This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes discusses how to reduce heat loss from your home and save money

Q. What measures can a half-handy home-owner do themselves, i.e. some dry-lining, attic insulation, draught-proof strips, and at what stage is it better to trust an expert? Can a DIY-er claim back any expenses at all, eg for attic insulation rolls? Is doing it yourself even a false economy given the grants available?


A. What energy-saving measures can be carried out without incurring very significant upfront expense?

First I would always look at the external envelope of your home. Are you leaking warm air (which you are now paying a premium to heat)? This could be as simple as looking for draughts in your walls, floors, ceilings and sealing these.

If you have a suspended floor (on timber joists) these are vented underneath to allow the joists to breathe but as a result, are inherently inefficient when it comes to drafts. I would certainly attempt to seal any significant gaps between floorboards or repair any damaged boards as any gaps here will lead to a big loss of heat.

Gaps in walls can be sealed with sand-cement outside and plaster inside. Pay particular attention to gaps around pipework which can be a significant factor when it comes to heat loss (and indeed insect and rodent ingress). You may also see areas where gaps around electrical wires occur but ensure that the wiring is sound and in good working order (ask an electrician for advice) before attempting to make good in these locations.


View full article in The Examiner here.




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