I wish improving the energy efficiency of your house came with unlockable achievements, I’d be a total achievement-whore. Roughly a year ago, we bought a very old house (roughly 1750), and it was in a sorry state in terms of energy efficiency. To take just a single room (the living room/lounge/whatever), it had thin carpet and crap underlay, huge gaps under the skirting board, a freezing cold cellar underneath with zero insulation between joists, and an open chimney with an open fire. Plus single glazed windows (can’t change them…alas), and normal bog standard curtains.

Now…

  • It has a wood-burning stove, MASSIVELY more energy efficient than an open fire (+400 points)
  • Curtains lined with ‘blackout-liner’, to keep the heat in (+50 points)
  • Some heat-reflecting nano-paint, ready to repaint the walls (yes really) (+25 points)
  • Sheeps-wool insulation stuffed between the joists under the floor (+75 points)
  • Super-thick underlay and carpet on order (+40 points)
  • A builder is going to fill all the gaps under the skirting board (+125 points).

To add complications, we just discovered that a draught from under the skirting boards is coming from a HUGE gap in one corner. It looks like the floorboard there is missing, and has been replaced with a thin sheet of metal, that is just hanging in one corner. What the hell? I think that may need properly fixing, by actual tradespeople.

Hopefully by the time this is all done, it will massively drop my heating bill, and I won’t need to sell 10,000 copies a day just to keep us warm. Hurrah! The guy who sold us the house must have worn duvets strapped to each limb all winter.

3 Responses to “Insulation: Achievement unlocked!”

  1. Kalle says:

    Myself I’m already planning in my head what to do in a similar situation, since I plan to purchase our family farmhouse. It isn’t yet 250 years old, but used by several generations still. The good thing is I can see electricity bills of the previous owner him being my dad, so easy to compare to see results of improvements.

    I hope no need to do changes stoves, but good improvements possible to gain just by starting to use all of 4 of them instead of only 1 as currently.

    Theoretically I’d love to install thermal heating or solar heat collection panels, but to get full benefits there would need to be central heating instead of current electric radiators so big costs in installing pipes. Hopefully by better use of the stoves the need for electricity is reduced enough to make those investments useless :)

    Achievements you mentioned would be groovy, although of course next to impossible to implement. But I smell a potential for a great TV series where families compete on energy efficiency.

  2. Tarski says:

    Very amusing post. Sounds like you need the Epic Win http://www.rexbox.co.uk/epicwin/ IPhone app to reward yourself!

  3. e lottery says:

    My house is badly needing some of that treatment, you’ve spurned me on to get my ass in gear, thanks.