SAVE ENERGY - Magic Painting and Decorating


Heating your home isn’t cheap, and with the price of gas, electricity and oil going up all the time, it seems to cost more every winter to stay warm. To save money you need to stop the heat escaping, and the best way to do this is to insulate your home. The better the insulation, the warmer you’ll feel and the more money you’ll save.

 Half the heat and more is lost through walls and the roof. Therefore, for cavity wall homes consider have them filled, ensure you have adequate insulation in your loft and for solid wall homes you can insulate on a DIY basis using thermal insulation in the house, external wall or use Inhibitory special paint absorbs the heat to the wall.

External solid wall insulation works by adding a thermal layer of material to the exterior walls. Insulating these walls keeps the warmth in the house for longer and makes homes more comfortable and cheaper to heat. Solid wall insulation may be suitable for a variety of wall types such as brick, stone, steel-framed and concrete construction. And, depending on the circumstances, the walls can be insulated internally (from the inside) and externally (from the outside); both are significant undertakings in terms of cost and disruption. External solid wall insulation involves adding a layer of insulating material to the outside walls of a building and coating this with a protective render or cladding. There are lots of options to create the finish that you want and these may even add value to your home. External solid wall insulation may be particularly suitable if you wish to avoid internal disruption, the loss of internal space or are doing other work to the exterior of your property, such as re-rendering. It is a specialist job that requires an approved installer who will specialise in work using a specific insulation system.

Internal solid wall insulation works by adding a thermal layer of material to the existing internal wall. Although a significant undertaking in terms of cost and disruption, it can make your home warmer and greatly reduce your heating bills at the same time. There are various ways to insulate a solid walled building from within, but they broadly fall into three categories:

1) Rigid insulation boards These come in a variety of materials and thicknesses and deliver the highest energy saving. Some have pre-attached plasterboard which makes the installation process more straightforward.
 2) Dry lining Battens are fixed to the walls, insulation is fitted between them and then covered with plasterboard. This is a good option if the wall has a lot of heavy fittings such as book cases or kitchen cupboards, or if the original wall is rough and uneven, as in some stone properties.
3) Flexible thermal lining This comes in rolls like thick wallpaper and is glued to the wall using a special adhesive. Flexible linings may not provide the same level of insulation

Floor insulation is a simple and effective way to keep your home warm and reduce your energy bills. Regardless of whether you have a suspended wooden floor or a concrete floor, improving your insulation could save you up to £60 per year. You may also be able to get financial help and other support to help you pay to have the insulation installed by a professional. Solid insulation board or rolls of mineral fibre (like that used to insulate lofts) can be fitted between the flooring joists. You can reduce draughts by sealing the gaps between the floorboards and along the skirting, or alternatively you can fix hardboard or chipboard over the top of them.

Cavity wall insulation  is a simple and effective way to reduce your heating bills – and have a warmer home. If your home was built after the 1930s, the chances are that its external walls are made of two ‘skins’ with a small gap between them. This means they are ‘cavity walls’ and the gap between them can be filled with insulating material to stop the warmth escaping to the outside. Many people, including some building professionals, believe that wall cavities should never be filled and that insulating cavity walls will inevitably lead to damp bridging. This is simply not true. To date, around four million UK homes have had cavity wall insulation retro-fitted. The number of cases where cavity wall insulation has directly caused damp bridging is very small indeed. Where water penetration does occur this is usually due to defects in the construction of the property and not due to the faulty or inappropriate installation of cavity wall insulation. Defects, like cracks or pre-existing damp problems can easily be spotted by a competent assessor and can usually be remedied, meaning that the walls can be insulated and damp problems avoided. So you can see that it is important to have a proper assessment carried out before any insulation is put in.

 Loft insulation a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof, which is why loft insulation makes such a difference. Even if you have some insulation in your loft you may need a top-up. The recommended depth for mineral woolnsulation – the most common material – is 270mm (about 1ft). Generally speaking, if your home has an accessible loft with no damp or condensation problems, it will be a good candidate for loft insulation. Mineral wool insulation can be bought in big rolls (also known as ‘blankets’ or ‘quilts’) from builders’ merchants or DIY stores. If you’d like to use your loft for living space, then you could look at insulating the roof of the loft rather than the floor. This is usually done by fitting rigid insulation boards or insulation foil between the roof rafters. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, and it will pay for itself over and over again in that time.

Keeping the cold air out

Simple DIY draught-proofing

No-one likes to live in a draughty house. And, apart from the discomfort, it’s a waste of money if the air that you have paid to warm up keeps escaping through gaps in the house and being replaced by cold air from outside. The good news is that draught proofing is easy. A bit of DIY can go a long way to plugging those gaps and keeping cosy at home. You’ll stop wasting money on your heating bills, and cut down on your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions too. So, where do the draughts come from? Most houses, particularly old ones, have cracks and gaps through which warm air goes out and cold air blows in. Not all of these can be dealt with by a DIY-er, but many can, such as the gaps between or around floorboards; around windows and doors; through the letterbox; where pipework comes through external walls; around the loft hatch; and around electrical fittings.

Mind the gap

The most common draught-zones … and DIY solutions to dealing with them:

Windows: Use foam, metal or plastic draught strips, or brush seals for sash windows. Temporary secondary glazing is another  option.

Exterior doors: Fit brush or hinged-flap draught excluders, fitted along the bottom of the doors.

Interior doors: Cut draughts with ‘snake’ draught excluders, brushes or similar strips of material.

Unused chimneys: Chimney draught excluders are available from most DIY stores. Plastic bags stuffed with other plastic bags also work – remember to remove and let the air circulate in summer.

Around pipework: Apply silicone mastic, wall-filler or expanding foam as appropriate.

Floorboards and skirting boards: Fill the gaps with flexible fillers, clear or brown silicone mastic, decorators caulk or similar products.

Cracks in walls: Use cement or a hard-setting decorators wall-filler.

Redundant extractor fan outlets: These should be blocked up.

Loft hatches: Use strips of draught excluding material fitted around the edges of the frame, and don’t forget toinsulate the hatch itself.

Lighting and electrical fittings: Plug the gaps aroundthe fittings with wall-filler.

Letterboxes: Fit flaps or brushes to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Energy saving home improvements

There are a wide range of energy saving improvements that you can make to your home. See below for a list of some of the possible improvements. We help people understand all about different forms of insulation, how to get the most out of the heating in their homes, as well as help understanding their energy bills.  Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent. You could save around £40 per year. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60°C/140°F. (But keep it above 55°C to stop legionella growing in the system). Invest in a lagging jacket for your hot water tank and insulate your pipes. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows. Do not drape curtains over the radiators, this will funnel heat straight out of the window. Install radiator insulation panel to reduce heat loss and lower bills by 12-15%. Don’t leave appliances on standby – turn them off at the plug instead. Standby can use as much as 60% of the electricity that would be used if it was switched on and remember not to leave appliances like phones on charge unnecessarily. f you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme. Using a 40°C wash cycle rather than 60°C means that you use a third less electricity. Only boil a kettle with as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you’re using an electric kettle). Cover pots and pans when cooking – they will boil a lot quicker. Switch to energy saving light bulbs. Just one 20W bulb can save you £60.00 in its lifetime, compared to a 100W standard bulb and they can last up to 15 times longer and always turn off the lights when you leave a room. Defrost fridges and freezers regularly to keep them running efficiently. Do not put hot or warm food straight into the fridge and always position your fridge or freezer away from cookers or radiators. Shower rather than bath, it uses less energy and water. Repair dripping taps quickly, in just one week enough hot water would be wasted to fill a bath. Always ensure that taps are fully tuned off. When purchasing household electrical appliances such as fridges, freezers or washing machines aim to buy A or A+ rated and always look out for the Energy Saving Trust “Recommended” logo.


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