Whether you are totally renovating your period property or just looking for cost effective energy saving ideas to make your home more energy efficient. We have compiled our top energy saving ideas for improving the energy efficiency of your period home. From those ‘must have’ energy saving measures for bigger budgets to those that cost you nothing at all, we are certain you will find something which will help you to warm up your home!
Period properties are beautiful. Full of charm and character. However this charm and character comes at a cost – especially where energy efficiency is concerned. Period properties were definitely not built with energy efficiency in mind and incorporating energy saving measures in to older or period properties can be challenging.
If you are carrying out major renovation works on a period property it is best to think about the energy efficiency aspect of the project right from the offset. Top of the list should come:
Re-roofing has come a long way over the last century and even listed and period properties can benefit from modern, insulated roofing materials. As this is where most of the heat loss occurs in a property it really does make sense to start from the top down! Our Eco-roof is ideal for older properties, especially if they have an old attic conversion.
If you’re planning on re-plastering rooms then the focus should be on dealing with the heat loss walls before you get that plaster on and decorate! Heat loss through walls is a common problem in older properties. Insulating them from the inside ensures that the outside appearance of the property isn’t in any way compromised. However this can be tricky. Especially if you have decorative coving and features you want to ensure remain intact. Adding insulation to solid walls of a period home requires skill and care and should only be done by someone experienced in doing so. For more information, see Historic England’s useful guide on Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings – Insulating Solid Walls. Your local building control team will also be able to offer guidance.
Installing solar PV systems battery storage will ensure you get free energy from the sun – they even work when it’s cloudy so the UK weather is not a problem! With advances in technology over recent years, they are now installed with battery storage allowing you to store the energy you have generated during the day for use when you need it the most. Some panels, such as the Veridian in-roof system we install at Green and Heritage Roofing, are very discreet. They don’t have to be ugly or compromise the look of a period property. Building Regulation approval its required and you live in a conservation area or your property is listed you should seek advice from LABC (Local Authority Building Control). Unsure how much solar PV battery storage costs? Check out our solar PV and battery storage pricing guide!
If your budget won’t stretch to installing the measures above or you just don’t have the inclination to embark on major renovation works then the following will help in getting your energy efficiency under control:
Up to a quarter of your heat can be lost through the roof if the loft is not insulated. If your budget won’t stretch to a new insulated roof system such as our Eco-roof, ensure your loft is well insulated and that there are no gaps where heat can escape.
If you already have curtains get them thermal lined if they are not already and keep them closed. Check that they are not blocking the heat from radiators from coming in to your room. If you don’t have curtains already consider investing in some.
Older houses generally have suspended timber floors. If you can get access consider installing mineral wool insulation between the floor joists. Make sure you seal and gaps in the floor boards.
If your chimney isn’t in use then blocking it off and installing an energy efficient stove would be far more economical. If you tend to use one room during the day – like a home office – consider placing a small electric stove in that room so you don’t have to heat the entire house.
If you have period single glazed windows these do not need to be replaced if they are in good condition. Consider repairing them and installing discreet, secondary glazing. There are various options available from those that can be removed in summer to ones which can be opened.
These are very intuitive and can help you save considerably on your bills. They help to make you aware of the energy you are consuming and learn from your behaviour. Some can even turn off lights if they sense there has been no movement in a room for a while.
Swapping old fashioned light bulbs for LEDs can instantly reduce energy consumption. The cost of purchasing new LED lamps can be quite expensive but the saving made in energy consumption will help to offset the cost!
If your boiler is more than 10 years old then seriously consider replacing it with a modern condensing boiler.
If you don’t have much of a budget and are just looking for easy ways to improve the energy efficiency of your older or period property then there are plenty of simple changes you can make to your home which will make it warmer and reduce your energy bills too. Some of the following could help make an impact:
Shop around for a cheaper energy supplier. This is a competitive market and there are lots of sites online which can help you do this.
If you are not going to be at home consider reducing the temperature whilst you are out.
If you don’t have cavity wall insulation then placing radiator foil behind radiators helps to stop the heat escaping through the wall. This can be purchased fairly cheaply from places such as B&Q.
However tempting it might be to sit on top of the radiators, move furniture away from them so that the heat can disperse around the room
By seeing accurate, real-time information you’ll be better at managing your energy usage, cutting down on waste and saving money in the long-term.
Simply fill gaps where cold air can enter your home. For example, gaps around doors, windows, loft hatches and floor boards. You can purchase suitable materials from your local DIY store at an affordable price.
If your radiators don’t seem to be working effectively and are colder at the top than the bottom then there could be trapped air in the system. Bleeding them is quick and easy.
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