Your Furbnow Privacy Settings
Published on November 3rd, 2023
5 ways you can incorporate retrofitted eco-upgrades into your home renovations. If you're already getting work done, then now's the perfect time to get make your home more energy efficient
If you’re looking to do some eco-upgrades alongside building that new extension or attic conversion and you don’t know where to start, fear not. Retrofitting energy efficient components to your home goes hand-in-glove with your other work.
If you’re getting radiators replaced perhaps you should consider a heat-pump, or maybe that outhouse you’re building could have a solar panel. If you’re getting work done already, then it’s the perfect time to consider the economical and green improvements you could make to your home. Let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can have builders trampling around the house.
Sometimes going wholesale can mean a month of work for a lifetime of retrofitted underfloor heating and double glazing. Making your home cosier, more energy efficient and future proof. And if this seems daunting then we can help by offering an assessment and accredited contractors, should you want them.
But where to start? Well for some inspiration we’ve put together 5 ways retrofit upgrades can fit with general home renovation.
If you’re looking to replace your oil heating with electric, or want to rip out those storage heaters and put in nice modern radiators it’s worth considering heat pumps. The 0 emissions, 25% more energy efficient way to heat your home.
If you have the outside space then you could go for a ground source heat pump. This uses thermal energy to heat your home, and also means you’ll be putting in some nice underfloor heating to keep your toes warm in those winter months. If you have less space then an air source heat pump can do the job, which is also less work to install.
Upfront costs for heat pumps vary between £7,000 and £23,000 depending on the type you get. But there is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) that helps with the upfront costs of getting a heat pump:
The benefits of installing heat pumps aren’t just environmental either; they generate more heat than they consume electricity making them the most efficient way to heat your home.
Tip: If you are installing new radiators as part of renovation work, make sure to go for ones with thermostatic valves so you can control each of their outputs.
If you’re getting an extension or loft conversion done, now is the perfect time to install solar PV panels. As you’ll already have the scaffolding in place you can deduct this cost from the solar installer. It also generally means you won’t need to get the builders in more than once.
You can also consider the requirements for solar panels while you plan your extension. A 30 degree angle is the perfect gradient to capture all that solar energy. You can also design your skylights and windows to suit the placement of the panels to maximise their intake.
The benefits of solar energy are:
What’s more, the more you plan on being at home the bigger the savings you make by generating your own energy.
You do need to get planning permission to carry out the work, but this too can be incorporated into the work you’re getting done and you can use the contractors you have to help.
Whether you’re gutting a room or building a loft extension, installing energy efficient windows goes hand-in-hand with this kind of work. Again you benefit from already having the contractors there and the scaffolding in place if it’s needed.
The best energy efficient windows are A++, so it’s worth looking at how this fits with your budget. You can also go for some wood frames if you want them to match the rest of your renovation or remodelling work.
The benefits of energy efficient windows include:
If you’re getting an attic conversion then you’re going to need to meet a minimum standard for the loft’s energy efficiency anyway so it makes sense to get the best out of it.
According to Energy Saving Trust many loft conversion companies will just put in the required minimum amount of insulation so it’s advised to ask for more insulation. The more loft insulation you have:
If your loft conversion is going to be a living space then it’s essential that all the walls and ceilings are well insulated. This isn’t a DIY job so you’ll need to get expert help. Furbnow can help you assess what you need and organise the accredited contractors to come and do this. (!)
This would require you to also have solar panels (or less commonly, a wind turbine or hydro-electricity system). But if you’re getting a charging point put in for your EV then you could optimise costs with battery storage.
Most EV tariffs have a day and a night rate, with the latter being a cheaper time to charge your car. Storing the solar energy in your battery over the course of the day and then using that energy to charge your car at night would be a more economical and environmentally sound way of powering your car.
Home energy storage systems can vary in price, but here’s a list of the most common one brand’s mid-range batteries to give you an idea:
With each of these storage systems it’s worth taking into account the capacity of the battery, its warranty period, whether it has a power cut backup, and also how nice it looks if you’re already considering the aesthetics of your home.
If you’re renovating your home then now is the perfect time to make those eco-upgrades too. You can reduce your costs by having the people and scaffolding already in place, you can design your retrofit upgrades around your new renovations and you have to go through the process once rather than multiple times.
If this seems like a daunting challenge it doesn’t have to be Furbnow can assess what you need, provide the accredited contractors and project manage the whole process (if you want - you can have as much control over the project as you like).