Here is a list of some of the improvements that have a positive effect on the energy performance of your house.
An EPC may recommend upgrading the boiler as many older gas fired boilers are deemed to be inefficient or less efficient than their modern counterparts. They are also more harmful due to their poor efficiency. If your gas fired boiler is 10-15 years old it might be worth considering an upgrade.
Many homes have a conventional wall mounted boiler, which typically achieve about 70% efficiency. However, new condensing boilers have a greater efficiency and can add anything up to 15 SAP points to your homes efficiency rating which may put it in a higher band.
Condensing boilers are the most efficient type of boiler. This type of boiler typically has an efficiency of around 95% and can save you up to a third on home heating bills. By law, gas boilers fitted in England and Wales must now be high efficiency condensing boilers.
Hot water is used for a range of activities within the home, including washing and bathing. Considerable savings can be made by improving the insulation of the hot water cylinder. Cylinder jackets are designed to insulate the tank and keep the water temperature hot for longer. Insulation comes in a range of sizes and thicknesses and should be a minimum of 75mm to minimise heat loss.
By fitting a hot water cylinder thermostat to regulate water temperature, it will reduce energy used by overheating the water within the cylinder.
Insulation can help reduce heat loss through the ceiling and loft space. Any house can be improved to reduce energy consumption, reduce heat losses and consequently reduce the environmental impact of the building.
Loft insulation should be a minimum thickness of 250mm to minimise heat loss through the ceiling of your home.
Cavity wall insulation can reduce heat loss through the walls of a property. Cavity Wall insulation, loft insulation, sound proofing and roof insulation can all increase energy efficiency and reduce the heat loss of your home.
Installation of cavity wall insulation provides significant improvements in home energy performance and savings on utility bills and costs. Before proceeding it is necessary to ascertain the construction of the house to see what type of insulation can be installed. There are a number of installers and specialist companies who will be able to provide you with information on installing cavity wall and loft insulation in your home as well as advice for improvement grants.
Central Heating Controls
Controls for the heating system are designed to make your home system more efficient and save fuel. In order to function efficiently the boiler requires: Time Switches/Programmers, Circuit Controls, Central Heating Pumps and Thermostatic Radiator Valves in order for the boiler to function efficiently.
Without some or any of these controls efficiency will be reduced and the boiler will use more fuel.
The ‘Timer/Programmer’ can switch the entire system on or off at times set by the user and can store pre-set periods to turn boiler off when not in use.
Cylinder thermostat should be positioned about 1/3 of the height from the base of the hot water cylinder. It should be set at between 55-60 0/c. The cylinder thermostat can stop the hot water circuit and the boiler, provided no other control is demanding heat.
A room thermostat prevents the boiler from cycling, continuously wasting fuel and decreasing the service life of the boiler. The location of the room thermostat is usually in the hallway of the property.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) replace existing valves fitted to radiators. They are more energy efficient and can improve the rating of a home.
Solar energy can be captured by solar panels. There are two main types of solar panels:
Solar Water Heating panels: these absorb the energy from the sun and transfer it to heat water. These can provide about 1/3 of your hot water needs and reduce CO2 emissions.
Photovoltaic panels: transform solar radiation directly into electricity which can be used throughout your home in the same way as electricity you currently buy from your energy supplier.
Specialists should be consulted when considering installing either type of solar panel due to its build requirements (e.g. adequate roof space and type of roof)