Tactics to keep the heat

by Andy Bryenton

With winter on the way and autumn already delivering cooler mornings, the thoughts of many people are turning toward ways to keep cold and damp out of their homes. When it comes to efficient heating, there are so many options available pellet fires, efficient wood burners, gas, heat pump systems — the choices seem endless.

There’s a passive system of indoor climate control, which works 24/7 with no moving parts. It can work silently at no cost for years in total efficiency, and without it, all the heat in the world will do little good.

We’re talking, of course, about insulation, a topic, that has been discussed in arenas from real estate to politics in recent years, such is its importance to a healthy home. With rules changing for landlords around minimum standards for insulation in rental homes, it makes sound sense as a homeowner to treat your own biggest investment to a healthy upgrade.

Imagine your home as a chilly bin; though instead of ice and cold drinks, it contains the warmth generated by your heat pump or fireplace.

A house with no insulation is more like a cardboard box full of holes no matter the efficiency of your heating; it’s radiating out into space. At the same time, cold and damp can come creeping in. Insulating the roof is usually the first thing we think of, as heat rises. It’s a good idea to check on the condition of that insulation if it’s been a while since you’ve opened the hatch and visited the ceiling space; old insulation can settle and degrade over time. Next comes the underfloor space for those homes not built directly onto concrete.

Check to see that everything is tightly attached with no gaps here. Finally, and paradoxically, many people forget to consider the sides of the ‘box’ we aim to create with insulation. Heat can readily radiate out through walls, and it’s easier than you might think to unobtrusively fill the cavities between the inner and outer walls with a long-lasting insulation material.

Give your insulation coverage a check-up now before the cold weather strikes, and if you’re in doubt, call up a local expert. They have the tools to pinpoint where your insulation ‘armour’ has gaps, and can upgrade your level of defence to exceed government standards and achieve a healthier, warmer, lower-cost home for winter.