Thursday, 8 October 2009

Insulation

And as the weather turns colder and the condensation starts running, my mind turns to insulation. We've really got to do something about insulation this year, but I'm totally at sea and don't know what to do for the best, plus we have about £25 spare to do it with, if that!
So far, I've just spent our 'spare' £25 on some reflecting panels to go behind our radiators so that we are not losing the heat we do have (not that I've switched the heating on yet anyway). But we have a much bigger problem - leaky double glazing, especially in the main bedroom where the window is actually misted in between the 2 panes. The only outside wall in the main bedroom gets really cold on the inside and then runs with condensation over night, causing damp and mould. We also get a lot of damp and mould in our bathroom, mainly on the ceiling. We have solid walls in our 1920s terraced house and no airbricks, but we have loft insulation and gas central heating with radiators.
Whenever I talk to people about all this, I get completely different replies, but all given absolutely authoritatively: more ventilation needed, more insulation needed, external insulation, internal insulation, better heating, more loft insulation. Given that most of these options involve serious building work and serious money, I don't want to get it wrong. I'm happy to save up for a proper solution but I have no idea which one *is* the proper solution. Can you get an 'eco' building/insulating company to come and give a free quote of what could be done to make your house more efficient? If so, how do you find someone knowledgeable and reputable?
I'm finding this all so frustrating as I know we could be more energy-efficient if I could sort this problem, and I don't want to keep on opening windows with the heating on just to get rid of the condensation. There has to be a better way!

6 comments:

Joxy said...

Just a guess here, but how about environmental health from your council? They might be able to tell you what needs doing to solve the problem. Personally, I can't see how insulation will solve the problem, it sounds like a ventilation problem - but obviously I'm no expert... but yeah you could try calling environmental health.. and if nothing else your council should have a list of reputable companies that should be willing to come out and give you quote for any work.

Carolyn said...

Wall to wall books? ;-)
Sorry, nothing serious from me. But did you know that the council do offer grants for help financially with that kind of thing? We just had our heating done through Warm Front, which is for our area...it is a nationwide thing though I believe. Big grants....we needed a new boiler (ours had been condemned back in June) and radiators everywhere, and we hardly had to pay anything. It is all income related.... maybe worth a call?

bethnoir said...

I'm not sure it's ecologically sound, but before we had double glazing and had water running off the window ledges in winter, we bought some small packs of silica gel which absorbed a lot of moisture and reduced the problem considerably. I think it was in a DIY shop, but I have no knowledge if it's recyclable or anything.

Otherwise, try not to breathe so much?

bethnoir said...

like this maybe?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/EHS-International-Ltd-DV300-Rechargeable/dp/B0007D99B6/ref=pd_sim_lp_3

Only joking about not breathing.

Liz said...

I'll check out council grants. But really I'm trying to find someone who can come round and look at the house and tell me what I can do to make it more environmentally sound - so not just an insulation company, but one that does the whole thing - advising about windows and insulation and ventilation, and passive solar gain and different types of heating and fuels etc... I'd look it up, but I don't know what such a company would be called - 'environmental builders'? Eco-retrofitters? Anyone know what the right term is so I can google it?

Dawn said...

I'm not sure if it's the right term but I think what you're looking for is an "eco analysis" of your home. I have read about expertsa who can do that so that might be worth a google.

Hope you find what you're looking for. The council enviro dept might have some contacts too.