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Incorporating Energy Efficient Methods During The Winter

Incorporating Energy Efficient Methods During The Winter

Keeping our homes warm is a common worry during the winter months. However, once the sun appears come springtime, the frosty mornings and electric blankets become a thing of the past – as do our plans for improving the insulation of our homes. That is, until next year.

Investing in energy efficient methods, such as adding insulation or draught-proofing while a new home is being built, can save significant money in the long run, while also making our homes that little bit cosier. Not to mention, such measures decrease the likelihood of developing damp and mould in years to come.

Introducing Passivhaus

The Passivhaus Standard, which first appeared in Germany in the 1990s, essentially entails dramatically reducing the energy usage of homes by smart design and construction in the initial stages. It mainly centres on limiting air leakage, for instance, by purging homes of thermal bridges, increasing insulation levels and utilising glazing for solar gain. So, in the spirit of Passivhaus, here are some energy efficient suggestions for keeping your new home warm (and costs down) throughout the winter and beyond…

Insulation and airtightness

If you’re about to embark on a self-build project, timber frames, structural insulated panels and insulated concrete formworks are among the most efficient methods for achieving airtightness. Meanwhile, research has shown that solid wall insulation can save homeowners around £255 per year on their heating bill in a typical gas-fuelled, semi-detached home. The savings are even bigger in a detached property.

Windows and doors

Whether you’re in the midst of a renovation, beginning a new build project or just want to make your home that little bit toastier, one of the first port of calls should be the windows and doors. Fitting draught-proof doors is a quick and easy way of keeping heat in, but unless we target the main culprit – windows – the doors can only do so much.

During the summer and daytime, glass lets in a high percentage of energy garnered through the sun’s rays. However, come night time, some of that energy is lost. Installing double-glazing or triple-glazing can up your home’s power to retain heat. According to the Energy Saving Trust, installing A+ rated double-glazing in a single-glazed house can slice £80 a year off heating bills for a typical semi-detached home. Adding in double- or triple-glazed windows also limits sounds coming in from outside, which is ideal if you live in a built-up area.

Solar panels

While we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves here as we’re still in the bleak mid-winter, mounting solar panels is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. This is doubly true if you’re already planning works – such as a loft conversion – on your home, as a sizeable portion of installation costs comes from scaffolding. Solar panels work best when on south-facing roofs, at a pitch of around 30 degrees.

Solar panels are just one way of making your home a more eco-friendly place.

Here at Bespoke, we’re a bit (read: very) besotted with eco-homes, so much so that we specialise in their design and construction. By including insulation and alternative energy systems like ground source heat pumps, solar panels, biomass heated systems and wood pellet boilers – to name but a few – you can be kind to the planet and your budget!

Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

-Brendan