Contemplate winter when insulating your home
Having the nicest home in your area is one thing but having to spend half of the year tucked away in its inner sanctums to avoid being blown inside out whenever you venture outdoors is another.
Everything may seem wonderful on sunny afternoons in the summer and the thoughts of double glazing, extra wall insulation and underfloor heating could not be further from your mind. However when the harsh winds of winter blow, coupled with unprecedented frosty temperatures, it is then that you truly realise how essential it is to have a heating system in your home. This should ideally be at the forefront of your mind from the outset, even when you initially choose a plot of land to build your dream home. All bases should be considered such as the location of your home on the land, the height of the dwelling and if there’s a need to have some form of shelter planted to impede the progress of wind in particular. Capturing maximum sunlight should be kept in mind especially if you are planning to install solar panels as the main form of heating. All new homes are insulated in some form or another, but you may need to include an extra thick version to keep the interior warm and cosy during the colder months. Very few newly built homes today do not include some form of underfloor heating whether this be via the laying of heated water pipes in the foundations or the insertion of polythene panels between the floor joyces. Either method works well so it only depends on the amount of money you have to spend that dictates what method is used. If you have ever sat close by a window that rattles and shakes in high winds or one where the curtains take flight of their own accord when even a mild breeze blows, you’ll know how intrusive cold weather can be. Research has shown that draughts from poorly fitting windows, doors and unused fireplaces can lead to as much as 70 per cent of heating costs over a period of 12 months. Draughts are very common in older homes where the foundations have well and truly settled, putting extreme pressure on both exterior and interior framework. We all know that wood expands in the heat of summer and contracts in winter so if any moisture has been able to penetrate outer cladding then the problem is furthered. This means that no matter how hard the homeowner strives to keep cosy and warm, he or she will never feel 100 per cent comfortable, irrespective of how many forms of heating there are in the house. If this sounds familiar, fear not, there are simple solutions to your heating problems that do not cost an arm and a leg. A simple example is double-sided draught strips which are available at most building retail outlets and are available in a range of sizes to suit most windows even the old sash-cord variety. These strips only take a few minutes to attach. If the gap is overly large then it can be fixed with a tube or two of ‘No More Gaps’ or similar. The only tool needed to complete the job is a corking gun. Again these can be purchased at any home building merchant and some interior decorating outlets. A great deal of heat can escape from a door that has warped slightly. It’s also a wise move to add double-sided draught stoppers to the bottom of any exterior doors. In the case of disused open fireplaces, it’s a simple matter of blocking off the chimney in order to prevent heat escaping. What might seem as a novel way to retain heat is also an extremely cost effective way - closing doors. This should be adhered to particularly in rooms that are not constantly in use. This small but effective strategy will contribute to savings in heating bills and is only a matter of good habit.