At OBC we aware of the huge environmental challenges that the world faces regarding climate change so have decided to put together this small guide for any homeowners considering making their properties more heat efficient.
Almost all period properties that pre-date the early 19th Century were constructed with solid walls creating a cold bridge to the outside. If your home happens to have a solid wall construction, there are ways to reduce the amount of heat loss – and do your bit for the planet while saving on heating bills. Cold bridging will usually only happen on boundary walls (walls that separate the inside from the outside). There are various ways of tackling heat loss, but choosing the right option for your property is very important.
For example if you own a property with nice period features, such as a Victorian or Georgian house you should try and use a system which is installed internally. We would normally recommend an internal perimeter stud system if you have decent size rooms and can afford to lose 70mm to 80mm off each wall. This system has many advantages as the studs would normally sit off the wall slightly allowing for cabling /pipe work etc and the cavity which is formed is an ideal method of insulation. The air gap also means that there is no actual connection to the outside – reducing cold bridging.
In between the stud lining a form of insulation is fitted before the plasterboard. There are also options of types of plasterboard, including specialist thermal boards for added insulation or sound check boards for increased acoustic performance – subject to the type of room it is going into.
If saving space is important then an alternative system called Dot and Dab may be preferable. This type of installation uses thermally backed plasterboard which is stuck onto existing walls and comes in a range of thickness. Walls are checked for suitability and any blown or loose plaster is removed. This type of installation would require some carpentry works to bring things like skirting and window sills forward and this must be considered when thinking about these type of improvements on your home. If you are refurbishing an old property they make perfect sense.
With added insulation to loft areas and even within a suspended floor you can create an entire wrap around the property. Other considerations should be to keep some airflow passing through the house which can be installed discretely into window frames or brickwork.