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Home Insulation

Home Insulation

There is now an excellent variety of eco friendly materials available to insulate your home. In doing so you are able to cut your carbon footprint dramatically as you require less fossil fuels to heat your house, apartment or premises.

7 Realistic ways to improve your home's thermal performance :
1 Cavity wall and Loft Insulation
This is perhaps the most cost-effective ways to reduce your home's carbon footprint. Basic improvements start at as little as £100. Grants are often available to help you with the costs. To see if you qualify, contact the Energy Saving Trust (0800 512012, energysavingtrust.org.uk). Your energy supplier (British Gas, EDF etc) is obliged to help you with energy saving measures such as insulation, putting you in contact with an installer at a subsidised price.

2 Pressure Test
A pressure test is the best way to locate all the drafts and air leaks in your home. They work by sealing your doors and then air is pumped into your home, increasing the air pressure inside. Escaping air can then be monitored and the leaks rectified. Nationwide tests are available from UK Air Testing (01763 242114, ukairtesting.co.uk or Leema Tech (0116 253 3422, leematech.co.uk). Tests start at about £70 and typically take two to three hours. By helping you to work out where you are losing your heat these tests pay for themselves very quickly.

3 Draft Excluders
Most DIY stores sell basic draft excluder kits for a few pounds and these can often achieve the same results as upgrading windows and doors to double-glazed, modern alternatives, but at a tiny fraction of the price. For further advice and information about local fitters, contact the Draught Proofing Advisory Association (01428 654011, dubois.vital.co.uk/database/ceed/wall.html.

4 Curtains
Sturdy ceiling-to-floor curtains in front of windows and external doors can also make a terrific reduction in heat loss due to drafts.

5 Heat-Recovery Ventilation Systems
This option is usually only effective in modern homes that meet the latest, rigorous insulation regulations. There are companies in the UK who supply and fit heat-recovery ventilation systems. Villavent (01993 778481, villavent.co.uk) sells DIY kits, with prices starting at about £2,500.

6 Micro Energy Generation
There is a growing list of renewable energy options including wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, solar panels, ground-source heat pumps - but for many, the price and practicalities remain off-putting. For advice, contact the National Energy Foundation (01908 665555, nef.org.uk, or the Energy Saving Trust).

7 Consult your local Energy Saving Trust
Your local Energy Saving Trust should offer free impartial advice about improving your home's thermal performance. Contact the advice centre on 0800 512012, or visit energysavingtrust.org.uk/home_improvements. If you live in the Greater London area, the Green Homes Concierge service (supported by the London Development Agency) will do a year-long energy audit of your home for £199.

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