They say this winter arrived premature. The severity is too extreme and Arctic. Can we do something about it? We certainly cannot change the new weather patterns in a hurry. Freak weather is bound to occur at regular intervals though the spacing may be short or long. The best way to counter extreme weather is not through fighting against it but by taking precautions to minimize it's brunt before it is on us. Insulation is the best shield against cold weather. Prevent leakage through is another. Use double or triple glazing in windows and this will help further. Using cheaper forms of energy for home heating and water heating is another.<br> <br> The interesting part is all these improvements, methods and techniques are supported by SEAI grant schemes thereby lessening the burden on you.<br> <br> What makes holes in your wallet this winter?<br> <br> It is estimated that space heating account for 58 to 60% of energy consumption in a poorly insulated home. Add another 19% for water heating and you get an idea of how much you are spending of this expensive commodity. In general, the economists say, find out the costliest 80 % of your periodic expenditure, control it and you have got the best possible deal there. You can in fact forget about the balance 20% or so for all you care!<br> <br> And they call it 80/20 theory.<br> <br> When you gaze through the percentages of energy consumption of our example, you realise surprisingly it is 80% for heating alone in some form. Can we shrink this?<br> <br> How to cut down heating costs<br> <br> Naturally insulation is the most neglected safe guard against cold in older homes. As a matter of fact it is the most easily carried out energy saving measure in any home. In most of the newer homes in most cases it may have been done in some manner. But the important question is, have these been done adequately, using proper material, addressing all relevant and related issues?<br> <br> Look in the following areas for improvements in insulation.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Attics and roofs<br> <br> <br> <br> Windows, doors and Glazing<br> <br> <br> <br> Building envelope (Walls, cladding etc)<br> <br> <br> <br> Basement<br> <br> <br> <br> Air ducting and Hot water plumbing<br> <br> <br> <br> Water heaters, storage tanks etc.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Attics and Roofs<br> <br> Easily carried out even by the uninitiated attic insulation can be any of the popular Insulation material. (eg. Glass Fibre wool, rock wool, EPS, XPS, PE etc. ). If it is a DIY job it is prudent to select what ever you are familiar with. Be cautious around ventilation louvers, rafters and beams because these are the usual places that are neglected and therefore waste energy. The Insulation thickness if not adequate, If the existing insulation has settled etc. the insulation has to be topped up. The suitable thickness and material has to be selected by a knowledgeable person.<br> <br> Windows, Doors and Glazing<br> <br> Windows and doors facing out doors have to be air tight. These are other places that lose thermal energy in huge quantities. Naturally the frames if perished are a major candidate for leaks. Metal frames preserve better but unfortunately conduct heat away better too. Corrosion of metal frames around corners is too common. It is best to get the services of a skilled technician who uses pressurizing blowers to test air leaks. Leaks can be plugged by replacing the beadings. Think of your car and how it is weatherized. Basic problems and remedies would be similar most of the time. The glazing in older homes is generally single and thin. Change these to double or triple glazing with rare gas filling for best results. Unfortunately these are dear for the average home owner's wallet.<br> <br> Building Envelope<br> <br> Is your home with cavity walls? If so and the space is not filled with an insulation you are wasting your hard earned money. Skilled installers first check the existing insulation (if there is any), the state of it, the extent, drill test holes using pneumatic or electrical tools for the purpose and use these ultimately to blow in the insulation material such as EPS/XPS beads or glass fibres, energetikai tanúsítvány Budapest - https://www.energetikata.hu/ to the gap between walls. Again a skilled job rather than DIY.<br> <br> Clad the home exterior walls with outsulation if cavity walls are not expensive but also carries many advantages with it as well. Not a job for the unskilled though.<br> <br> Basement<br> <br> If present the basement too needs heating and invariably this means good insulation and weatherization. It's a place where many services are located and also prone to damage by moisture. Moisture/humidity means wastage of heat energy. Moisture proofing walls, insulating the plumbing, weatherization any access doors to out side etc. must be looked into.<br> <br> Ducting and Plumbing<br> <br> If a centralized air distribution or plumbing system is installed for heating in your building any air leak will carry away the valuable thermal energy along with water leaks are not common. But heat loss from plumbing is very common. Correction of air leaks and insulation breakdown can be visually checked and corrected. Look for leaks due to duct flange joints and have them replaced.<br> <br> Water heating equipment<br> <br> For water heating whether it is for home heating or services, there are many types of equipment. Selection of the most energy efficient process and equipment is of prime importance. Old equipment may be out dated and will waste heat energy. It is advisable to go for new energy efficient boilers with zoning and efficient controls (for eg. Condensing Boilers with control system). Another option is the use of renewable energy devices such as Solar Thermal and PV panels/roofing slates, pellet type stoves etc. Fossil fuel price will not stabilize in a hurry, if at all. Brent crude barrel is expected to top US$ 100 in the first quarter. Natural gas price is already on the rise. It is likely a serious look at the conversion to renewable energy sources and devices will benefit your savings before long.