Cold Winter Months – How to Save on Your Energy Bills

Posted on 13 February 2017 by editor

One of the easiest and most simplest ways of saving money on your energy bills during the cold winter months is to make your home more efficient. You can easily reduce the heat loss through your roof by adding insulation in between the joists in your loft. Many older house typically only have 100mm of loft insulation. Today’s building control recommendations is for your home to have 300mm of suitable loft insulation. Local suppliers such as Wickes often have offers on loft insulation (3 for 2 deals) and you can buy 100mm and 200mm top up insulation in rolls. 3 rolls will be enough for the average home. So for about £40-45 you can significantly improve the roof insulation.

If you have loft insulation between your joists and you go into your loft during the winter months, your loft should be cold. If it’s warm, it’s because you don’t have sufficient insulation and you are losing heat through the ceiling. When installing loft insulation you need to make sure that you do NOT push the insulation as far as you can into the eaves. Air should be able to pass through your soffits and into your lost space by having an appropriate gap over the wall plate (this is the piece of timber the roof trusses sit on, on top of the blockwork). This will help prevent condensation. If you have condensation on the inside of your roof felt, then you have poor airflow.

The aim is to fully insulate the loft, but not at the expense of preventing airflow as this can cause other issues.

You can buy eaves vents, these are simple plastic corrugated sheets that sit in between the roof trusses and prevent the loft insulation from pushing up against the roofing felt and blocking the airflow. They are available in long rolls, and cost around £3.30 for 10m.

It would also be advisable to ensure that your loft trap is also insulated. Although timber has good thermal properties, most older house just have a plywood loft trap. This is not sufficient, and we de recommend improving the insulation of the trap. The alternate, but more expensive option is to replace the loft trap for a modern one. Building control now require loft traps to be made of metal, airtight, good thermal insulation and they are required to meet 30 mins of fire resistance.

Of course, keeping the warm air out of your loft, means that any water pipes and tanks are exposed to colder temperatures. You need to make sure that any pipes are cladded and water tanks are well insulated. This will help avoid burst water pipes in the loft.

Drafts are another problem in the winter months. One of the best draft excluders for your door is EPDM rubber. These can be purchased in long rolls, and you simply stick them around your door frames to create a really good seal when doors are closed.

This advice has been brought to you by RT Heating & Plumbing in Tamworth. They specialise in bathroom installations and central heating services / repairs.


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