Paul’s introduction

Hi. To introduce our home as the starting point, our family of three live in an extended 1930s semi in Crofton Park. It is one of many very similar houses in between Crofton Park and Ladywell so hopefully it will serve as a demonstration of what can be done to improve these and make them more comfortable.

front intro

In winter it seems difficult to get our home to a comfortable temperature, and the heat will disappear as soon as the heating is switched off. It can lead to battles over the thermostat, so the result of any improvements should be a combination of reducing our bills and making our home more comfortable.

The first part of the work was to have an assessment of the house, resulting in an Energy Performance Certificate (the sort that is required now whenever you sell a home). This shows the potential for any improvements and exactly what could be considered.

Our home received a ‘D’ rating, with a EPCpotential to scrape into a ‘B’. Looking through the property section of the local papers, ‘D’ seems fairly typical of 1930s properties, with older properties not always faring as well.

Unfortunately it looks as though the work isn’t going to be completed until the winter is over so it will be a while before any improvement is really going to be felt, but one of the companies involved plan to do a more detailed Energy Performance Certificate assessment and repeat it after all the work to show the difference.

Another measurement they’ve done is an air tightness test. This involves sealing all Air testdeliberate ventilation, such as air bricks, and then pumping in air from outside and measuring how quickly it leaks out of the house. This measures how frequently the air inside is exchanged through leaks in the building, and therefore how quickly the air heated by our central heating is replaced by cold air that needs heating again. I’m waiting to see the results from this, although they said it was fairly typical for the age of our house. Again, they plan to come back after the work to repeat the test to show how much it has been improved.

I am a bit of a data geek so I’ve managed to get hold of various temperature loggers, and I have monthly gas and electricity readings going back quite a way. Hopefully this will provide some colourful graphs to go alongside subjective impressions of how much more comfortable it feels. I’ll write in more detail later about all the data that I’m collecting.

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