We spend millions of pounds each year on
all the energy we use. Oil, turf, coal and gas were made millions of years
ago. These are not a resource that can be be easily replaced. Why then if we
spend millions of pounds heating our homes, can't we spend a few hundred making our homes
more energy efficient.
Simple attic insulation does not cost the earth but nearly half the attics in Ireland are
not insulated. The roof looses 35% of the heat if it is not insulated. It
will roughly cost a tank-full of oil to insulate an attic but the savings alone in the
heating bill will more than compensate the cost.
What about the draughty front door? 20% of the heat lost from a home is through
ill-fitting doors. If you are contemplating changing the door, go for one that is
strong with double glazed glass. Make sure to fit draught excluders, if not already
fitted, and make sure that the letter box is insulated also. During the Winter it
does no harm to fit a pair of heavy duty, lined curtains and be sure to close when the sun
Windows account for 20% of the heat loss in a house. One option is to change
to double glazed windows, which is extreme to say the least. If on the other hand
you are worried about heat make sure that the windows are fitting snugly and fit with
draught excluders and put a heavy duty lining on the curtains as the sun sets, as this is
when the house starts to loose the heat.
Finally the walls loose 25% of the heat through them. There is no one easy
solution to this problem. One method is to pump Aero-bead balls or other products
into the wall cavity. This can only be done by qualified operators. The second
option is to stud the inside walls. This way the insulation can be placed before the
slab is nailed in place. Either way the cost fairly substantial. No matter
what way you look at it heat loss is very substantial every Autumn, Winter and Spring and
unless we insulate our homes the cost of our fuel bills will increase every year, weigh
that against the cost of proper insulation and before too long the cost of that insulation
will have paid for itself.
Before I finish I would like to end on a note of caution. If we continue at
the rate we are burning fossil fuels, we will leave no fossil fuels for our own
children. Then a lump of coal, or sod of turf will be classed along with the
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