1. GET A LAGGING JACKET
Using a hot water cylinder insulation thickness of greater than 80 mm, reduces hot water storage heat loss by up to 75%, increases your BER Rating and in turn reduces the required energy and expense associated with heating it. When you cylinder is reaching the end of its life, consider replacing it with a factory insulated model.
2. ATTIC INSULATE THE ATTIC
Adequate attic insulation can prevent up to 30% heat loss from a home. Installing proper levels of attic insulation will help retain valuable heat, reduce energy demands and improve comfort levels. Insulation effectiveness is measured in U value (the measure of heat loss), and the lower the U value, the less heat loss. You can use blanket insulation, rigid board insulation or expanding foam to achieve the required insulation level. Ensure the roof space must have adequate ventilation to prevent dampness, by leaving a continuous air gap along the eaves at each side. Thickness of insulation will be determined by the specific product used. Ask your installer for U Value and appropriate levels.
3. HANG LOW ENERGY BULBS
Using low energy light bulbs throughout your whole house will increase your BER Rating. Low energy compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use 20% of the energy that traditional (incandescent) bulbs use, while supplying the same amount of light. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights use only 10% of that of an incandescent bulb. Not only will this reduce your energy bills, but will improve your BER Rating, thereby improving the appeal of your home to prospective buyers or tenants.
4. CHIMNEY BALLON
A chimney is a significant source of heat loss in any home, thereby wasting energy and increasing the cost of heating a home. It is always important to have adequate ventilation throughout a home, especially where an open fire exists. One way to reduce the heat/energy loss and improve your BER Rating is to install a simple chimney damper. When a fire place is never used, an adjustable chimney damper can be permanently fitted and sealed to ensure heat loss is minimised. Having an adjustable damper will prevent dampness.
5. STRIP THOSE DRAUGHTS
Gaps between frames and windows or external doors, is a common source of heat loss and draught stripping is one of the most cost effective ways you can reduce this air infiltration and improve your BER Rating. Draught stripping is available in all hardware stores. Use hardwearing, waterproof material which will still allow the door or window to open and close easily.
6. NEW HEATING SYSTEM CONTROLS
The heating system controls in a dwelling can greatly reduce energy requirements. When possible, fully zoned controls (for both time and temperature) can be considered to optimise heating usage in different areas of the home. A seven day programmer in each heating zone will allow you to control the heating schedule for each area independently (e.g. upstairs and downstairs) to meet your specific heating needs for each day of the week. This will allow the boiler to switch off automatically when it is not needed, thereby reducing costs and energy requirements and improving your BER Rating.
7. CYLINDER TIMER & THERMOSTAT
A hot water cylinder can have a timer and thermostat to reduce unnecessary heat loss and improve your BER Rating. A thermostat allows the boiler to switch off at the required temperature (saving money and a useful safety feature) while a timer allows for the control of the heating element, again reducing waste and the overall energy required. The ideal temperature cut off point is 60 degrees Celsius. Setting at a temperature above this, wastes energy.
These are just some simple steps that can be used to improve your BER prior to having your BER Cert done. To see some exemplary examples of properties across Ireland, Visit a Building at the upcoming Electric Ireland NZEB Open Doors Event