Keeping your home warm / heating / energy crisis / insulation etc

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  • This is going to be a major issue for many of us (and the whole fucking world) over the winter and most likely for the foreseeable future. Also, it's overtaken the News thread for a while. Probably needs its own place for discussion of the issues, experiences, tips, associated politics...

  • Useful thread!

    I had a follow on question from the news thread chat that was too OT to post in there:
    I live in a 1960's terrace house which gets very cold in winter. I already have works underway to sort the rear wall & the floors (unrelated to heat), but as heat rises I guess the loft/roof would be most useful to improve.

    Current materials in place above the upstairs rooms are; thin plaster ceiling > wooden joists > gaps between the joists stuffed with some horrible fibre-glass/candyfloss stuff > wooden floorboards on floor of loft > empty loft space > wooden joists holding up roof tiles, tiles are lined with what feels like sheeting that has gone hard though has load of holes in it so you can see outside through the small gaps under the tiles. Loft is freezing in winter & roasting in summer.

    What would be the best DIY work to do to insulate the top of the house do we think please?
    I was thinking of buying insulating foam boards to put between the roof joists then maybe stapling on some form of lining over the top to stop the draft but is that just going to make everything in the loft go mouldy?

  • Do you know how thick the insulation you have up there is?
    If its less that 270mm, I'd
    take up all the boarding
    Top up as much as you can to 270mm
    Put down Loft leg stilts
    Screw the boards down onto the loft legs

    Most likely the house has been designed with a cold loft in mind, so you're best off getting all the insulation above the ceiling joists, rather than the roof joists. No point in spending money to capture heat where it's not going to be felt (in the loft).

  • We've invested in decent duvet and blankets, brushed thermal socks aka heat holders, and gloves. It's going to be like the start of Willy Wonka's at this rate.

  • Will thick curtains (on the windows, not my head) make much difference to a slight draught?

  • gaps between the joists stuffed with some horrible fibre-glass/candyfloss stuff

    This appears to be the insulation that is doing the job of keeping the heat in your house from getting in to the cold roof space, but it's probably crap. I'd suggest investigating if it works at all, and if not, replacing it with something that does.

    If you aren't using the roof space for anything temperature sensitive then I'd leave insulating between the roof joists, because you might fuck them.

  • Yes, absolutely. Anything that you can do to stop draughts on doors and windows will have a massive impact, and is usually very cost effective.

    Here’s a link https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-envir­onment-58913875

  • The hardest bit is getting the curtain pole up / straight :)

  • @seager & @Howard - thanks! I'll go up and have another look. There's an awful lot of crap up there that'll need moving in order to pull up the boarding & re-insulate though!

  • I'd normally suggest this being a good chance to chuck stuff, but having more stuff up there might actually be better for thermal mass.

    I've got load of insulation in my Wickes basket at the moment - just need to pull the trigger.

  • Yes, insulating your house is a great idea, but insulating your own body is first course of action. I usually wear a baselayer througout winter in the house, and two pairs of socks, anyway. Going by the Rapha thread, there's not want on here for merino layers...

  • What I found the most important aspect in my place is managing humidity especially in the bathroom. When it's cold and 90% humidity the extractor fan or an open window don't help much
    after a shower, the steam just condensates on the cold walls.
    Instead I close the window, run a dehumidifier before taking a shower to lower the humidity so during the shower the air is dry enough to absorb the steam and there is no condensation. As a bonus the bathroom is also a bit warmer because the dehumidifier converts the warm steam into warm dry air instead of it going out the window.
    Although I think this year it will be only my wife taking the hot showers.

  • Is anyone aware of anything that companies are doing to support people working from home this winter, other than try to get them back to the office? Stuff like help with bills, funded discounts on insulation, sending branded slankets? Would have thought this would be something firms would be starting to communicate already, but haven't heard anything.

  • Where have Insulate Britain gone?

  • Are you PAYE?

  • To sohi's point how do you manage the humidity / damp / mould?

    If your blocking up all the drafts and reducing the overall heating it seems like a perfect mix for breeding mould.

  • To sohi's point how do you manage the humidity / damp / mould?

    Don't dry your clothes inside

    Ventilate when cooking

    Dehumidifier - an energy efficient one!

  • Yeah, though at present I've been tasked with identifying anything specific firms are doing to help homeworkers with preparing for a chilly and expensive winter.

  • Not a massive tip but I've got a thermos flask that I fill with boiled water in the morning to save boiling the kettle from cold constantly.

  • Dehumidifier - an energy efficient one!

    If anyone has links that would be appreciated (I know I've asked this before).

    How do you dry your clothes outside in winter?

  • Don't dry your clothes inside

    Only works if you're over 50 or rich

  • Like others have said I use a dehumidifier. The idea is to keep the heat in and dehumidify the air inside. The dehumidifier should use less energy and dryer air feels warmer.

    I use a Meaco 20l

  • How do you dry your clothes outside in winter?

    Winter air can be very dry - but it will take longer and be more unpredictable.

  • Not a massive tip but I've got a thermos flask that I fill with boiled water in the morning to save boiling the kettle from cold constantly.

    Digging this idea, I'm WFH in the near future, I seem to make about six cups a day so I'm going to try it.

  • Interested in cheap tips for renters. We have office style blinds, walls the thickness of windows, an open plan downstairs that only has underfloor heating, no doors to upstairs and a nice 4m high useless space at the top of the stairs. Also the underfloor heating can't be properly switched off - I can turn off the pump but there still seems to be some gentle circulation of water from the boiler through the floor when I'm trying to heat a room.

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Keeping your home warm / heating / energy crisis / insulation etc

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