Making my home warmer (treble-glazing and thermal Imaging survey)

Good morning.
Apologies if my question(s) is/are a bit muddled.
The background to this is that we are recently retired, considered moving but decided to stay and invest in our home instead. Our house is brick skinned, under 30 years old. We had double glazing fitted 10 yrs ago. The exterior wall cavity is filled with rockwool insulation. I have just increased the loft insulation to 400mm and the lofttrap is also insulated.  Have also lagged all the pipes that I can reach. The porch gets cold, which is why I added secondary glazing, in the form of a perspex sheet, onto the glazed inner door, thereby improving the comfort of our lounge. We also have new carpets, with thick underlay, throughout.

Two of the bedrooms have northern-facing windows and typically are cooler during the winter. All the windows attract condensation. So I have contacted the original fitters and asked for options for treble-glazing. They have come back with a quote for replacing the sealed glazing, which is reasonable, so we are going to have it done to one window first to see what improvement it makes. But how far should I consider taking this, do I have done all the windows that are north-facing?

Secondly, I have seen an advert for a thermal imaging house survey and am about to get my first quote. Is this something that I really should be considering, or is it an unnecessary expense? Our house is now comfortable and heats up quickly, but of course, even a well insulated house will get cold when the heating goes off? (see also last point)

Lastly, I mentioned the cold porch. It is about 1m x 3m in area, and contains a downstairs toilet with radiator. It has a tiled pitched roof that is on the front of the house and I'm guessing that there is no insulation in the small roofspace. I did contact the people who did our wall cavities, but they are not able to fill it by blowing rockwool in through a hole in the ceiling. I really don't want to make a big opening in the plasterboard ceiling, because everything is newly redecorated. Should I spend money on a builder to open the tiled roof and look inside, or should I just live with a cold porch?

Thank you

Comments

  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Hi AjJay.
    If you aren't going to add heating to your porch, then there is little point in insulating it to anything like the house's standard - little gain, but big cost. 
    It just isn't 'designed' to be warm, and is at the whim of the sunlight.
    I presume, tho', that the loo is heated to some degree?
    If you suspect the ceiling is not insulated, then a quick and simple option for such a small area is to overboard it with insulated plasterboard. Yes, this will lower its height by whatever thickness you fit, but even 1" of such high quality insulation will make a huge difference.
    I'll emphasise, tho' - it won't make a room warmer unless you add heat. And adding heat to an unnecessary, or poorly-insulated, room is simply a waste of energy.
    So, what do you want of this 2mx1m porch? I suspect you did the very best thing in improving the entrance door between the porch and the house.

  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Explain about these north-facing bedroom windows, please? They are currently 'double' and 30 years old?
    Do they close and seal well? How thick are the DG units, any idea? I suspect 20 or more.
    If they are 'decent' quality and actually functioning as they should, then I suspect you'll notice very little improvement if you replace the glazing units. And they will cost you - what? - £150 a pop to swap? By all means try it on one window if you wish, but personally I'd wait - and save - for complete replacements when that day comes.
    Two ways to think about upgrades; what difference will it make?, and how much will it cost?
    If you upgrade before you need to - as possibly with these windows - then think of how much energy you will actually save each year, and compare that with the £100s and £1000s you have forked out. How much would that outlay cover the relatively minor energy loss from your slightly less than perfect windows? What is the 'return'?
    If the windows start to creak, hinges fail, seals perish, units blow, then you'll need to replace them. But not until then!
    That is just something to 'consider'. But if pay pay out £100s or more on DG units now, you'll be reluctant to fork out again in 5-10 years time for complete windows.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,248
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    ThisIsWeird said: Do they close and seal well? How thick are the DG units, any idea? I suspect 20 or more.
    If they are 'decent' quality and actually functioning as they should, then I suspect you'll notice very little improvement if you replace the glazing units. And they will cost you - what? - £150 a pop to swap? By all means try it on one window if you wish, but personally I'd wait - and save - for complete replacements when that day comes.
    ten year old windows will probably be 28mm thick sealed units. Whilst not as high performing as current offerings, they will still be reasonably good. Replacing them with Low E double or triple glazed units (no need to replace the frames) will cut the heat loss a little. Not a huge amount mind, so the reduction in heating bills will be minimal. However, new high performance units will cut down on condensation, and if triple glazed, reduce the effects of outside noise - Sometimes, quality of life is worth more than energy savings.

    As for the porch roof, I wouldn't want to be blowing insulation in. There is no way you can control how even it is, and there is a real risk of blocking airflow from under the eaves. If you are going to the expense of overboarding with insulated plasterboard and then skimming, you may as well take the whole ceiling down and do it properly - The difference in cost will be minimal as will the level of mess & making good. But you get to put in much more insulation and ensure no cold spots or compromised ventilation.

    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Sorry - misread the age of the windows - I'd assumed they were original to the house.
    They are only 10 years old, so the frames should still have a decent life in them.
    But, I double what FreeBear says. Replacing just the glazing units will, of course, 'improve' matters, but almost certainly only by a tiny margin. The cost for this small gain will be very considerable, tho'. And, you'll still have frames and hinges which are likely a third to half-way through their lives.
    Big cost, little gain.
    "Two of the bedrooms have northern-facing windows and typically are cooler during the winter. All the windows attract condensation. Two ways to sort the condensation. One is to make the room much warmer - keep the bedroom temp as high or higher than the rest of the house - this will force that cond to form elsewhere in the house :smile: . That is clearly nuts, and will not only cost a small fortune, but make the bedroom uncomfortable and probably unhealthy overnight. The other method is to make the bedroom cooler. Actually, not cooler as such, but much better ventilated to the outside, so that will, in effect, mean it'll be 'cooler'. If you leave a bedroom window permanently ventilated, then I will virtually guarantee you won't have any cond on them.
    In practice - ie to make it 'acceptable' - I would suggest a routine like: 
    Have the windows on 'vent' (or even cracked open an inch or so) all day and eve. Keep the bedroom door closed, and the radiator off. Your bedroom will be cold but dry.
    A half hour or so before bedtime, close the window, turn on the rad, keep the door closed. Turn on your leccy blanket...
    Just before diving under the duvet, rad off, bedroom windows to 'vent'. You should not be cold in bed - if you need to, use an all-night blanket set low. Yes, it'll be chilly if you need to get up for a wee, but the warm bed awaits.
    A half-hour or so before get-up time, rad on and windows shut.
    Once you leave the bedroom, rad off, windows as cracked open as they can, doors shut. If any cond has formed, then wipe it away thoroughly with a cloth.
    = dry bedroom. Or at least very much improved.

  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,248
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    ThisIsWeird said: But, I double what FreeBear says. Replacing just the glazing units will, of course, 'improve' matters, but almost certainly only by a tiny margin. The cost for this small gain will be very considerable, tho'.

    Big cost, little gain.
    But what value do you put on quality of life ?
    I've replaced all of the windows here. Some still had plenty of life left in them, but attracted condensation. Plugging the draughts would have been dirt cheap (£10 for a can of expanding foam), and I could have turned the heat up (doubling my heating bill) at a cost of ~£400 per year. Payback would have been around 15 years assuming gas doesn't go up too much in that time.
    Having replaced the windows, no more cold draughts, very little condensation, and I've increased the CH temperature by 1°C without increasing energy consumption. Quality of life has improved considerably, and I didn't need to clean the windows last year.

    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,085
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    There is a regular poster on here who maintains that having triple glazing will also have a negative effect, in that it will let less sunshine/natural heat into the house, and reduce light coming in making everything outside look darker. Technically I think they are right but quite a few replies said they could not see this 'darker' effect, which maybe more/less obvious at certain times of day ?
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    There is a regular poster on here who maintains that having triple glazing will also have a negative effect, in that it will let less sunshine/natural heat into the house, and reduce light coming in making everything outside look darker. Technically I think they are right but quite a few replies said they could not see this 'darker' effect, which maybe more/less obvious at certain times of day ?

    We have recently-fitted triple-glazed bifolds, and in no way whatsoever is anyone aware of any reduction of light or clarity. And no distortion of view or anything. It's just like...like... glass. If you weren't told it was triple, you'd never wonder.
    Ours is north-facing, tho', so we don't have solar gain through it, but it's hard to imagine that it would reduce the sun's effect to any noticeable degree if facing t'other way.
  • John_the_Boy
    John_the_Boy Posts: 298
    Photogenic First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I have triple glazing and get plenty of thermal gain from the windows on the south facing side of the house. If it was less than double glazing you would never know.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.5K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.6K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards