Period property & energy saving

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  • Beki's Avatar
    The promise of owning my own home has now been made a reality, albeit probably at the worst time for mortgage rates.

    This had made me a little more conscious of the energy rating of the property itself. It is currently at an E but has the potential to be an B. I wondered what we should be looking for to improve the energy rating of our home?

    What are the basics first of all, and then what are the possibilities in regards to heating our home efficiently?

    Think of this as a first time buyers guide to Energy Saving!

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    Please note, this is not my home but it's very similar (not as big or as pretty!)
    Last edited by DebF_EONNext; 27-03-23 at 18:18.
  • 46 Replies

  • Best Answer

    Mailman's Avatar
    Level 58
    Best Answer

    I'd say the easy things to do in £ order are :

    1. Change all the bulbs to LED's
    2. Make sure you have adequate loft insulation
    3. Cavity wall insulation (this might get you to the D border)
    4. Solar panels (cost more £ than 1-3 above)
    5. Heat Pumps (as above)
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    Many congratulations on your purchase .

    normally I would be looking at the investments that are relatively inexpensive that produce the most rapid payback you though are very much into Green energy which might pull in different directions.

    so how about a full description

    detached semi terrace or flat?

    walls cavity or solid

    roof insulated or not

    floor solid or timber raised

    heating system

    Aplliances new or existing?

    the EPC will give some initial ideas. But LED lamps are a no brainier.

    did I say many congratulations?
    Current Eon Next customer, ex EDF, Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92

    First things first, go for the low hanging fruit.

    LED lightbulbs in you still have any conventional ones.
    Draught proofing anything draughty...letterbox, dodgy door or window seals, etc.
    An extra 100mm or more of loft insulation.

    Those are the cheapest steps that will cost very little, but give you savings right out of the starting gate.

    Unless you can get up towards a High C or a Low B through insulating, I wouldn't invest in a heat pump. They are great, but do not work effectively in 'period' properties.

    Get a good heating engineer in to fully service the heating system, and then optimise whatever you have with a decent programmer and thermostats. Fit TRVs to radiators if not already existing.

    If you have an EPC, it should show you what steps can be taken in each section of the assessment in order to improve the rating.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 03-12-22 at 17:46.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • Beki's Avatar
    @meldrewreborn Thank you! I am very excited. I must admit I don't know all the details that you have asked though.

    detached semi terrace or flat? It's a mid terraced

    walls cavity or solid - I'm not too sure about this one. How can I find out without knocking a wall down?

    roof insulated or not - One half is a conversion, the other half, I didn't poke my head up there to nosey.

    floor solid or timber raised - timber

    heating system - It has a gas boiler in the cupboard outside, so most probably ancient.

    Aplliances new or existing? We are taking our own. They were all A rating when new.

    We have those smart LED lamps (great to be able to turn off after the kids and use these in lamps and main lights.
    @retrotecchie The EPC isn't a full one, just the one the estate agent has. Would I have to get someone out to do a full one?
    @Mailman Lovely to see you around 😊 I would love solar panels and will definitely look to see if we can have them. I don't think we are in a conservation area so that's good. Do you know if they have to be facing a certain way? We have a south facing garden.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    @Beki_EONNext. Solid walls generally have brick laid long then short repeated, cavity walls generally have bricks laid all lengthwise. cavity wall already filled will have holes drilled at approx 2 metre intervals usually at the junction of 3 bricks, and when sealed show a different colour mortar

    mid terrace is good you only lose heat front an back. The sides are assumed to gain as much as they lose. Double glazing is nice to have but generally has a long payback time.

    EPCs are standard. A fully survey is in my view essential on what is for the vast majority of us the single largest expense we ever face. Assuming you are getting a mortgage they will arrange a survey, but that can be shallow and is only to protect the mortgage provider that the property is worth what you are paying, not that it hasn’t got problems that you would want to know about.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    south facing is the best for PV. The best time to insulate the ground floor raised timber floor is straight away as once carpets and furniture are in it becomes much more effort and hassle, and it also eliminates the draughts mentioned by @retrotecchie.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    but it is vital not to overreach yourself - the list of jobs is always long and expensive - discipline is needed, but I suspect you can do so.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    A subscription to Which? For a year would be very beneficial as you gain access to the back catalog online.
    Perhaps from somebody as a Christmas gift?
  • Plantagenet's Avatar
    Level 18
    As for insulation in the roof space don't let anyone talk you into having foam sprayed on the underside of the roof tiles / slate , it's not recommended by most surveyors and your mortgage and buildings insurance company won't like it .It can hide any problems with the roof structure. It's predominantly used as a repair for loose tiles or slate , but some unscrupulous companies sell it as additional insulation.
    Last edited by Plantagenet; 03-12-22 at 19:31. Reason: Additional info