Insulation - Going from good to very good

Would it be worth it?

The EPC report says that the wall and roof rooms are "good" for insulation with the loft insulation being very good

Would it be as simple as just adding more insulation and hopefully reducing space heating requirements a tad further, which might also reduce bills further?

Thanks 

Comments

  • paul991
    paul991 Posts: 362 Forumite
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    depending of the level of  insulation that  you  of  got  just adding  more  to  your  loft will have little returns.its  best to  concentrate on air tightness with heat exchange ventilation. improving windows etc maybe  trying to move  to a passivhaus standard, on a older house this will be expensive,i have  got  over 300 mm in loft cavity's filled good  quality windows and  been research on  further insulation and  find  it hard to get any  low cost improvments


  • waqasahmed
    waqasahmed Posts: 1,926 Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2022 at 8:49AM
    paul991 said:
    depending of the level of  insulation that  you  of  got  just adding  more  to  your  loft will have little returns.its  best to  concentrate on air tightness with heat exchange ventilation. improving windows etc maybe  trying to move  to a passivhaus standard, on a older house this will be expensive,i have  got  over 300 mm in loft cavity's filled good  quality windows and  been research on  further insulation and  find  it hard to get any  low cost improvments


    FWIW, it appears that this house was built in 1976 so it isn't that old an house

    Could I ask what a passivehaus standard is p
  • paul991 said:
    depending of the level of  insulation that  you  of  got  just adding  more  to  your  loft will have little returns.its  best to  concentrate on air tightness with heat exchange ventilation. improving windows etc maybe  trying to move  to a passivhaus standard, on a older house this will be expensive,i have  got  over 300 mm in loft cavity's filled good  quality windows and  been research on  further insulation and  find  it hard to get any  low cost improvments


    FWIW, it appears that this house was built in 1976 so it isn't that old an house

    Could I ask what a passivehaus standard is p
    https://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/what_is_passivhaus.php
  • waqasahmed
    waqasahmed Posts: 1,926 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    paul991 said:
    depending of the level of  insulation that  you  of  got  just adding  more  to  your  loft will have little returns.its  best to  concentrate on air tightness with heat exchange ventilation. improving windows etc maybe  trying to move  to a passivhaus standard, on a older house this will be expensive,i have  got  over 300 mm in loft cavity's filled good  quality windows and  been research on  further insulation and  find  it hard to get any  low cost improvments


    FWIW, it appears that this house was built in 1976 so it isn't that old an house

    Could I ask what a passivehaus standard is p
    https://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/what_is_passivhaus.php
    Ahhh that seems pretty decent. It says how you can get it but when I look it up on Google, I find information about how x has achieved it but not necessarily any companies that are certified

    Not sure how I find those people then? 
  • paul991
    paul991 Posts: 362 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    it  may be a bit late in the year but  you  could borrow a thermal camera and see where your losing heat. 1970s houses can  vary in building some  have very thick  block  construction which  holds the heat whilst others have little or no insulation 
  • waqasahmed
    waqasahmed Posts: 1,926 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    paul991 said:
    it  may be a bit late in the year but  you  could borrow a thermal camera and see where your losing heat. 1970s houses can  vary in building some  have very thick  block  construction which  holds the heat whilst others have little or no insulation 
    Apparently the walls are timber, if that means anything

    But yeah that's a fair shout, with regards to thermal cameras. I intend on getting Radflek in the radiators anyway 
  • paul991
    paul991 Posts: 362 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    the  garage  door  seems a good idea my  original one a up and over i  stuck  some  aluminium sheeting on  back   but  could do with improvement 
  • JKenH
    JKenH Posts: 4,785 Forumite
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    OK. I'll stick my oar in here.  

    1. EPC reports are pretty useless.  Too many assumptions are made in them and the checks are no where near thorough enough, as my experience bears out. 
    2. Retro insulating a house to passive status is massively expensive for most. 
    3. But there are always things which can be done depending on much you are prepared to spend. 

    My house is from the 1950's with an integrated garage. There was a reasonable layer of roof insulation and double glazed windows as well as cavity wall insulation.  The EPC when I bought the house rated it as a 'D'.  The only recommendations on the report were to fit LED bulbs and underfloor insulation.  The house has always been more expensive to heat than I thought it should have been and so have gradually made improvements.  So the improvements I made which are far more extensive and effective than than the EPC identified are set out below. 

    1. I added an extra layer of roof insulation as it's pretty cheap. I also noticed that there was a draught coming though the loft hatch so I insulated around that too (modern loft hatches should already be pretty good). 
    2.  The windows felt pretty cold to touch and were a little draughty even though double galzed.  They were probably fitted in the 1980s and didn't come anywhere near modern standards.  When I had them taken out I discovered that the window frames didn't drain so each window panel was sitting in a pool of water. This would have been a great heat conductor. The replacements weren't cheap but I can feel the difference and now get condensation on the outside of the windows rather than the inside as before. 
    3. I've needed to renovate rooms over time (new kitchen, new bathroom).  As part of these I've added a layer of internal wall insulation (Kingspan) and re-plastered. It's made a each room slightly smaller but again has made a significant difference.  We've also needed to lift a few floors so have done the same for these as well. The new kitchen has needed 2 kW of radiators whereas before it has 5 kW. 
    4. The garage door was a typical up and over, metal sheet door. Uninsulated and of course loose fitting. So draughts down both sides and perfect at getting cold air into the building.  The bedroom above the garage was without doubt the coldest room in the house.  The draught from the garage could be felt in the kitchen behind.  I replaced the door with a modern insulated sectional door and then also added internal insulation to the walls.   This has made a massive difference.  
    5. The external doors were original and again let in more draught. These have both been replaced with modern composite doors with tight draught excluders.  The improvement yet again as been surprising. 
    6. Finally I discovered that the central heating pipes all passed through the 'offending' garage - about 60 feet of them in all. Whilst these were lagged, the heat could still be felt from them.  So heat was being lost into a cold draughty garage. Then have now been boxed in with roof insulation around the original lagging. 
    7. And on another note, not insulation but related - I found hot water pipes which were unnecessarily lengthy having being extended and re-routed with prior renovations.  We made these as direct as we could which both saves water and of course cuts down on hot water sitting in pipes only to go cold again. 


    I dread to think what I have spent and it's still a long way from being a passive house. Up until this year I thought that these improvements would never pay for themselves but that the combination of added comfort and some cost saving was worth it.  (As I've mentioned before, this last winter I could manage to not heat my office (a small bedroom) where I work from during the day but relying on the heat generated by my computer and two screens). 

    So my advice is to be critical of any reports you have and look for opportunities particularly when you are already undertaking home improvements.  

    Hope this is of interest and may be some use. 
    I had similar poor experience of the EPC surveyor when I had a survey done prior to getting solar panels. 

    When I built the house in 1990 we went way over the building regs at the time (1985 edn.) with wider cavities and extra cavity insulation, underfloor insulation. We even built the integral garage to the same spec as the house (except for the underfloor insulation). When we built over the garage about 10 years ago we insulated above and below to the building regs. We have modern double glazing (28mm air gaps) and 300 mm of loft insulation. 

    We were given a D mainly because the house was built in 1990 and that was the standard of the time. We did get credit for loft insulation and double glazing but not the underfloor insulation or additional thickness wall cavities/insulation as the inspector could not see it. 
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps, ex Nissan Leaf owner)
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