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How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Homes

by Francesca Coleman Carr

Old homes are often beautiful and hold a lot of history within their walls. However, whether you’ve inherited your old property from a family member, or you’ve simply bought an older home, it is important to consider energy efficiency. Old homes are well-known for being draughty and cold, but they don’t have to be. Discover how you can make your home more energy efficient, helping you cut down on your energy bills. Whether you choose renewable energy, such as solar panels, or not, you should be able to enjoy a home that is a comfortable temperature all year round.

Why are Old Houses Often Not Efficient?

Many older homes were built 50 to 100 years ago and as a result they often have inefficient appliances and fittings, and uninsulated walls. However, it is possible to make your home warmer and reduce your energy bills, no matter the age of your property. When making improvements a good energy efficiency rating is desirable. However, if you live in a listed building or in a conservation area, there can be a lot of conflicting information about the best course of action to take. It is always important to work with companies, such as Sash Windows London, who have experience of dealing with improvements to period properties.

Factors that Affect Home Energy Efficiency

Newly built house

The efficient performance of your home will be affected by numerous factors, including the construction materials, your local climate, and the current hot water heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation systems installed. We all use our homes in different ways, so it’s only natural that the amount of energy we use varies too. To fully understand the energy efficiency of your home, it is important to consider every aspect of your home and identify any areas of improvement.

Install a Smart Energy Meter

Gas stove using energy

It can be easy for the energy wastage in your home to go unnoticed. However, this can cause a number of problems, such as increased energy bills. If you want to effectively improve the energy efficiency of your home, it’s important you first understand how well your house is performing. By installing a smart meter, you can check your energy usage and establish where improvements need to be made.

Replace Your Windows

heritage pvc

Gaps around the edges of windows and doors can cause noise, cold draughts and rattling windows – problems none of us want to deal with. If you notice your windows are draughty or they’ve started rattling frequently, it is important to consider replacements. If the windows in your home are old and rattling, it may be time to replace them with energy-efficient models. Replacing the windows in an old property can result in significant cost savings, in addition to making your home more comfortable all year round. Here at Sash Windows London, we sell and install a wide variety of energy-efficient and long-lasting windows:

We are experts in sash window installation – even providing Heritage windows for older properties. So, whether you live in a listed building, conservation area, or just an old property, we can help find the perfect windows for your home. All of our windows are double glazed and provide energy-efficient results.

Install Double Glazing

Double Glazed Heritage PVC

Double glazing is one of the most important home improvements you can make to any property. Not only can single glazing in old properties be inefficient, but it can be a security risk. As a result, it is critical that to improve the energy-efficiency of an old home, you replace single glazed windows with double glazing. When installing double glazed windows, it is essential they comply with the Building Regulations. Installing A++ rated double glazing in a house that was previously single-glazed can save you at least £80 on your yearly energy bills, in addition to providing the benefits of a quieter and more comfortable home. Do you want to know more about installing double glazing and the benefits? Click here.

Fill the Gaps Between Floorboards

Old Floorboards

While old floorboards can add character to any room, you’ll be amazed just how much heat can be lost between the gaps. In fact, it is thought that the heat that pumps from your home and that’s lost through gaps in the floorboards can be equivalent to leaving a window permanently open. That’s a lot of energy wastage! So, if there are gaps in your floorboards, you’ll want to fill them as soon as possible. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that simply working to fill the gaps in your floorboards can save you up to £40 per room, every year.

Replace Light Fittings with LED Bulbs

LED light bulbs

Simply updating the light fittings in your home can make a significant difference. Swapping out all the old-fashioned bulbs with LEDs can instantly reduce the electricity consumption, making your home significantly more energy efficient. While the initial cost of LEDs can be expensive, don’t let the price put you off. On average, LED bulbs last, on average, 25,000 hours and are available in all styles.

Is the Boiler Working Correctly?

Radiator temperature dial

It is important to have an annual service on your boiler to ensure it is working as well as it should. If your boiler is older than 10 years, you should consider replacing it with a more efficient model. Simply replacing an old, inefficient boiler for a newer model can save you hundreds of pounds every year.

Insulate Your Loft and Walls

Attic

Insulating is one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping your home energy star efficient. It is estimated that around a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through an uninsulated roof space. That’s a lot of lost energy and it could be costing you a fortune. However, the problem can be easily solved by simply insulating your loft and your walls. Effective wall insulation and loft insulation slows the rate of energy loss from your home, reducing costs and the amount of energy required to keep your home warm.

Schedule a Professional Energy Audit

Gas stove

The job of an energy auditor is to evaluate your home and advise on any cost-effective measure you could take to improve energy-efficiency and comfort. A professional energy audit can help you find out how much energy you are consuming and how much energy is being lost around your property due to many of the problems mentioned above. An energy auditor will also ask if you are on the EPC register, if you have an EPC rating, and if you have an energy performance certificate EPC. Energy audits help you clearly understand the energy consumption in your home and how to improve efficiency, save money, and make improvements.

Target Key Areas First

The most effective way to increase the energy-efficiency of your home is to target the essential areas first: walls, doors, windows, and lofts. After these have been improved, you can look at the efficiency of the different systems and appliances in your home, such as lighting, ovens, and heating to improve the overall energy-efficiency of your home.

Discover how to install sash windows for energy-efficiency, without compromising heritage.

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