Energy performance in old properties is a complicated situation and assumptions about low rating are not always true. Many people believe that older houses are not energy-saving and need to be upgraded in order to improve their efficiency. However, the strategy for transforming an old property to an energy efficient one requires a strict approach on its own environment, construction, condition and historic significance.
Epc4less, Belfast epc supplier, shows the main factors that are taken into consideration in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) calculation.
Walls And Fabric
Fabric-first approach prioritises passive design principles over technology. Wall insulation is considered one of the most effective energy efficiency measures. Heat loss reduction can be achieved by increasing wall insulation. According to energy performance regulations for energy efficient houses in Northern Ireland, high standards and critical low U-values are required for wall insulation. Although, achieving those values in old buildings demands a complicated process because of their architecture design and construction.
Uninsulated lofts are responsible for the quarter of the living space heat losses. Loft insulation is used to reduce the heat transfer between the inner space and the outside environment, creating a warmer home in winter and a cooler one in summer. However, old properties usually have uninsulated lofts, thus increasing their energy consumption and energy bills. In short, properly insulating a loft is an environmentally-friendly and cost effective move that could save a percentage of your heating budget over the years.
Up to the early part of the twentieth century, commonly old houses used to get build with external solid walls which means they are certainly uninsulated. Solid wall is suitable for a lot of construction projects, but unfortunately domestic energy efficiency is not one of them. Nearly half of all the heat lost from uninsulated solid-walled houses escapes through the walls. Solid walls can be insulated internally and externally. Both are significant undertakings in terms of cost and disruption but both options can make your home warmer and greatly reduce your heating bills at the same time.
Windows are another significant factor in the energy rating of a house because they supply the inner space with daylight and natural air ventilation. In many older buildings, traditional window frames and glazing fail to support the necessary thermal and lighting comfort of the occupants. The consequences mainly include high energy bills and occupant discomfort. Energy efficient glazing has a big impact on how much energy is needed to heat the property. There is a large initial cost for replacing single glazed windows with double or triple glazed, but money will be returned in the long-term. Moreover, in case that money is tight, there is always the option of considering fitting secondary glazing to the existing window.
Before buying a property your solicitor will need to carry out searches and let you know if the building is listed. If your property is listed, then be prepared to keep your old single-glazed windows and have a rather difficult to heat bedroom.
For more information about getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Londonderry, Coleraine and other areas in Northern Ireland, contact epc4less.