How to keep your home warm this winter

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Are you sitting at home wearing a jumper with the heating on full blast and still shivering?

If you’re wondering where all the heat’s going, the Energy Saving Trust might have the answer. It says that in the average uninsulated home, 66 per cent of heat is lost through uninsulated solid walls, 25 per cent escapes through the loft or roof space and 20 per cent from windows and doors.

We worked with Neil Weeks from Knauf Insulation on some top tips for keeping your house warm throughout the winter months. 

Loft insulation

Loft insulation has to be top of the list of ways to stay warm. Without loft insulation, the Energy Saving Trust says you could be wasting as much as £140 on your heating bills every year.

If you don’t know whether your house has loft insulation, next time you are up there take a look. Hopefully you’ll see some fluffy glass fibre insulation material – but if not, help is at hand. British Gas is currently offering free loft insulation under the Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO) which has been in place since 2013 with no changes expected until April 2017. It is not only people on low incomes that qualify so it is worth taking a look to see whether it might help you. 

Cavity wall insulation

If your house feels cold inside, chances are the walls will be the main culprit. Cavity wall insulation is one of the easiest to install and cheapest forms of insulation you could invest in, whilst statistically, the savings you could benefit from are the highest. Typically, the amount of time it takes to recover your investment on cavity wall insulation is two to four years, depending on the house type. 

To demonstrate the savings you could make, a house built in the 1970s could have a fuel bill of over £500 a year, just to heat it. However, the same house with improved insulation, built to today's standards, can save as much as £120 a year on fuel bills.

Furthermore, unlike other methods of energy efficiency, insulation carries on performing for the whole life of the building, continuously saving energy and increasing comfort for the occupants in an environmentally friendly way.

External wall insulation

External wall insulation (EWI) involves the application of an insulation layer to the outside wall of a building in order to improve its energy efficiency. By minimising heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in warm weather, EWI creates a much more comfortable living environment and reduces heating costs.

In a poorly insulated property, it is estimated that up to a third of the heat produced by a central heating system is lost through both the walls and the roof. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that heating costs can be reduced by up to 40 per cent by installing EWI to solid walls.

EWI is a composite system made up of three basic components; an insulant, a fixing, and a render or cladding. The insulant is secured to the wall using either special adhesives or purpose-made fixing screws or dowels. The final surface, which provides both the aesthetic and weatherproofing functions of the wall, is usually a coloured render but could also be a brick effect or other specialist finish. EWI helps create a warm environment for the winter months whilst the building is kept cool in the summer. Homeowners might even see an increase in the value of their property. 

Positioning your furniture

It is important to look holistically at the position of the radiators and furniture in your home and work out whether you are perhaps blocking vital channels of heat. For example, if your sofa is placed in front of a radiator, not only will the sofa absorb the heat, it will also push it upwards and out of the room via doors and windows.

If you invest in one of Avant Homes’ properties, you will be safe in the knowledge that your brand new home has both loft and cavity wall insulation installed to the latest and highest performance building regulations.

For information on all types of insulation mentioned visit www.knaufinsulation.co.uk.