If there is one thing that we can rely on it is energy prices going up. Yet our need for having a comfortable home in terms of heating and cooling is as constant as ever. We need to have a home that suits our families needs. That means being warm in the winter months as well as being cooler during the warmer season. With prices for energy spiralling, we are forced to rethink the design of the homes we are living in. Most families are coming round to the idea that having a more efficient and even eco-friendly home is a positive step. It means less money wasted in terms of energy. It is also a great way to cut down on power use and help conserve our dwindling resources. Here are some great ways to make our homes more efficient and cost less to heat and cool down all through the year.
Insulating your house properly is probably the number one thing that you can do to increase your energy efficiency. Quite simply it is wrapping your home in a layer of cotton wool! That means that your house will cost less to heat up. It means that the heat you do produce will stay in the space for longer, and you will use much less power in the process. Insulation also works the other way around. It will prevent you home from heating up when the sun is hot, and the weather is warmer. It will allow you to live in a more ambient temperature all year round.
The best and most accessible part of your home to insulate is the roof space. This is a relatively quick and easy job. You simply have to lay the best and thickest grade of insulation between the rafters or the joists in the ceiling. Make it as snug as you can around the edges and ensure that you cover the whole space right up to where the roof meets the walls. This might be worth doing even if you have older existing insulation that may be inadequate for your needs.
Modern homes are built with cavity walls. That means there is a space between the outer and inner walls. That cavity will be part air, but it should also be part insulation. If you live in an older property, it is still possible for you to insulate the walls. It might involve removing the gib or plasterboard. This is quite an extensive and messy job. It is certainly something to consider if you are undergoing a major renovation. There are other ways of insulating walls from the outside by drilling holes and using a liquid foam compound. But these are professional procedures and can be quite costly.
Insulating under the floor might well be an option for you. You will need access to the floor from underneath the house. If you can do this, you can fit polystyrene sheets snugly between the floor joists. Some systems are designed to be covered with a reflective material to seal in the floor and protect it from the ground. If you don’t have that access, your floor might be best insulated with a laminate type flooring that has a rubber backing. Obviously, the thicker floor covering you have, the warmer your home will be and more energy you will save. If you have an older wooden floor, it may have gaps and even cracks that allow cold in. You should fill these with a caulking gun and ensure that your floor is draught free.
Many people think that double glazing is just about heat loss. It is about heat and cold. A home that has double glazing will be warmer in the winter but also cooler in the summer. If you have single glazed windows, you should think about having them replaced with modern double glazed replacements. This is a straightforward replacement and is a quick and efficient process. If you live in an older property or find that this is too expensive, it is possible to have double glazed inserts fitted into existing frames. Again this is an efficient process and will preserve the look of your property. The same principle applies to doors.
Heating and Cooling Systems
There is no doubt that if you have a system that can do both, it is going to be more efficient for your home. Installing an up to date heat pump is probably the easiest way to heat and cool your home. It will pay to look at the options such as an Enviro Air HVAC. It is best to work with a specialised company who can let you know what the best options are for your home and family’s needs. Any system you have installed will need to be serviced and cleaned from time to time to make sure that it is efficient and performing well.
Other heating systems
Central Heating, run by a boiler is another way of moving heat around the home. Thermostats can be fitted to individual radiators. Systems will be more efficient if the pipes and any hot water tank is lagged and insulated well. Room thermostats and timers will all help to make your system more efficient and economical. Underfloor heating is another option that is not necessarily new but proving to be popular. These systems work on the basis that hot water is passed through the floor via a system of pipes. This water could be heated by solar panels installed on the roof for example. This could be a very efficient way of heating a home, but it will, of course, have a higher initial cost for installation.
Log burners provide a great source of heat and are lovely to look at. You will need to have flue or chimney for the gases to escape. Modern log burners are extremely efficient, and if you burn wood that is dried properly, they can be very environmentally friendly. They are much more efficient than open fires. These lose most of their heat up the chimney.
All in all your home can probably be helped by any of these methods. Heating and cooling our homes and house is a critical part of living healthy and being comfortable. It will pay to invest and make that process as clean and efficient as possible.