Making homes fit for the future

I’ve recently started to renovate a house, and I’m lucky that the house is already extremely well insulated. But I still need to work out how to best ventilate it, to get fresh air in without letting the warmth out.

The answer at first, as with so many products in the energy efficiency market, seems only to be found through manufacturers. But how do I know what is best for my house and family, rather than just the product the manufacturers need to push this month? 

Here are some pointers on how to keep your home warm, with good air quality, if you are in the same predicament:

  1. Insulate. A typical home uses 65% of its total energy on heating and too much of this leaks out of our homes. It may not be visible or swanky, but insulation and draught-proofing – of walls, floor and roof – is the best investment for your comfort and bills.
  2. Ventilate. As we reduce natural, uncontrolled ventilation from draughts, we need to still make sure fresh air gets in to the house, and stale air gets out. At a minimum, this means good extraction units in kitchens and bathrooms, with trickle vents in other rooms. After much deliberation I’ve chosen a central extract system from Aereco, where the trickle vents only open and the air is extracted only when the air quality in the home requires it.
  3. Take control. Once the fabric of the house is doing its bit, heating is much more responsive and new smart controls make it much easier to heat your home only when you need it.

Keeping these priorities in mind can help you navigate some of the claims by the gadgets that land daily in the market, but it still isn’t easy enough for people to find quality installers or get the whole house advice they need. The standard recommendation in this sector is to signpost people to trustmark.org.uk, and get inspiration from superhomes.org.uk, but if you have a local experience of energy efficiency work done well to share, please email us hello@greensouthwell.org.uk

This blog originally appeared as an article in Southwell Life.

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