This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes looks at how renovating a home can provide a few unexpected and new challenges.

Q. In our recent renovation we paid a small fortune for external insulation, new windows, etc. The insulation came with regulations on vents which naturally we fitted.

However, some of the vents have a gale blowing through them in winter, undoing some of the good work carried out. Now we’re looking at various plan B’s.

My question for you is what can we do to ensure the vents aren’t undoing the heat we’re supposed to get with all that insulation?

A. You have insulated the external envelope of your house only to fit what now appears to be vent holes which leave cold air back in to your newly wam house. So, what is the logic behind this regulation and how do you protect your precious heat?

Before you renovate an old building, on top of the fact that it has little or no insulation, it leakes warm air causing numerous drafts. These drafts occur in all the junctions, cracks and service holes in your walls. So, old houses don’t really need vents to create passive ventilation. These vents are largely already in place due to the pre-existing drafts.

When you renovate a house and fit modern insulation and build to modern building standards, you tend to close off most of the air leaks which has the effect of eliminating the cold winter drafts but the required new vents, to comply with building regulations, does in fact leave in the cold air again. The difference between now and then is that at least you now know where the cold air is coming in.

View full article in The Examiner here.




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