Suspended floorboards – Most houses pre 1930s will be built on suspended floorboards.  Make sure the gaps are sealed in between the floorboards, check whether there are any gaps between skirting and floor.
  • Chimneys – If you have a chimney that is not in use then ensure that it is sealed up properly.  Ensure there are no gaps.
  • Pipework and electrics – Sometimes holes have been drilled through walls to allow pipes or cables through.  Ensure that all of these holes are filled in and that no warm air can escape.
  • Loft hatch – An often forgotten part to insulate when loft insulation is done as a DIY project.  Don’t only insulate the loft hatch, but ensure that the edges are also protected.

What does EPC Bromley recommend when it comes to draught proofing?

Although draught proofing can be done relatively cheaply, it is still important to make sure you use an effective product in every area.

Remember that window frames and floor boards made of wood will expand and contract as they heat and cool every day, so a material that can tolerate this movement is important.  Wooden frames can sometimes warp too, leaving irregular gaps to fill, a product that can fill these gaps is important to consider as well.

Why is draught proofing important?

Warm air is attracted to cold air, if there is a gap to the outside then warm air will be sucked out of it, meaning your heating will have to work even harder to warm your home to the temperature you desire.  Not only is this energy consumption bad for the environment, it’s also costing you money.

EPC Bromley recommends popping down your local DIY shop and investing small for a potentially larger gain.

Top Ten Tips for Better Home Energy Efficiency in Bromley

Read below for the top ten tips for energy efficiency in your home from EPC Bromley.

  1. Replace light bulbs with LEDs – Gone are the days when energy efficient light bulbs made your light fittings look ugly and were as bright as a flickering candle.  Modern LED spotlights, for example, are now bright enough  to replace your halogens and they come in all shapes and sizes to fit any light fitting.
  1. Control your heating – Your heating and hot water take up over half of your monthly fuel bills.  Ensuring you have a heating programmer, a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves and using them effectively could save you a ton of money each year.
  1. Draught proofing – Unless you have a particularly modern home you will be losing heat through gaps around doors and windows, or through the floorboards or chimney.  DIY draught proofing can prove to be incredibly cheap.
  1. Insulate your hot water tank – Your tank should have highly efficient foam insulation fitted around it.  If it doesn’t, then purchase a hot water cylinder jacket.  It’s far less efficient but better than nothing!
  1. Wall insulation – Cavity wall insulation is efficient and cheap (sometimes free!).  If you need solid wall insulation then it is far more expensive, but will save you hundreds of pounds in heating bills each year.
  1. Ensure you have double glazing – Double glazing fitted after 2002 is far more efficient than before.  If you are unable to install double glazing then secondary glazing can be just as effective.
  1. Loft insulation – Very important, if you have no loft insulation at all then this will seriously affect the energy efficiency of your house.  Remember, the recommended minimum depth is 270 mm.  If you place floorboards over the top of insulation it is only as effective as the depth it is squashed to.
  1. Use your shower rather than a bath – Showers use far less water than a bath, therefore your boiler is working less time to heat the water.
  1. Install solar energy – Solar thermal panels for hot water and Solar PV panels for electricity will not only make your home more energy efficient, but they will also save you a lot of money.  If you live in a rural area it is also worth considering a wind turbine.
  1. Track your energy usage – Energy monitors help you to keep an eye on how much energy you are using.  Most energy providers will be able to supply you with one.

If you need any other advice regarding domestic energy efficiency, call EPC Bromley to speak to an expert.