Remodeling & Energy Efficiency in your House
If you decide to remodel your house, or you are adding value to your home to attract future buyers, it makes sense to incorporate energy saving measures whilst you are having the work completed.
By increasing the energy efficiency of your property, you can reduce your heating and electricity bills, while at the same time making your house more attractive to potential buyers.
Make the most of the existing heating system in your home by ensuring that your roof, wall and window insulation conforms with the latest recommendations. For example, your attic insulation should not be less than 200 millimeters thick. The amount of heat loss through a property roof is estimated at up to 25%.
Attic insulation systems include fiberglass, rock wool (made with molten rock instead of glass), cellulose (made from shredded recycled paper) and reflective foil thin insulation (this type of insulation is thinner than regular insulation and it has many layers of foil with fibrous material between the layers).
Wall insulation is also very important as older houses may have non-insulated walls allowing up to 35% of available heat energy to pass through them.
One method of retrofitting wall insulation involves using bonded polystyrene beads. The contractor drills a series of holes into the external walls. Polystyrene beads are injected in through these holes, each bead being coated in a strong glue. When the glue sets the bead will form a solid structure. This ensures that the insulation remains in place if the cavity is ever opened again. When the bead installation is finished, the holes are filled with cement. It may take between four and six years to recover the cost of cavity wall insulation.
Draughts through the gaps in wooden floorboards have traditionally been tackled by laying carpets or large rugs, but modern floor insulation can do a much better job of reducing heat loss through the floor.
Up to 25% of the heat in your house may escape through badly fitted doors and windows. Fitting draught excluders is a low cost cure for airflow through doors and you should seriously consider installing double or triple glazed windows.
How old is your gas or oil boiler? If it is more than 15 years old, replacing it with a modern high efficiency condensing boiler will go a long way to reduce your winter heating bills. Another part of the house heating system that may get overlooked are the pipes that carry hot water to the radiators. These should be lagged properly. It is a also good ideas to check for pipe leaks at regular intervals.
The EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) recently passed into law in Ireland. It lists a new set of provisions aimed at improving energy performance of residential and non- residential property, both existing buildings as well as new or proposed structures. Property owners are now obliged to provide a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate, which is basically an energy performance label. They will be required at the point of sale or rental of a building, or on completion of a new building. A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance.
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