A loft conversion is one of the most complex and comprehensive home improvement projects that any homeowner can undertake. Issues such as building regulations, planning permission, design of the newly available space and exactly how that space can be maximised, all take plenty of thinking about. It is for that reason, therefore, that some people who are undertaking loft conversions fail to devote enough time and attention to the subject of energy efficiency.
That could be a notable and a costly oversight, as a property’s roof space is a prime example of somewhere that’s prone to significant heat loss. Failure to account for this, then, can lead to an uncomfortably cold loft conversion and excessively high energy bills. The following handy tips, however, should help you to avoid that unwanted eventuality and to build an energy efficient loft conversion to be proud of.
Arguably the key area to consider when ensuring the energy efficiency of any loft conversion is that of insulation. Proper insulation helps to regulate temperature within a roof space, creates a thermal barrier to retain heat more effectively and also aids the eradication of draughts. There are three main varieties of insulation to choose from, which are namely fibre or wool insulation, rigid board insulation and spray foam insulation.
That document stipulates that the ‘u-value’ of a roof needs to be at least 0.18 watts per square metre, with the lower the number equating to the greater the level of insulation. Insulation which meets those regulations typically equates to around a 270mm layer of fibre or wool insulation, a 175mm layer of rigid board insulation or a 125mm layer of spray foam insulation.
Windows and skylights represent another area in which a loft conversion can lose both heat and energy efficiency. It is important, therefore, to invest in double or even treble glazing with a high energy efficiency rating. What’s more, it’s crucial that any windows are properly installed to avoid any gaps or cracks that can let heat out and cold air in.
As well as the quality of the glazing installed, its placement can also be crucial. If there is a choice of aspect to be made, for instance, having south facing windows is far more beneficial. This is the case as they will receive more direct sunlight in the course of a day, delivering not only more light but also a natural source of extra heat.
Extra Energy Efficiency Options
Whilst insulation and glazing are the two major areas to consider when it comes to building an energy efficient loft conversion, there are also a few other things which you could think about depending on your particular project. Installing energy efficient lighting, for instance, can often be a good choice and any heating system should also always possess a high energy efficiency rating.
If your particular project is on the larger side, too, and will require the use of exterior scaffolding it may pay to take the opportunity to install solar panels while that scaffolding is in place. Either solar photovoltaic panels which directly deliver electrical power or solar thermal panels which can be used for hot water, after all, can help to supplement a property’s energy efficiency as well as being environmentally friendly.Read More