How to Make Your Period Property More Energy Efficient
Whether your preference leans towards country cottages, rustic farmhouses, stately homes, or Victorian terraces, there’s a unique joy in owning a period home that is a slice of British heritage. However, as charming and characterful as they are, these older properties tend to predate modern energy efficiency, which can make them expensive to run. And, with fuel costs rising and concern for the climate increasing, preserving heat is becoming more and more important.
Luckily, there are improvements that can be made to prevent heat loss and save money while still protecting the integrity of the original building.
Bolster your insulation
The most obvious way to keep a home warm is through installing insulation. As the name suggests, it will insulate your home and keep heat inside. A quarter of heat is lost through your roof, so a good place to start is your top floor. As well as making sure that your roof lining is intact, insulating it can save a fortune.
However, you need to be careful that you abide by relevant regulations. If your building is listed, you will likely need to seek planning permission before installing insulation. It’s also important that insulation doesn’t interfere with the ventilation that your house needs, so expert help is highly recommended.
Switch to LED Lighting
Changing your lightbulbs is a common cost-saving tip for any property. LED bulbs are more efficient than old-fashioned bulbs, meaning that more of the energy used to power them is used on lighting. These bulbs tend to last longer, too, so don’t need replacing as often. Making little adjustments like this can add up to a greatly reduced carbon footprint.
Block your chimney
While chimneys are a very attractive feature of period buildings, they let a lot of heat escape. There are multiple ways you can reduce this, depending on your lifestyle choices.
If you don’t use your fire, you can block your fireplaces completely. By plugging this hole, you can prevent a lot of heat loss. When blocking your chimney, make sure that you cap it at the top, to prevent wind and rain from getting in.
If you use your chimney for an open fire, you can get moveable products that can be taken out when you want to light a fire. This way, you can benefit from your fire without constantly being open to the elements.
Alternatively, you could consider switching to a log burner. More efficient than an open fire, they retain the rustic feel of period properties, but leak much less heat when they are not being used.
Fill the gaps between floorboards
Many period properties have exposed floorboards. Often, there are gaps between these floorboards that let heat escape. Luckily, there are many ways that you can combat this.
One way to approach this is to fill the holes directly. You can buy specialised putty or filler that will seal the holes. You can usually do this yourself, but you may want to enlist help if you’ve got a big house with lots of floorboards.
Even if you use a filler, you can prevent heat loss further by covering your floorboards. If you still want to see them, you can use rugs, but you can also install carpets for full coverage. These can be customised to suit your home decor, and you can even find vintage pieces to retain a historical aesthetic.
Embrace renewable energy
As well as reducing how much energy you waste, you can decrease your bills by generating your own energy. The most common form of renewable energy for domestic properties is solar panels. You will usually need to get planning permission for solar panels, but it’s possible to install them without damaging your property. If you’re lucky to have a bit of land with your property, this can also be used for solar panels.
While every method listed here will reduce your negative impact on the planet, this will reduce it the most. By reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, you can live a greener lifestyle and help protect the environment for future generations.
Add curtains and shutters
As windows and doors are essentially holes in the wall, they allow a lot of heat loss. One way to combat this is by installing shutters and thick curtains. You can buy products specifically designed to hold heat inside your building, like thermal curtains.
You can make the best of window coverings by keeping them open during the day and allowing the sun to warm your home. You can then close them at night to keep this heat inside.
Again, remember that some buildings will require planning permission for shutters. Most places require planning permission for external shutters, and even internal shutters will need this in a listed building.
Install secondary glazing
Another way to combat the heat lost through windows is to install secondary glazing. You can find both permanent and semi-permanent forms of secondary glazing that conform to regulations surrounding listed buildings.
Secondary glazing allows you to preserve the original windows and insulate your home with minimal disruption to the property. It can improve the thermal efficiency of your windows by 60-70%.
By creating space between the indoor air and cold outdoor windows, secondary glazing also prevents condensation and therefore the mould that often plagues old buildings. The discreet panels are also much more secure than just the original windows, and reduce the amount of outdoor noise that enters your property.
Choose Clearview secondary glazing
Clearview has been supplying secondary glazing throughout the UK for over 20 years. We have worked with many different properties, including National Trust buildings, churches and museums, to improve their energy efficiency.
Our DIY kits are available throughout the UK and come pre-glazed and pre-assembled with clear instructions. If you live within a 50-mile radius of our Sheffield office, we can install your glazing for you. Either way, you can use our online measuring tool to find the best windows for your property.
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