With the cost of heating your home continuing to increase, you may want to think about improving the energy efficiency of your home.
Homeworking has also led to an increase in many people’s bills as they look to heat their homes, rather than the office. In fact research done by Energy Helpline before the energy price increases estimated that the average winter energy bill would increase by over £100 for those who work at home 5 days a week.
For those with a draughty, cold home this is bad news, but there are several things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your period home…
Upgrading to double glazing
If you have single glazed windows, and do not have a listed building, consider upgrading them to double glazing.
Double glazing has come a long way since it was originally used in the UK in the 1970s. For a start, double glazed windows originally used to have a smaller gap between the glass than double glazed windows typically have today. The larger gap typical of today’s double glazing results in significantly better thermal performance.
Today’s double-glazed units can also be designed to be more sympathetic to period properties, allowing period homeowners to benefit from the improved energy efficiency of double glazed windows without destroying the character of their home.
If the window frame is still in a good condition, you can just replace the moving parts of the windows (the sashes). This can be done for both sliding sash windows and casement windows.
At The Sash Window Workshop, the majority of orders that we carry out every year for homeowners in London and Southern England are installing new double-glazed sashes into existing window frames. For a quote to upgrade to double glazed timber windows or doors, contact us today on 01344 868 668.
For those in listed buildings, although you are unlikely to be allowed double glazed windows you can still improve the energy efficiency of your home by installing secondary glazing. Secondary glazing provides the warmth benefits of double glazing while retaining the existing windows. Units can be made to match your existing windows if required.
If your wooden windows are in a good condition but are letting in cold draughts, draught proofing can make a large difference to the warmth and comfort of your home and is a lot cheaper than replacing the windows.
Draught proofing is the process of sealing the gaps around the window to stop draughts coming into your home without impacting the operation of the window.
Installing additional insulation in your home, such as roof insulation, floor insulation or wall insulation, can make a large difference to the energy efficiency of your home.
As with all trades, it is worth checking that the company or person that you employ to do the work is accredited and trustworthy. One way to do this, is by checking whether they are a Which? Trusted Trader. Which? Trusted Traders have all been vetted by the consumer association, Which?, to ensure that they are offer a consistently high level of product and customer service.
Other benefits of an energy efficient home
In addition to keeping your home warmer and reducing the cost of heating bills, making your home more energy efficient will also improve your energy efficiency rating for an Energy Performance Certificate, which you will need if you decide to sell your home in the future.
Reducing carbon emissions
With increased awareness on the importance to reduce carbon emissions, reducing the amount of heating needed to warm your home will also reduce CO2 emissions and therefore your carbon footprint. A report by Historic England found that installing secondary glazing for single glazed windows can reduce annual CO₂ emissions of your home by up to 7%.
Draught proofing, upgrading to double glazed timber windows (made from a sustainable timber like Accoya) and other steps to improve energy efficiency will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
According to the report by Historic England, carefully retrofitting your period property could reduce carbon emissions by up to 84% in a detached Victorian home, 62% in a Georgian terrace, 58% in a 1900s terrace, 56% in a Victorian semi-detached and 54% in a Victorian terrace (source).
This means that having an energy efficient home not only helps keep your home warm, but also helps you make a difference to the planet.