Basic insulation

One of the aims of the technology & automation is to improve the efficiency of the heating system in the house. However putting in heat more effectively is only one part of the story. The other, of course, is reducing heat losses. Whilst this is not nearly as gadget driven it's nevertheless and essential part of the story...

Our home is a victorian-era building so certainly needs a lot of effort to plug the gaps. The first problem is that it's got solid walls so cavity insulation - often one of the easiest measures - is not possible. Insulated cladding (either internal or external) would be prohibitive. Fortunately the house is mid-terraced so our actual external walls are quite limited.

[u]Living Room[/u]
We loved the varnished bare floorboards, but as winter set in we found the gaps were continuous sources of draughts, up through the gaps, out through the door to the hall through the kitchen and out.

As a temporary semi-solution we pulled a large old carpet off-cut in from the conservatory to use as a rug. It seemed to be a move in the right direction so before our second winter we invested £250 in having a full carpet & underlay fitted. [i]As a side benefit, the softness of the carpet is more child friendly for the twins.[/i]

Remaining issues
- Open chimney
- Draughty windows part #2

Front door
Another source of draughts!

Remaining issues (to be fixed before next winter)
- The thin, worn out carpet & underlay => will be replaced
- Single-glaze window about the front door => will be double or secondary glazed

The back doors may be double glazed but they don't fit well and there's a busy draught heading through the gap. As a first attempt at a solution, we've put a couple of layers of rubber draught seal round the door and cut about 75% of the draught.

As a further measure we've put up a curtain. It's probably more aesthetically effective.

Issues to solve
- Stop the draughts through the back door