Energy efficient homes have many benefits for the inhabitants including warmer, healthier and more comfortable living conditions as well as lower power bills. Additionally, being energy efficient will reduce the home and your impact on the environment.
We moved into a 50 year old home in February this year which isn’t energy efficient and I’d like to share with you over the coming months some of the steps we take to improve our energy use. It is likely that others are also doing the same or similar with their renovations and you are welcome to leave comments or suggestions. Having bought the home in the heat of summer our plan was to initially do nothing for the first winter until we could establish exactly was needed. While I don’t have access to any scientific data in relation to the home, I can relay my personal observations and research. It has been cold – no doubt exacerbated by the fact we had moved from Coromandel to Te Awamutu – but also because the home has inadequate insulation and heating.
The original home was built 50 years ago; it has brick cladding and a tile roof. The floor in this part of the home is suspended native timber. Approximately 20 years ago the home was extended in keeping with the original style the main difference being that the floor is on a concrete base. The 180 m² space contains 3 bedrooms, office, bathroom, toilet, laundry, separate lounge opening to a dining room, and the kitchen which opens to a second larger living room.
The roof insulation is a mix of 20 and 50 years old bats; the 50 year old insulation is well past its use by date. There is no under floor insulation however the new section has under floor heating in the slab. We assume that there is no insulation in the walls. The windows are single glazed with wooden frames; curiously some of the windows in the newer section are a little draughty in extreme weather. All windows have adequate curtains for privacy. The floor has wall to wall carpet throughout the living areas and vinyl in the wet areas.
The separate lounge has an open fire which has apparently not been used for 20 years (the length of time the previous owner lived here). The fire place has a cover to stop draughts coming down it. We relied on electric oil heaters through the winter as a temporary measure.
Next week I’ll share with you some of the plans we have to make the home more energy efficient.
September 28 2010 06:56 am | Uncategorized