As the year comes into its final quarter, it’s time to prepare for the impending low temperatures and poor weather conditions. Where a home is not insulated properly, or where windows, doors and roof spaces have not got sufficient temperature regulation built in, the winter months can be very cold, very long and very expensive. If you live in a home which was built some time ago, then you may have problems keeping it warm. This is because houses which were built before 1920/1930 tend to have solid – rather than cavity – walls. The cavity in newer walls can be filled with insulating material in order to give the whole house a boost in thermal efficiency. If your home was built after 1990, then it’s likely that you’ll already have this built in. For those residing in properties which fall between 1920/1930 and 1990, then you may have cavity walls which aren’t filled with insulation.
An easy way to tell which kind of wall you have is to look at the bricks the property is constructed from. If all of your bricks are the same shape and size as each other, then it’s likely you have a cavity wall. If your bricks go one big, one small, one big, one small, and so on; it’s likely you have a solid wall (like in the picture below). The small bricks are just simply full-sized bricks turned to face inwards, rather than side-on.
Even more ‘modern’ houses can have issues with thermal efficiency. In this blog guide, we’ll give you some tips on keeping your home warm – you may just be surprised at what you haven’t yet thought of.
Ensuring your windows are fully weatherproof is a good start when looking at the energy efficiency of your home. Check all windows and frames for any weaknesses or gaps. If you have double-glazed windows, check the seals between the two panes of glass are still doing their job. If you have misting or water droplets between the panes of glass then this means that the seals are not working. Ensure the frames fit properly into the wall and that they are sealed to prevent draughts and rainwater from getting in. If you have single glazing, buying secondary glazing film and applying this to the glass should help you to loose less heat overall.
Your doors are just as important as your windows when it comes to defending against cold weather conditions. Your doors are opened much more frequently in the winter than your windows, so it stands to reason that your doors – particularly your external doors – should have some decent thermal protection. This will not only help to ensure less heat escapes from the home, but also helps to ensure the property is able to warm up more easily once the door has been closed once more. Doors can be protected by replacing single glazed panels (if present) with toughened, double-glazed ones. These are now standard in new front doors. Letterboxes should be fringed to ensure the cold cannot be blown through into the home and the door should fit properly within the frame. Use draught excluders if you feel cool air seeping in underneath the door.
Many people forget about their garage door when it comes to insulating their homes, but for those with garages attached to the main property, it’s just as important as ensuring you don’t leave a whole window open all night! The garage door is a vast space which, if not properly insulated, will let the cold in and the heat out. For those with garages separate to their property then this is not so much of an issue, as long as you don’t have temperature sensitive items stored inside. Where rooms of the home adjoin the garage space, you may find that they take longer to heat in the winter and can be much, much colder than the rest of the house. Insulated garage doors are the answer, particularly ones with the insulation built in, rather than adding DIY insulation to your existing garage door. This can damage the opening mechanism if not done properly, so always ask an expert if this is what you plan to do. Our range of timber garage doors are naturally insulating, and our roller and sectional garage doors are constructed from insulated aluminium and insulted steel respectively. Keep cosy this winter with an insulation solution from VPS247