How to Improve the Energy Efficiency in Homes

For many homeowners, saving money on heating bills and finding ways to become more energy efficient is high priority.

Lots of houses across the UK suffer from poor insulation and ventilation, which doesn’t help with regulating the temperature within the home properly.

Draughts, cold spots and dampness can create heat loss in homes, which contributes to increasing heating bills during the winter. A lack of proper ventilation can cause rooms to become too hot to use in the warmer months and also increases the risk of condensation.

By making home improvements and conserving energy, not only can homeowners reduce carbon footprints, but they can save money in the long run. There are lots of cost-effective solutions and strategies that are proven to improve the energy efficiency of a home.

Fabric First

When thinking about energy efficient homes, homeowners often look first at different ways of heating the property, such as a new boiler for example. This is important but it’s a good idea to look at the fabric of a property first!

This begins with assessing how air tight a home is and making all the necessary improvements and looking at the thermal performance and energy ratings of installations such as the windows and doors. Upgrading the heating systems should be the final step that’s taken for improving a home’s energy efficiency.

Upgrade the Insulation

Often, homes have old and inefficient insulation, which could be letting lots of heat escape during the cooler winter weather, and this not only has a bad impact on the environment, but it increases heating bills too.

That’s why making sure a home has effective insulation installed is key. There are lots of insulating methods to choose from, and they all depend on a property and the homeowner’s requirements, including external, internal and cavity wall insulation.

When installed correctly, energy efficient cavity wall insulation can be extremely effective. Cavity wall insulation consists of highly efficient, thermally effective material being blown in between the cavity wall.

Our CQ Assured scheme ensures that members have all the skills and knowledge to clear existing cavity wall insulation, ready for it to be replaced with brand-new efficient insulation, giving homeowners peace of mind that the job will be completed to the best standards.

Along with the walls in a home, a large percentage of heat loss can occur through the roof, so it’s a good idea to make sure that the loft is fully insulated too.

Refurbishing a Conservatory

With old, glazed conservatories, it’s more than likely that they are too hot during the summer and too cold and draughty through winter. If homeowners experience this, replacing the roof with a high-performance solid roof could be beneficial.

Solid conservatory roof systems have been designed and engineered to be lightweight with great thermal performance, making them ideal for replacing old and inefficient glazed or polycarbonate roofs.

They help to ventilate, insulate and reduce heat loss in the room, transforming an old conservatory that’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer into a space that can be used all year round.

Our CQ Assured scheme certifies installers who fit solid conservatory roof replacements, so by choosing a Certass certified installer, homeowners can have peace of mind that they have the right skills and knowledge to complete the job properly.

Replacing Windows

Old windows, along with windows that aren’t installed correctly, are another cause of heat loss and draughts in homes.

Some older windows aren’t efficient, even if they have double glazing. Since Window Energy Ratings (WERs) were introduced in 2002, all windows must meet minimum thermal performance ratings to pass Building Regulations.

Window Energy Ratings were developed to measure and rate the energy efficiency of windows, and it’s required that all windows must be rated as C or above on a scale from A to G or have a U-Value of 1.6 W/m2K or lower.

The energy ratings of windows are calculated by measuring the heat loss, solar heat gain and U-Values of a fully installed windows, considering elements such as the thermal performance of the window frame, glazing and spacer bar. Combining these together creates an overall rating of how energy efficient the replacement window is.

Our Thermal Rating Register measures the Window Energy Ratings of windows using an easy-to-recognise traffic light system, to show that a window is both Building Regulations compliant and installed by a fully certified, Certass installer.

Choose a Home Improvement Installer Who’s Certified

By taking the ‘fabric first’ approach to creating an energy efficient home, there are plenty of straight forward options that homeowners can follow. For a tradesperson to carry out home improvements, they will need to be registered with a UKAS accredited, government approved certification scheme.

Our certification schemes cover a wide range of building fabric refurbishments, from solid conservatory roofs to cavity wall clearance and replacement windows and doors. So, you know that any work completed by a Certass certified tradesperson will meet and exceed Building Regulations, with the right skills and knowledge to do a great job.

To talk to a Certass tradesperson about energy efficient measures in homes, homeowners can find their nearest installer through our online directory here.