I recently read a news report which at first glance seemed like a misprint. The article stated that in the UK £ 1 out of every £ 3 spent on heating is currently being wasted in 10.3 million homes because they are not energy efficient. At first I could not believe what I was reading – not only is this a massive waste of money, it also spells disaster for the environment. All from a nation that is set on leading the world in tackling climate change. People are literally pouring money down the drain, while accelerating our planet towards disaster.
The energy that we take for granted in our homes comes largely from burning fossil fuels. In case you did not know, this process creates CO2, which is being released into our skies and is causing a dangerous green house effect. It has been said by experts that global warming is a far greater threat than international terrorism. The devastating consequences include rising sea levels, increased occurrences of extreme weather events, and generally the destruction of millions of species that inhabit planet earth.
In a typical home, 20% of all heat loss is because of draughts. To test your home just hold your hand up your door and window frames to feel for air coming through.
Dealing with exterior doors and windows is an inexpensive and easy way to start saving heating energy. Simply fit brushes, foam strips, and rubber blades to fill the gaps that cause unwanted draughts. You can get these draft excluders at any DIY store or builders' merchants. If you seal the gaps around floor boards and skirting boards, you can expect to save even more money. The amount of money that you will need to invest is around £ 50- £ 100, but this will save you around £ 20 a year because your heating bills will be lower. After 3-5 years it will have paid for itself and you will actually start saving money.
Draft Proofing vs. Ventilation
A balance has to be stuck between ventilation and draft proofing. A completely air tight house will become stuff and can cause bad, stale smells. Regulations for new houses require that the half the air in the house be replaced with fresh air once every hour.
If you heat rooms individually, you will want to install draft excludes to interior doors as well. Heating only the rooms that you need is a great way of saving energy in the winter months, especially for larger homes. If you have a gas fire in your home you should be very careful not to limit the amount of ventilation that the fire needs to operate safely when burning. If there is not a good supply of oxygen to a gas fire it will affect the combustion, giving off dangerous carbon monoxide.
Open fire places allow a lot of cold air into houses. Flaps can be installed to lessen the problem, but to totally irradiate it you will need to use a central heating system instead.