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12 June 2014

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 June 12, 2014
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Category: Landlords

Many tenants see heating efficiency as the make-or-break aspect of choosing whether or not to rent a property from a landlord.

In a perfect world heating would be maximally efficient, safely designed, and supremely economical to run. While installing the latest heating system to achieve this may not be possible, there are other small aspects of insulation of the home that can be tweaked to improve heating efficiency. In particular:

  • ensure roof spaces are insulated
  • consider replacing old draughty ill-fitting windows and doors
  • draught proof external doors and windows
  • ensure that all water pipes likely to be exposed to frost are properly insulated or taken care of
  • make sure your tenants know where the stop tap is in the event of a burst pipe
  • ensure that the hot water tank is fitted with a good quality insulation jacket

For more information on home standards please visit: http://www.nihe.gov.uk/index/advice/renting_privately/advice_landlords/standards_of_fitness.htm

Solid Wall Insulation

Solid wall insulation is a mixture of traditional insulation with both exterior and interior types. Solid wall insulation is where there is no gap between the exterior wall edge of the home and the interior wall edge. Cavity walls are more commonly seen in new build dwellings.

The main benefit for insulating solid walls is to reduce heat loss through the exterior walls of the property. The following table from the Energy Saving Trust website summarises the potential savings from solid wall insulations.

Building Detached Semi detached Mid terrace Bungalow Flat
Annual saving £460 £270 £180 £180 £150
Annual carbon dioxide saving 1040kg 600kg 395kg 410kg 325kg
Installation cost External wall insulation: £9,000 to £25,000Internal wall insulation: £4,500 to £15,000 Costs can vary according to owner’s plans      

Beyond simply choosing to install solid wall insulation there is a choice between using internal or external insulation. As the Energy Saving Trust summarises ‘Internal wall insulation’:

  • is generally cheaper to install than external wall insulation
  • will slightly reduce the floor area of any rooms in which it is applied (the thickness of the insulation is around 100mm)
  • is disruptive, but can be done room by room
  • requires skirting boards, door frames and external fittings to be removed and reattached
  • can make it hard to fix heavy items to inside walls – although special fixings are available any problems with penetrating or rising damp need to be fixed first.

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