Energy Efficiency and Historic Building Conservation

While period properties undoubtedly can have huge charm, they also can be associated with high heating / energy costs. Below are some practical ways on how to reduce those energy costs while maintaining the charm.

1.                 DEAL WITH DAMP

You will probably already appreciate this through experience: damp eats energy. If you can reduce or eliminate areas of dampness, you will immediately improve the energy performance of your building. The importance of maintaining rainwater goods, gutters, pipes, etc. in good working order is crucial. These are by far the most common areas of failure and ironically the easiest to resolve.

2.                 ROOF INSULATION

Typically about 25% of the heat loss of a building escapes through the roof and so improvements here will deliver immediate savings. Insulation above the top floor ceiling is one of the easiest and cheapest means of improving energy efficiency. It can be carried out successfully in period buildings if it is approached with care, particularly to avoid the risk of condensation.  

3.                 WINDOWS

While windows typically account for only 10% of the heat loss of a building, we often place great importance on being able to make improvements to them. The appearance of your windows is a significant factor in shaping the overall character of your building. Any significant changes will attract the attention of your local planning and conservation departments. The best options for improving energy performance to be considered are:

*repair & maintenance

*draughtproofing

*internal shutters

*secondary glazing

4.                 GROUND FLOOR INSULATION

An estimated 15% of the heat within a period building is lost through the lowest floor. Solid floors and suspended timber floors without crawl space are difficult, expensive and often inappropriate to upgrade. Suspended floors with crawl space, can be more easily upgraded and the work is very cost effective.

5.                 DRAUGHT PROOFING

Period buildings are generally draughty. While some natural ventilation is essential, typically they are draughty over and beyond, what is required for a healthy building. An estimated 15% of your heat is lost through draughts.  

6.                 SERVICES

Some simple measures can result in immediate benefits including:

* upgrading your boiler to a high efficiency condensing unit 

* having shorter or more efficient running times for the heating system

* ensuring your hot water cylinder is super-insulated with separate control,

* providing lagging around all accessible pipe work,

* changing incandescent lighting to halogen or fluorescent,

* sealing up any gaps around service penetrations.

 

There is so much more to know than I can cover in this short article.

If you would like more details on what to look out for, click HERE to download our free guide.

 

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