SuperHome owners take comfort in the numbers

22/Jul/2015
Blog Author: 
Jacob Morris-Davies

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In 2014, a group of SuperHome owners were asked to rate the comfort of their homes, both before and after major refurbishment. The survey showed that 95% rated the comfort of their homes as good or excellent following the retrofit, whilst only 8% rated their homes this way before the changes. SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners for much greater comfort, lower bills and far lower carbon emissions - at least 60% less! Most have superior insulation; many have alternative heating sources and some produce their own energy. 

Feedback from SuperHomers reinforces the view that insulating your older home is a surefire way to massively improve your comfort levels. Tim Nicholson says of his Oxford SuperHome [1], "We wanted to make our home warm, comfortable, economical to run, energy efficient, low carbon and healthy. Following our refurbishment we no longer use fossil fuels in our home. The house is now warm, comfortable and draught free". 

Ruth Shepherd, speaking from her Manchester SuperHome [2], says, "The house was cold and draughty, and I also wanted the kitchen and (very cold) bathroom modernised. Now the average temperature of the house is around 20 degrees as opposed to 15 degrees before the refurbishment". 

One of the fundamental problems in many British homes is temperature control, or more specifically the lack of it. Due to the old age of much of our housing stock, heat leaks out in areas such as windows and doorframes, and through walls. There are two solutions to this problem if we want a more comfortable existence: keep adding more heat, or insulate!

You can keep adding more and more heat, but that won't give you much control over how temperature fluctuates - not to mention costing huge amounts in heating bills. Insulating, on the other hand, saves money and allows for greater temperature control, ensuring the house doesn't get too cold or too warm but stays around a happy medium, even when the heating switches off overnight. This, in turn, makes a vast difference to comfort levels. 

John Doggart's Camden Superhome [3] offers a great example of this improved control and the benefits. John's home has undergone extensive eco-renovation and includes external, internal and flat roof insulation. He says, "The interior temperature only drops 1 or 1.5 degrees overnight, even in the coldest weather, so we've got a 5 star comfort house along with a highly cost effective payback". 

So, how can you get a 'touch and feel' experience of a house with insulated solid walls so you can decide whether to invest in these improvements? The answer - visit one!

Fortunately, all three households mentioned above are opening to the public this September as part of SuperHome Open Days. And they are just 3 of over 50 refurbished Victorian, Edwardian and post-war properties you can visit!

In every SuperHome you can learn about a range of installed technologies. Tours and Q&A sessions will let you quiz the owners, so you can discover what worked and get frank feedback on anything that didn't. 

These open house events and tours are coordinated by the National Energy Foundation and supported by Green Open Homes. Entry is FREE. To find out more or to pre-book a place on a free tour, visit www.superhomes.org.uk

Internal wall insulation helps John Doggart's home deliver 5 star comfort levels

Internal wall insulation helps John Doggart's home deliver 5 star comfort levels.

SuperHomes is a rapidly expanding network of over 190 energy aware households. These pioneering homeowners are redefining green living. All have refurbished their old homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency.

Published 22nd July 2015

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