Sash WindowsSaving Energy
Installing New Energy Efficient Windows

One of the biggest problems many homeowners face is traditional sash windows that are overly drafty and then extremely inefficient and cold. This can also be because of the level of glazing. It could be that you only have 3mm of glass and then there’s the convection that would be in play as well as the draught coming through the side of the frames. Overall, this is the perfect storm for an uncomfortable property to live in.

Old and weathered window frame and pane with condensation

Old and weathered window frame and pane with condensation

So in this article we going to take a good look at how you can save electric and energy through high quality sash window replacements. New sash windows can be extremely expensive and therefore it makes a lot of sense to do your homework. We will also be taking a look at some of the best suppliers of these new sash windows and what you can expect in terms of energy savings and ultimately what you can knock off your electric bill.

New sash windows?

New sash windows are manufactured and often custom bespoke made because all of the Victorian properties, particularly in London, were built without standard sizing. This means that you could go literally to the house next door and find that the windows might be a couple of inches different in size by height and width. This is because as the windows (and houses as well) were built one by one along the road, there wasn’t really any kind of set regime. Whilst they all look the same there are small differences in between. This is basically because they are completely hand crafted and individually made.

Victorian Home Window Architecture

Victorian Home Window Architecture

That means that you need to find a sash windows specialist that is more than willing to handcraft, custom make your sash windows. Typically new sash windows will come with either double or triple glazing. It’s even known now that quadruple glazing is becoming fashionable too. The only problem with the thicker glazing is that as the width goes up, you find a situation where the sash itself becomes a little bit chunky and not at all as pretty and elegant as it used to be.

Saving energy with new sash windows.

Saving energy with new sash windows is the easy bit, previously traditional sliding sash windows with only have single glazing, and this could be as little as 3mm as I’ve already mentioned and of course if you upgrade this to double glazing with 4mm glass with an air space and then another 4mm of glass, and then you also add comprehensive draught proofing systems as well you’ll find yourself in a situation where your windows are far more thermally efficient. Not to mention that almost all new sash windows these days come with Argon filled double glazed units as I found when I read on London sash window repairs Ltd website. It will completely change the ambiance of the room and leave your home more than more comfortable. Not only will you be more comfortable, the electricity and heating gas bill will be significantly reduced because you’re turn the heating off way before what you used to do.

There’s also some additional benefits to having new sash windows, and that is that by having extra glass and spacer in between two panes of glass you actually reduce the amount of noise ingress and pollution to the property as well. that’s a real bonus if you’re somewhere that’s really busy and noisy. Not only getting the benefits of the heating and energy saved, also getting an improved living standard in your home as well.

Personally, if I was having new sash windows, I would ensure that they are custom handmade and that they are at the very minimum double glazed. It would make a lot of sense to have triple glazed sash windows if you can afford the extra budget. The difference in energy across a long period of time will result in an overall saving. It’s well known new sash windows are extremely expensive, but it’s definitely the way forward and if you’re planning on staying in a property for quite some time then it’s an excellent investment. Not only will you get to enjoy the higher comfort and lower energy bills, when it comes to selling your property it’ll be all the more desirable two.

Conserving EnergyEco-FriendlyRooftop GardenSaving Energy

Since its introduction to the market, many homewoners have transitioned towards “green” living in an effort to reduce the cost of utilities. In small, urban spaces, a new trend has emerged: green roofing.

What Is a Green Roof?

Green roofs are roofs that are covered with vegetation in an effort to reduce the roof’s surface temperature. A lower surface temperature reduces energy costs by decreasing the amount air conditioners must run to obtain a desired temperature. A green roof also helps preserve and extend a roof’s lifespan, which also saves money.

Benefits of Creating a Green Roof

Aside from its financial benefits, green roofs have become inner-city havens for those who have access to them. With luscious vegetation and dappled shade, roof gardens permit individuals to relax in an environment that transports them from the concrete jungle to a tropical oaisis.

Roof gardens allow gardeners to expand their imaginations and practice their hobby in a completely different environment. Constructing a roof garden is no simple task – it requires long hours in sweltering heat, creative construction, and most importantly, the gardener must find a way to get all materials needed to complete their project up to the roof. With all this said, the overall benefit far outweighs the arduous work needed to create a green roof.

Materials Needed for a Green Roof

  • A waterproof membrane, such as heavy plastic. Without a waterproof membrane, a roof will stay moist, which may create unstable support conditions.
  • A root barrier to prevent roof damage caused by actively growing roots. Maturing roots can find their way through the smallest cracks and expand in both length and width as they grow, which can cause significant structural damage in little time.
  • A growth medium that will sustain plants as they mature and provide adequate drainage. The medium selected depends on the types of plants used.
  • A root barrier to prevent roof damage from actively growing roots. Growing roots can find their way through the smallest of cracks and expand as they grow, which can cause significant structual damage in little time.
  • A drainage system that will retain as little water on the roof as possible. Any water that is trapped on the roof will add to the garden’s overall weight, which may become too heavy to support safely.
roof of garden

roof of garden

Plants Used For Green Roofing

Depending on climate zone, wind, rain, and light conditions, a wide variety of plants may be incorporated into a green roof. Most green roof designs use the following plants:

  1. Sedum pussillum
  2. Native Wildflower Blend
  3. Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
  4. Centaurea cyanus (Bachelor’s Button)
  5. Cosmos
  6. Echinacea
  7. Gaillardia
  8. Liatris
  9. Oenothera speciosa (Primrose)
  10. Opuntia drunnondii (Prickly Pear)
  11. Phlox
  12. Rudbeckia hirta (Black Eyed Susan)
  13. Solidago (Goldenrod)

Energy EfficiencyInsulationSaving Energy

Insulating your home could save you approximately £200 a year. Loft insulation is the cheapest and easiest way to save energy, and replacing older, thin insulation could save you around 33% of your heating costs – that’s potentially £200 per year. You can also lose 33% of your heat through the walls of your home, so cavity wall insulation could save you another £145**

Upgrading the insulation in an existing home is one of the most effective “green” investments a homeowner can make. Insulation blocks heat transfer to keep a home comfortable all year round. A house should have well insulated walls, floors, windows, and ceilings. In older homes, insulation is often inadequate. Adding attic insulation is usually an inexpensive way to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs. Tax credits and rebates available to many homeowners make insulation upgrades even more attractive.

Attic Insulation Economics, Rebates and Tax Credits

Insufficiently insulated attics are large sources of lost energy in many homes. Having a poorly insulated attic in an extreme hot or cold climate is the energy equivalent of leaving a window wide open all year round. The cost to properly insulate an attic will pay for itself in just a few years.

Utility rebates and tax credits can make the project even more attractive. Many utility companies offer homeowner rebates for energy efficiency improvements. Homeowners in the United States can take advantage of federal energy efficiency tax credits. The federal tax credit for attic insulation is 30% of the cost of materials, up to $1500.

The Best Attic Insulation

The best insulating material is a vacuum, but creating insulation with vacuum spaces is very expensive. The next best thing is to trap dry air inside porous materials such as fiberglass or cellulose. These “dead air” spaces act as barriers to heat flow. For insulation to be effective, the dead air spaces must not be compressed and must be kept dry. Some insulating materials, such as blown-in cellulose, tend to settle with age, which lessens its effectiveness due to compacting. Fiberglass insulation is less likely to settle than cellulose, but it is a little more expensive.

Spraying Blown Fiberglass Insulation between Attic Trusses

Spraying Blown Fiberglass Insulation between Attic Trusses

Adding attic insulation can be done by blowing loose fill fiberglass, cellulose, or other materials (even shredded denim from worn out blue jeans) onto the attic floor, by laying fiberglass batts across the attic floor joists, or by insulating the attic roof with rigid insulating panels or spray foam attic insulation. For most existing homes, adding insulation to the attic floor is the most cost effective solution. Loose fill attic insulation blown into place is cheaper and less labor intensive than fiberglass batts, which have to be precisely cut and fit around corners and framing members to be most effective.

Do it Yourself Attic Insulation

A homeowner with a basic knowledge of insulation who is handy with tools can save money with a do it yourself attic insulation project. For many homeowners, however, the prospect of spending several hours or days in the cramped confines of a hot or cold attic makes the cost of hiring a professional insulating contractor seem very reasonable. If an existing home has vermiculite or asbestos attic insulation, a professional asbestos removal company has to be called and the homeowner should not attempt to do any of the work himself.

Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera Pointing to Attic Access

Properly insulating a home should be the first “green” project a homeowner undertakes before investing in any other energy saving or renewable energy projects such as photovoltaic solar panels or thermal solar heating systems. Insulating an attic is one of the best ways to invest money in home energy efficiency.

Saving EnergySaving Water

Kitchen energy reducing tips:

  • Turn up the fridge. It only needs to be 4C in order to keep food from spoiling.

  • Defrost the freezer, so that it works more efficiently.
  • Downsize your appliances – cook with the microwave or a toaster oven whenever possible, they use a fraction of the energy the stove does.

  • When you do cook on the stove, put lids on the pots (allowing you to cook at a lower setting), don’t preheat the oven unless you’re baking a dessert, and turn off the oven a few minutes before you’re finished cooking (as long as the door is closed, the temperature will stay steady for several minutes).
  • Fill your kettle or coffee maker with only the amount of water you actually need, it will boil in less time.

  • Invest in the most efficient appliances you can, the reduced energy use will repay your investment sooner than you might think.
  • And if you are replacing your appliances, get the largest fridge/freezer that your kitchen will accommodate, so that you won’t need a second in the garage or basement.
  • The dry cycle of the dishwasher is the most energy intensive part of dishwashing. Turn the machine off first, and open the door to let the dishes air dry instead.

Kitchen water saving tips:

  • Buy an aerator for the sink faucet. If you leave the faucet running to rinse your dishes, this small investment will pay for itself in a matter of weeks, not to mention save gallons of water.

  • Make sure that your dishwasher is full when you run it, to get the most out of the water it uses. If you have to run a smaller load, check to see if you can adjust the load size setting on your machine.

  • Pay attention to what goes down the drain. The more solid and chemical waste that goes into our sewage, the more energy is spent purifying the water. So skip the garburator (now that you’re composting, you don’t need it anyway), and switch to natural cleaning products. You’d be amazed at what baking soda and lemon concentrate can do.
Conserving EnergySaving Energy

“Going green” has become an increasingly popular topic over the last year or so, with national attention being given to the subject. Aside from all the hype, though, conserving energy simply makes sense on a personal level. Why use more energy if you don’t need to? And in many cases, saving energy can actually save you money.

Becoming more conscious of your energy consumption doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several simple things you can do around your home to use less energy, specifically in the area of electricity and heating and cooling.

Conserving Electricity

Obviously, turning lights and appliances off when you’re not using them can reduce energy use. But did you know that many electronics, such as computers, televisions and stereos continue to draw electrical power even when turned off? The energy wasted by this constant draw is equal to always having a 100-watt light bulb turned on. Switching to power strips that can completely cut power to an electronic device is one way to reduce your electricity use.

Filament and Fluorescent Lightbulbs

Filament and Fluorescent Lightbulbs

You can also replace your standard incandescent light bulbs with longer-lasting compact fluorescent lamps and consider installing dimmer switches and timers on lighting fixtures. These changes require some initial time and money investment, but they will provide savings in the long run.

washing machine

Washing Machine

Appliances are responsible for 20% of your home’s energy consumption, with the largest users being washers, dryers and refrigerators. Simply switching from hot to warm water for washing clothes can cut in half the amount of energy needed to clean a load of clothes. On the drying end, be sure to clean your lint filter after every load to improve air circulation so that clothes can dry more quickly. Also, be careful not to over-dry your clothes. Use your dryer’s moisture sensor or auto-shut off mode if available.

With freezers and refrigerators, remember to regularly defrost manual defrost models. Allowing more than one-quarter inch of frost of accumulate will decrease the appliance’s efficiency.

Energy-Saving Ideas for Heating and Cooling

One way to check the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems is by performing a home energy audit or hiring to have one done. Look for holes and cracks in walls and ceilings and around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and lighting and plumbing fixtures to make sure air isn’t leaking in or out of your house. Hold a ribbon near every window and door. If the ribbon flutters, there is an air leak wasting energy. Add weather stripping around leaking windows and doors, and caulk other leaks where necessary. Also make sure your home is well-insulated.

install new insulating rubber to prevent wind from entering the window

Taking advantage of natural light is another way to help regulate the temperature in your home and conserve heating and cooling energy. During the summer, keep blinds closed to keep out warming sunlight. Keep those same blinds open in winter to allow the sunlight in – especially for windows facing the sun.

Similarly, place your air-conditioning unit on the north side of your home and in the shade if possible. A unit placed in the shade uses as much as 10% less energy as one positioned in the sun.

Finally, be sure your air-conditioning and furnace systems are the right size for your home and that they are functioning properly. Wrong-sized or malfunctioning equipment could be costing you valuable energy.