Efficient energy use in your home is one of those things that you may not be aware of as important but actually has a huge impact on your wallet. Energy efficiency helps reduce the cost of running your home, as well as giving it added value depending on its BER (Building Energy Rating). Your BER is an assessment of the energy performance of your home. The rating ranges a scale of A-G. Homes at the ‘A’ side of the scale are more energy efficient and tend to have lower energy bills as a result.
The main purpose of insulation is to retain heat, and good quality insulation will help reduce the cost of heating as a result. Air tightness is the prevention of air flow escaping and causing a loss of heat or drafts. This helps to protect the building from issues like moisture and mold. The steps you take toward better insulation have the upside of affecting the air tightness of your home which will put you on the right track to achieving a higher BER. Insulation comes in many varieties, the most common being wool, foam and fiberglass, and Crystal Complete Building can make recommendations on the type that best suits your needs.
Pipe insulation has the benefit of reducing the convective heat loss in your home, which means that the water temperature will be delivered at a higher temperature to your rooms. With a higher delivery temperature you will be able to turn down your water heater and make significant savings in the long term.
Your boiler will play a key role in the BER of your home, and upgrading to a new, energy efficient model can drastically improve your heating bill. A high efficiency boiler with zoned heating controls is available under the SEAI grant scheme.
Choosing the right windows and doors will also improve your energy efficiency. Composite doors and alu-clad windows will give you the most efficient results while also keeping your house secure and looking good at the same time. For both windows and doors there’s the option of the highest specification double or triple glazing. These glass choices range from 28mm double glazing to 44mm triple glazing. This will help to achieve uValue ratings of a high standard. You can find out more details in previous posts on Choosing and Installing New Windows or Choosing and Installing New Doors which cover materials, styles and security.
It doesn’t have to be all big projects that have to be undertaken to improve your energy efficiency; small changes can make significant differences too.
Making sure appliances are off standby when not in use, changing light bulbs to low wattage energy efficient bulbs, only using the dishwasher or washing machine when full and taking showers instead of baths will reduce your electricity and water usage significantly. This will save money in the long term and improve your BER rating.
Solar panels are an investment in your home and can be used for heating water and generating electricity. A grant is available from SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) under the Better Energy Homes scheme of €800 aid to put towards a solar thermal system for your home.
Grants and incentives are available from SEAI for work towards energy efficiency in your home. The SEAI website has a variety of grants available, and once you have decided on the work you want to be done, a registered SEAI contractor (such as Crystal Complete Building) can carry out the project. Once the work is completed you can get a BER check carried out on your home and, after submitting the results, you will receive your payment straight to your account. A full list of the grants available can be found at SEAI website.