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Readers tips of the month - January 2013

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 January 2013 at 10:35 am

Keeping warm is a bit of a theme for this month's tips. Mark Griffiths lives in a solid-wall 1930s house and works from home. He writes: " we brought in a company to help us dry-line part of our home office - an upstairs bedroom. We lost ten inches of space, but gained immensely in heat retention (winter) and heat dispersal (summer). We also attended to loft insulation in the roof above.

"Everybody talks about cavity wall insulation, but don't despair if you live in a solid wall house. Dry-lining can be a good solution."

Also enthusiastic about solid wall insulation is MrEfficiency, a life long environmentalist from Cambridgeshire. He recently moved to an Edwardian single skin house, and has internally clad external walls of the bedroom, and is working through the whole house room by room. He offers the following sage advice:

"Decide where you ultimately want to be, plan the steps to get there and do them in logical sequence. NEVER do anything twice or have to re-do anything you have already done. Planning is almost everything, research makes up the difference! If you are not good at DIY, get good at it!" Getting the order right is vital to an efficient retrofit project, and just as important if you are making any improvements under the Green Deal. Make sure you ask your green deal advisor about this before agreeing to any plan.

Steve g's had a disastrous experience with a rainwater harvesting installation, but it's worth sharing so others can learn how to avoid the problems he's had. He identifies two reasons for it going wrong.

"1. Dreadful after sales service from his supplier, and 2.  I used the house builders to fit it and they had no experience in fitting them and completely ruined it. It now lies under my garden unused.  An expensive white elephant.

"I suggest you always use both local suppliers and builders with experience in fitting them as they are much more complicated than it first appears."

Polly is very happy with her ground source fed underfloor heating which gives "a lovely warmth and is very cheap to run". However, she warns you to think about noise when installing a heat pump. "Think hard about how and where you install heat pumps - they can be very noisy.  Kingspan wall insulation with gap behind acts as a sound box.  Also ceiling beams carry sound quite amazingly!".

Photo Credit: Celotex By

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