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What’s the Difference between new Spray Foam Insulation and traditional Fiberglass?

What’s the Difference between new Spray Foam Insulation and traditional Fiberglass?

by Reece Simmons | May 14, 2019 | Energy

Venture into the loft and it’s a grim and a very cold or very hot space that makes you itch like crazy when you go to find that old family photo album to embarrass the kids!

Words that come to mind when thinking about your loft:

  • Too hot in the summer.
  • Too cold in the winter.
  • Dark and Dingy
  • Condensation ruins boxes
  • Itchy when comes into contact with skin.
  • An irritant on your throat.

Could you save up to 50% on your fuel bills?

But what if you could:

  • Keep a cool house in summer.
  • Keep a warm home in winter.
  • Create useable space.
  • Add value to your home.
  • Reduce your bills & help save the planet by reducing heat loss by as much as 50%!
  • Well, this is what this new, highly effective home insulation alternative to the itchy stuff is claiming.

Read on to see the verdict!

What is the difference between Conventional Insulation & Spray Foam Insulation?
Not all insulation is created equally and therefore have different advantages and disadvantages.

This is why we are looking at spray foam insulation which makes your home more energy efficient and reducing your heat loss by up to 50%.

Let’s compare some basic benefits of Fibreglass, Rockwool & Spray Foam Insulation.

Fibreglass & Rockwool….

Fibreglass & Rockwool are the most common type of insulation used in homes at present. Anything from 100mm to 200mm laid on the floor of the loft.

Typically, by installing 200mm of Fibreglass and Rockwool correctly you can look to save between 10% – 15% on your energy bills.

This is due to 40% of your homes heat loss leaves through your roof.

The issue with this is that in order to gain the benefit, you must cover 100% of the roof in insulation with no gaps at all.

This prohibits practical use of the loft as a storage facility.

If you do store anything up there, it is subject to the cold in winter and the heat in summer.
As well as when you visit the loft, it is often an itchy experience.

Spray Foam…..

Unlike conventional insulation materials, spray foam fills cracks, gaps and crevices on installation, creating an air barrier to virtually eliminate leaks, which can account for up to 40% of the energy cost to heat and cool your home.

This type of insulation is not applied to the floor of the loft, in fact, it is applied to a thickness of 100mm, between the rafters on the roof itself.

Check Your Spray Foam Suitability Here.

This also allows you to use your loft for storage without your valuables being subject to extreme cold or heat. You could lay flooring or even convert to a useable space.

 

Can you afford it?

The cost of your spray foam insulation is more expensive due to specialist tools needed to install it compared to traditional loft insulation. A limited number of companies can offer 0% Interest Free Funding on Spray Foam to take away any upfront cost.

Is there any help with cost or funding?

There is some funding available for both types of insulation, however, it is subject to constant change and criteria.
At present there is only 5% VAT, however, the Government has plans to increase this to the 20% VAT threshold from 1st October 2019. Unfortunately, this will see customer pay an additional 15% from October 2019.
Always best to contact installers for real-time information on what is available.

 

Is my home suitable?

Spray foam insulation is now a very important addition to installing any new energy efficient system, to enable maximum benefits & efficiency from the new system and most homes are suitable.

If you have insulation already, are you happy?

Most people only use their loft area a handful of times per year due to it being an
unpleasant experience.
It is often too hot in summer or too cool in the winter, environments we tend to avoid.

While conventional insulation will reduce your energy bills, it also restricts the use of your loft.

Spray foam will allow you to save more money and energy, creating a comfortable environment for your family, whilst gaining a useable loft space.

Stay cooler in the summer this year, start suitability survey here:

What type of property do you live in?

How to Reduce The Expense Of Your Electric Storage Heating

How to Reduce The Expense Of Your Electric Storage Heating

For the 3.9 million UK households not on the mains gas network, the default position is often to heat their homes with electricity.

As one of the most expensive ways to heat a home, the bills from this type of system can be crippling, with householders paying on average £1,968 per year, compared to just £736 with a gas boiler.

Of course, the very best way to tackle expensive electric heating is to change the system you’re using.
Installing an oil or LPG boiler could save you £1,000 a year or more, but this in itself requires a large investment, which many people just can’t afford.

If you’re stuck with storage heaters, convector radiators or other types of electric heating, here’s how you can get your spending under control.

Keep the heat in

Probably the most important piece of advice we can offer is to stop the heat that you’re paying for being wasted. Insulating the loft and cavity walls is very affordable and could even be free of charge under government schemes. Draughtproofing, investing in heavy curtains and closing them at dusk can all avoid the heat loss that will cause your heaters to work overtime.

 

Check your tariff

There are so many fuel suppliers out there now, there’s no need to stick with any of the big brands. Known as the ‘big six’, the major energy suppliers have a track record of charging more than many of the smaller companies out there, and a simple switch to a different provider could save you on average around £262 a year.

If you’ve been with your supplier for some time, chances are you’ve been put on a standard tariff and are paying way more than you need to.

If you have night storage heaters in your home, you will probably be on an Economy 7 or similar type of tariff, normally split into a day and night rate or peak and off-peak.

This will allow you to get cheaper electricity overnight, normally midnight till 7 am when you are asleep.

What many people don’t realise is that this type of tariff on the day/peak times is much more expensive and can be up to an extortionate 60% or even 70% more expensive than a standard single tariff rate.

Shockingly these times are when you are awake and using all your electric appliances!

Controlling your heating

The problem with old night time storage heaters is that the heat output can be very difficult to control.

Often these heaters are limited to simply an input and output dial, which are ineffective in terms of control and often don’t work that well anyway.

They usually belch out heat early in the day, just when you don’t need it, and have run out of charge by late afternoon, leaving you to rely on expensive secondary heaters on a high rate tariff to stay warm in the evening.

If this sounds all too familiar to you, upgrading to a newer alternative could help you take control of your heating needs.

Upgrade your heating

If you’re spending a fortune on old, inefficient storage heaters, you could save a packet by upgrading to a modern alternative.

New German Electric Heaters have the ability to heat individual rooms to whatever temperature you desire. Once your room reaches the desired temperature the thermostat will maintain an even heat using a high-efficiency trickle charge.

Each heater has an individual timer meaning that you are in full control of heating each room at the times you need the heat.

This is a way for you to stop wasting energy and money and have a lovely warm comfortable home.

Certain electric heaters from Germany can be a cost-effective alternative to night storage heaters.

In tests, these heaters only drew energy for a maximum of 12 minutes per hour of supplied heat and heated to full capacity within just seven minutes.

This exciting technology can be supplied to UK households straight from the factory and could see you keeping warmer for less.

Get started. Answer the following questions:

What type of property do you live in?

Is replacing your old boiler with a new condensing boiler worth the upgrade?

Is replacing your old boiler with a new condensing boiler worth the upgrade?

If you’re living with an older, non-condensing boiler, you might be wondering whether it’s worth your time and cash investment to upgrade to a new, efficient model.

After all, if your boiler is still working well, why would you want to change?

When you consider that around 55 per cent of what you spend on energy bills is down to your heating, it makes sense to look for ways to reduce this cost.

Things like insulating the house and using heating controls well can help, but if your boiler is failing to produce the heat efficiently you could be spending unnecessarily.

Here’s what you need to know about condensing boilers:

What is a condensing boiler?

Modern boilers are all classed as condensing, marking a step change in technology that had a massive influence on the ways we heat our homes.

Non-condensing boilers which are well maintained may still be working as efficiently as they can, but a certain portion of your heat is inevitably lost via the flue in the hot gasses. A condensing boiler stops this waste.

Using a heat exchanger, a condensing boiler traps these hot gasses and recovers the heat from them, reusing them to heat your home and water.

Sometimes they cool the flue gasses so well that the water vapour contained in the gas condenses out, which is why they are called ‘condensing’.

As a result, they are much more efficient than conventional boilers and can save you a packet on your energy bills.

Just how efficient are they?

Condensing boilers run at around 94 per cent efficiency.
This means that for every pound you spend on fuel, you’re getting out 94 pence worth of heat for your home.

In contrast, a non-condensing boiler runs at between 53 and 79 per cent efficiency, although poorly maintained and older models may be much less.

Pros of condensing boilers

If you do decide to invest in a new condensing boiler, you could unlock a whole raft of advantages, including:

  • Increased energy efficiency: Up to 35 per cent increased efficiency means you’ll spend less to heat your home.
  • Smaller carbon footprint: A condensing boiler could save up to 1,200kg of CO2 per year, reducing your carbon footprint as a household.
  • Safer: In a condensing boiler, combustion happens at a lower temperature; around 55 degrees C compared to 180 degrees C in non-condensing models. They are also perfectly sealed to ensure heat insulation, which means there is no risk of toxic substances entering the home.
  • Smaller: Condensing combi boilers are very compact, and can easily be stored in a kitchen cupboard.

It’s important to gain a balanced view on condensing boilers, so as well as all these advantages it is important to be aware of the drawbacks associated with changing over, such as:

  • Require an external pipe: The need for an external pipe means these boilers must be fitted to an external wall. This could be a problem if, for instance, your old system is located in your airing cupboard.

As a general rule, changing to a condensing boiler is almost always the best option when thinking about how to heat your home. If your old boiler still works well and you’re happy with it, there’s no harm in using it until it begins to give you problems. However, the sooner you upgrade, the sooner you can enjoy cheaper energy bills.

How much could you save?

Depending on the age and condition of your existing boiler and your current fuel bill, you’ll be able to save of up to £425 per year on your fuel bills.

The smaller your home and the more efficient your old boiler is, the less these savings will be.

In addition to your savings, some installers are offering scrappage scheme discounts for an old boiler when you upgrade to a new boiler plus energy efficient one.

Read The 8 Simple Steps To Check If Your Home Is Suitable For Solar Panels

Read The 8 Simple Steps To Check If Your Home Is Suitable For Solar Panels

by Susie McArthur | May 23, 2019 | Energy

There are probably houses in your own street with this technology fitted to the roof. Thanks in part to the Government’s Feed-in Tariff, the UK now boasts over 12,000MW of installed solar capacity, compared to just 31MW at the beginning of 2010.

Is your home solar panel & battery storage suitable?

No doubt you’ve heard plenty about solar panels, but could you own them yourself? What questions should you ask to determine if your home is suitable, and what are the consequences for your investment if your home isn’t exactly right? Let’s find out.

1. Orientation Is Key

The way your roof faces can make a big difference to its suitability for solar. In an ideal world, you would have a pitched roof facing due south, ready to catch the maximum amount of sunshine throughout the day, but how many of us live in a house that is so perfectly orientated? As a general rule, if you have a surface which faces south-east or south-west, that’s fine. You can even install panels on a roof which faces due east or west and you will only incur approximately a 15 per cent drop in energy output.

2. How much roof space do you have?

Unlike solar thermal (hot water panels) which is not much bigger than a radiator, solar PV (electricity panels) require a larger amount of space. As a rough guide, you’ll need an area of about the size of a parking space for a typical array, although the precise size will depend on the capacity of the system you are installing.

3. What about the shade?

Heavy shading is bad news for solar panels. Take note of any tall trees, chimneys and other buildings nearby, and decide whether they are likely to cast a shadow on your solar system at any point during the day.

4. How strong is your roof?

Most modern roofs will be able to accommodate the weight of solar panels, no problem. However, it is important to work with an installer who carries out structural assessments to ensure your roof is not damaged. An old or weak roof doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have PV, only that you’ll need to take steps to strengthen it first.

Still Not Sure If Solar Panels Are Right For You?

5. What’s the angle of your roof?

The ideal angle for a solar panel is between 30 and 45 degrees, which isn’t a million miles away from every type of angle you’ll normally see on a pitched roof. It is possible to install panels with pitches as shallow as 15 degrees up to 50 degrees, but outside of that range, the efficiency would start to reduce significantly. You can have solar PV installed on flat roofs using a frame to angle them perfectly, but you’ll need to make sure that the flat roof can take the weight.

6. Where do you live?

As a general rule, it doesn’t matter where you live as the more recent panels work on daylight and not direct sunshine. However, the more daylight you get, the better your panels will perform.

7. Is your home energy efficient?

Investing in renewable energy should be one of the last things you do once everything else is taken care of. If you haven’t insulated well, haven’t ensured your heating system is efficient and are not using your appliances efficiently, all the savings you’ll be making from solar PV will become diluted by the wastage still happening in your home. More importantly, in order to qualify for the Feed-in Tariff, you must have taken steps to improve the efficiency of your home and should be rated at least a D on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

8. What’s the best way to find out if your property is suitable?

If you’re thinking about installing solar, considering these questions can help you to understand whether your home is suitable or not, but you should not base your decisions on this alone.

An installer will be able to conduct a free home site survey to establish for sure whether solar is the best technology for you, and what you could expect from your system by way of a return.

Get started. Answer the following questions:

What type of property do you live in?

Air source heat pumps: Busting the myths

Air source heat pumps: Busting the myths

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) have exploded onto the eco heating scene over recent years. Similar in technology to other types of heat pumps, these products require no digging, no water source and can be fitted to pretty much any home. Despite their rise in popularity, we often hear objections to this technology, many of which are simply not true.
Do You Qualify For A £12,400 Government Incentive?

Likened once to a ‘refrigerator running backwards’ (now that sounds expensive, doesn’t it?) understanding the technology behind ASHP can help you make a more informed decision about the right technology for you. Here are four of the most common myths about air source heat pumps, and the reasons why you shouldn’t believe them.

They’re horribly noisy

Back when heat pumps were first introduced, the noise from the external unit was somewhat significant. In terms of noise level, they reached around 76 dB, which to put in context is similar to traffic driving past or an alarm clock going off. It’s no wonder then that, for some people, they’ve garnered a reputation for noise.

However, modern heat pumps are designed to work much more quietly. Typical noise outputs from the external unit are in the region of 40 – 50 dB, which is quieter than your dishwasher and the sound of the rain. Also remember that this unit will be on the outside of your home, so it’s unlikely you’ll hear anything when you’re inside at all.

They only work when the weather is warm.

Air source heat pumps work by taking the heat out of the outside air and boosting it to a higher temperature using a compressor. It’s understandable to be concerned about the cold weather and confused as to whether your heat pump will still work. The good news is, it will, and very well too.
Air source heat pumps Heat pumps have been tested to function effectively at temperatures as low as minus 20. Here in the UK, temperatures rarely plunge that low, so although your heat pump might have to work a little harder in cold temperatures, you can be confident that it will still produce heat for you and your family.

They’re very expensive

An investment in a heat pump is not insignificant, however, it’s important to remember that this is a replacement for your boiler, and if you were buying a new boiler, that too would also be a substantial investment.

Are Air Source Heat Pumps Right For You?

In terms of savings, figures published by the Energy Saving Trust suggest that, depending on what fuel type the heat pump is replacing, could save you from £300 to £1,090 per year. In addition to this, there is a Government incentive called the “Renewable Heat Incentive” (RHI). This incentive would pay you up to £12,400 over the next seven years. The payment is also index linked meaning it will also rise with inflation over that period, making heat pumps, as an investment, much more attractive.

They only work with underfloor heating

Heat pumps have gained a reputation for working best with underfloor heating, due to the fact the heat output is a little lower than that of a conventional heating system. Whilst they certainly work well with underfloor heating, you are not constrained by this in any way, and can absolutely choose to connect your ASHP to a typical radiator system in your home.

We do recommend that your home has a decent amount of insulated before investing in a heat pump, so that you can keep in all that low carbon heat you’re generating. In some situations, it could be beneficial to increase the size of your radiators to ensure a good heat output, but if you don’t have the wall space, there are specialist low flow radiators that will ensure you’re as warm as toast.

 

So, there you have it,

four of the most popular myths surrounding air source heat pumps busted just for you! For more information and to find out if you qualify, simply complete the details below:

Get started. Answer the following questions:

What type of property do you live in?

New Eco Heating: A great solution to runaway fuel bills

New Eco Heating: A great solution to runaway fuel bills

by Nemash Solanki | May 14, 2020 | Energy

If the cost of living is getting you down, you could take control of your fuel bills by changing the way you heat your home.
Eco heating solutions can have a dramatic impact on the cost of keeping warm.

Here’s what you need to know.

Do You Qualify For A £12,400 Government Incentive?

It’s no big secret that our energy bills have soared in recent years.

In fact, just last year alone, the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers bumped their prices up between £75 and £105 for average households on dual fuel standard tariffs, an increase of around 5.3 percent and the fastest rate rise since 2014.

It would seem that this is not the end of it either, with experts predicting further rises through 2020 as wholesale prices continue to soar.

Even if you’re not too worried about the cost, the environmental impact of our traditional heating methods leaves a lot to be desired. Around 42 percent of the 4.7 tonnes of CO2 emitted by a typical home is down to our heating, contributing to climate change and disastrous weather events around the globe. Swapping fossil-fuelled heating for an eco-heating solution can go a long way towards helping the UK reach its target of an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

So what eco heating options are there, and what’s suitable for your home?

Let’s take a look…

Air source heat pumps

You might have heard of ground source heat pumps (GSHP) which require either a horizontal or vertical trench to be dug. If you’re living in an urban or suburban location, chances are you’re limited on outside space and can’t have something like this installed. Air source heat pumps could be the answer, as they don’t require any digging and only need a compact air compressor unit to be installed outside the property. It works just like a regular boiler, connecting to radiators around the home, however, this renewable energy product will save you a significant amount of money on running costs, compared to traditional heating systems.

 

Is my home suitable?

You’ll need a home that has been insulated to get maximum benefit from this and will need an outside space to attach the compressor to the wall.

 

Can I afford it?

Cost of installation depends on the size of your property. However more and more homeowners are taking advantage of the current Government scheme called “Renewable Heat Incentive” which can earn you a 7 year tax free income of up to £12,400! All homeowners are eligible for this scheme and it will go a long way to paying for all or part of your initial investment.

High-efficiency electric heaters

If you’re stuck with electricity for your heating and are living with awkward, uncontrollable night storage heaters, you could enjoy a better outlook with high-efficiency German Electric Radiators. Using a dynamic reheating process, these units are super-efficient, saving you money and helping you keep your home warmer and more comfortable too. Known as Wibo heating, these are easy to use, fast to heat up and can be individually controlled throughout the home to give you heat where and when you need it and at whatever temperature you require day or night.

 

Is my home suitable?

Absolutely! There is no home which cannot be switched over to Wibo.

 

Can I afford it?

The cost of your Wibo heating will depend on the size and number of radiators you need. You could consider also installing solar PV for your own electricity supply, making these heaters even cheaper to run.

Want to take things a step further?

If eco heating is out of your reach, or if you’re keen to do more to stamp down ridiculous energy bills, here are some more ideas for ways you could get things back under control.

  • Keeping the heat in: Improving your insulation is a great way to reduce your energy bills and improve your comfort levels at home too. Subsidies are available for things like loft and cavity wall insulation, and new spray foam insulation is a great way to warm things up where other products are not suitable.
  • Reducing electricity demand: Solar PV panels generate significant amounts of electricity for your home, and with the Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) you could also generate an additional income too. Why not find out more about generating your own electricity at home with solar PV?
  • Be more efficient: If your boiler is an older model, you could save up to £300 a year by upgrading to a new, more efficient model. Modern heating controls such as room thermostats and programmers will help you control the heat better too so that you can enjoy thermal comfort without it costing the earth.
  • Add Solar Panels: If you are updating your heating system, solar panels would be a great compliment to the upgrade as you will reap even more benefit from saving on heating bills and you will be a step closer to being fully renewable!

Get started. Answer the following questions:

What type of property do you live in?

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