There are a number of very simple things that you can do to reduce heat loss through your floor and you should recover the cost within a year or possible two. And you will go on getting the benefit of this for many years to come.
Studies by the Energy Saving Trust suggest that you can save £50 a year by insulating your floor boards and a further £20 a year by filling gaps in floor and skirting boards with sealant.
How it works?
If your floors are not insulated draughts cold air can blow into your home which will make it hard, and expensive, to heat particularly in winter.
There does need to be a good air flow to your floor boards from the air brick so as to prevent the floor boards rotting but you can lay mineral wool insulation between the joists, under the floor boards, and seal any gaps where draughts are coming through the boards themselves.
Generally this is something that you can easily do yourself, however you might need assistance to lift floor boards to lay mineral wool. Make sure that you do not block the ventilation from the air bricks.
You can also very easily use sealant to fill any gap though which you can feel cold air entering.
You will be able to find all the materials if you ask in your local DIY store.
Costs and Maintenance
If you fit the insulation yourself there is only the cost of the materials that you use. Typically it will cost you in the region of £100 to purchase the insulation for under the floors and a further £20 for sealant to fill gaps.
But once done, there are no maintenance costs and you can enjoy the benefits for many years to come.
The specific savings will be determined by your home but a fair estimate is that you should save in the region of £50 per year for insulating under your floor boards and a further £20 for filling in gaps in the skirting and floor boards.
This will give as payback of between 1 and 2 years, and you will continue to make these saving for many years to come. Not to mention that you could be saving 340 Kg of CO2 per year too!
- How many layers of glass should glazing ideally have?
- Double glazing has two layers of glass with a gap of around 16mm between them. There's also the option of triple glazing, which has three layers of glass. Both A rated double and tripled-glazed windows are available. Double glazing is usually a cost effective home improvement, but triple glazing can be less worthwhile financially, however it will make your home that much more comfortable temperature-wise.
- Do you need extra ventilation if you install double glazing?
- Because replacement windows will be more airtight than the original single glazed frames, condensation can build up in your house due to the reduced ventilation, so it can be a good idea to get replacement windows which have trickle vents incorporated into the frame that let in a small amount of controlled ventilation.
- Can fitting double glazing cause condensation?
- If there is not a sufficient level of background ventilation in the room, condensation can occur, but some replacement windows will have trickle vents incorporated into the frame that let in a small amount of controlled ventilation to stop this. Condensation can sometimes occur on the outside of new low-e glazing. This is because low-e glass reflects heat back into the home and as a result the outside pane remains cool and condensation can build up in cold weather - this isn't a problem. Low-e glass actually prevents condensation appearing on the inside of your window as it would if your double glazing featured standard glass, as in the inside pane is kept warm by its special coating.
- Do replacement windows need to comply with building regulations?
- Yes, except where there are restrictions that prevent you doing so, such as planning restrictions. Before you do any work, make sure you check with your local planning office, particularly if you live in a conservation area, have an Article 4 direction on your property or have a listed building.
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