Tips for Reducing Heat Loss in a Home
An article featuring BWF images.
There are countless professionals out there that understand not only the devastating effect that heat loss can have on a home, but also how to tackle it, but so many homeowners are still in that dark, or, in the COLD. Given how simple it can be to take practical steps to reduced the loss of much-needed warmth in a property. After all, heat loss in a house means much more than just chilly rooms; it can affect utility bills and even lead to problems with mildew in the cooler months.
Knowing about all the factors that affect heat loss and, more importantly, how to negate them, is critical and this guide has been put together to highlight all the issues, as well as DIY solutions that any homeowner should be able to put in place. With a little effort and a small investment in the right materials, no home ever need lose heat again, thanks to this guide.
How loft insulation reduces heat loss.
Insulation is well-known in terms of being a go-to material in the fight against cold homes, but how and where should it be used and why?
Adding insulation to the loft acts as an extra barrier that all the heat in a home needs to get through, in order to escape completely. We all understand that heat rises, so by adding a layer of rockwool, fibreglass or foam to the loft, heat is trapped within and continues to radiate down, through the rest of a property, maintaining an ambient temperature.
There are insulation materials for every budget and local councils even offer grants for certain homes, meaning that insulation can be upgraded for free, so it’s worth looking into.
Preventing ventilation heat loss.
Ventilation in homes is a must, but it can lead to a lot of heat loss, if it’s not properly used. Things such as unnecessary air bricks and unused but open chimneys all allow heat to escape, which is why certain elements need to be actively blocked up, to trap heat where it is needed.
Electric ventilation systems in bathrooms and kitchens should only be used when the room is in use, as when left open all day, they suck warm air out. Unused chimneys can be simply blocked with newspaper or through proper construction methods and extraneous air bricks can be removed and replaced with standard bricks. These are all small endeavours, but they have a massive impact on the warmth within a home.
How does double glazing reduce heat loss?
Upgrading the doors and windows in a home have a tremendous impact on reducing heat loss in a home, especially if double or triple glazing is installed. The question is, how?
Multiple glazed units are spectacularly clever as they trap air between glass panes, creating a vacuum that warm air cannot pass through. In contrast, outdated single glazing allows hot air to simply pass straight through it, out into the atmosphere. Not only that, single glazing tends to be encapsulated in wooden frames, which cannot provide a seal that is even close to being as airtight as sealed uPVC units.
Replacing old glazing and doors with modern versions will significantly improve the energy efficiency rating of a home and reduce heating bills as a direct result.
Maximise radiator efficiency to reduce heat loss.
Radiators might heat a home, but if they aren’t working to their full potential, there is room for improvement. Regularly bleeding a heating system will allow any air bubbles that have built up to be flushed out, allowing for consistent and even warmth to be emitted.
Heat transfer from radiators out into a room can be hampered by silly little things, other than air bubbles. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that they aren’t covered by anything, so although drying clothes on them might seem like a good idea, all the heat will be lost to fabric drying, leaving the house feeling colder and, a little more damp, as the moisture in the clothing will evaporate into the air.
Fill floorboard gaps to reduce heat loss.
Natural wooden floorboards look gorgeous, but in a cold house, it makes more sense to lay carpet. before doing so, however, the gaps between floorboards need to be filled, to really reduce the amount of heat loss being experienced. When floorboards are going to be covered, there’s no harm at all in filling the spaces and paper maché is the most commonly used material for the task, meaning that any keen DIY enthusiast will be able to do the job themselves.
Of course, exposed floorboards can also be filled, but more time and effort will be needed in order to create a visually pleasing finish that doesn’t detract from the floorboards themselves. A flooring professional will be able to advise as to the best course of action.
Heavy curtains reduce heat loss.
Thick curtains and drapes act as a terrific secondary defence against home heat loss, as they prevent warm air from simply escaping through windows by blocking the path. It is worth noting that some people don’t fancy the idea of heavy curtains throughout the year, which is why seasonal textiles are fast becoming an interior design trend.
In the warmer summer months, sheer or gauzy drapes can be hung to maintain privacy but still ventilate properly and then, when the weather turns, heavier curtains be hung to trap as much heat in as possible. Luxurious fabrics work best, such as natural wools, velvets and decadent brocades.
An alternative solution for preventing heat loss.
Not everybody has heard of insulating wallpaper, but it is a fantastic resource for trapping heat inside a home. Far from being an unattractive but practical application, insulating wallpaper is available in a myriad of styles and designs and acts as a fantastic defence against heat loss. Thicker than standard papers and often made from foam-like material, insulating wall coverings are a great idea for any homeowners looking to do as much as possible to reduce heat loss, without negating on style or trendy aesthetics.
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