Client Books - Page 54

east- and west-facing rooms. “Locating the garage and rooms used less often on the south side, and having smaller windows on this side helps to reduce heat loss. These rooms act as a buffer against heat loss from living areas.” Double-glazed windows, which are now standard for new homes, can cut heat loss though glazing by 50%. They also cut down external noise. Concrete floors exposed to the sun act as a thermal mass, soaking up heat during the day and releasing this at night. “Good insulation is also essential to retain the heat,” says Tromop. “Insulation needs to be installed in the ceiling, under the floor and in the walls. Bumping up your home insulation will give you a comfortable home that doesn’t cost a fortune to heat.” Tromop says rooms need to be airtight. Even well-insulated houses are hard to heat if hot air is constantly replaced with cold air. Good airtightness requires joinery and wall, floor and ceiling construction to be well sealed. This can be done with view article online at membrane systems, which are high-tech versions of building paper. EECA also suggests you think twice about the need for standard recessed downlights, which need clearances for fire safety reasons. “This means you have holes in the ceiling insulation through which a lot of heat can escape,” says Tromop. “We recommend non-recessed fittings – there are plenty of good-looking light fixtures that fit the bill.” Good, well-fitted thermal curtains also