There are a many things big and small you can do to help improve BER rating results.
Some you can do before your BER assessor completes the survey.
Attic and wall insulation can be upgraded in your home. During a BER survey access to the attic is required to assess the amount and the condition of the insulation.
- Improve BER rating tip: Additional attic insulation up to 300mm can be easier to install than many other upgrades.
Determining the cavity wall insulation can be more difficult. Most BER Assessors can make informed judgments based on building age and construction style. Upgrades to wall insulation include pumped beads and both internal and external rigid options. Limerick Energy Rating can provide independent advice on the most cost effective way to improve BER rating results and insulation levels.
Once a dwelling’s insulation has been improved the best methods to improve BER rating scores are associated with home heating sources. There are many ways to provide home or space heating including oil and gas boilers, pellet burners and heat pumps all with with radiators or under floor heating options.
The greater the efficiency of your space heating the lower your running costs will be and this can be a significant figure. One method requires the installation of timers and thermostats in zoned parts of the house to allow you control the heat demand in different areas.
In a two-story house the daytime heating requirements during the winter months include the living room and kitchen. If these are a separate zone you can control where the heat is needed by turning on the switch or thermostat in this area and leaving it off upstairs. This also works in single story houses.
Thermostats can be controlled by inbuilt timers so later in the evening the heat will come on in bedrooms.
Improve BER rating with a New Boiler
Older Oil boilers have a very low efficiency or working rate of only 60-65%. But more modern boilers have an efficiency of 90% and more. By replacing an old boiler you can considerably reduce your home heating costs. It is quite similar to the old and new cars, more miles per gallon or more kilometers per litre in new cars.
Limerick Energy Rating can advise you on the most beneficial and cost effective approach for your home.
Hot Water Demands
Reducing energy waste by using energy saving water heaters can make another significant difference to your electrical bills and carbon emissions. One of the simplest methods of reducing your water heating bill is to separate the hot water and space heating systems. In many homes the water and heating is in one system with the boiler heating both the radiators and the hot water cylinder regardless of demand.
By separating the water and space heating you can control costs and improve BER rating and energy efficiency. Often hot water cylinders in Ireland are fitted without thermostats. By fitting a thermostat on the cylinder you can stop the hot water heater cycling continuously once the desired water temperature is reached.
It is to not uncommon to find badly or un-insulated hot water cylinders in an Irish home. Replacing the cylinder with a factory insulated model can make significant improvements to your heating costs.
- Improve BER rating tip: Even adding a €10 well fitting lagging jacket can make a big improvement.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Light bulbs account for much of a typical residential electrical bill.
It is worth making this change to reduce costs and improve BER rating of your home. One of the easier home owner energy improvements is replacing older bulbs them with modern energy saving bulbs. Modern bulbs can produce the same amount of light using 60-80% less energy.
- Improve BER rating tip: Change all your bulbs to low energy versions
Outdoor lighting can be fitted with movement sensors and daylight switches instead of timers.
Simple changes in habits can also help, just turn off lights in rooms that are not being used or only half fill kettles when boiling water, turn off the x-box when the children or the adults are finished playing with them. Unplug unused chargers and don’t leave the TV on stand by.
These are just some simple ideas of saving on the energy usage in the home
Windows and Doors
Having your home properly insulated will result in energy saving costs. But these will be reduced if windows and doors are of bad quality and allow drafts in and heat out.
Poor quality windows and doors can cause serious heat loss. The complete building envelope should be of good quality and structure. Changing these would probably be the most expensive investment in an energy saving upgrade but even adding cheap draft stripping to all openings, including the loft hatch can make a small but essential difference.
A BER assessment survey takes an average of 40 to 90 minutes onsite, depending on the size of your home. The property survey is a non intrusive examination so need for drills or knocking holes in your walls.
During the BER assessment survey a BER assessor will need access to each room in your home. The BER assessor will also need access to the hot press, the attic, any heating controls and the boiler to determine its age and efficiency. Once the calculation is available the certification documents will include things you can do to improve BER rating results and save energy.