December a very cold month

During December 2010, we in the UK have seen some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded, combined with the early snow fall in late November, these have been challenging times.  Daytime temperatures remained in sub-zero for many days on end.  No doubt all the householders are braced for their power companies sending out those bills and horrible “we need to increase your direct debit” letters.  I visited the local diy store and noticed loads of people buying loft insulation rolls, which to me is a little like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.  But nevertheless, at least they have recognised a problem and are prepared to spend now.  It got me thinking about whether this extended and extra-ordinary cold snap would effect people’s perceptions of energy conservation in a domestic environment, their homes.

As you can see from the image, the windows are one of the smallest areas, and providing the curtains are closed at nightfall, this can be very small indeed.  The uPVC window companies have for a long time used the energy saving benefits to sell their products.  Whereas the real savings are made by loft insulation and filling cavities between the walls. 

Top tip: Get the cavity filled with either pearls or fibre and make sure you have the plenty of loft insulation.

Minimising drafts too can be easily solved and keeping internal doors closed to prevent the least used rooms from being heated unnecessarily.  Also, this means that smaller areas can be heated more effectively. 

Other things to consider are: Boiler services, air moisture and TRV’s on radiators.  Topics I hope to cover soon.