A mix of good ideas and pure idiocy a la Viz Top Tips ;-)

Lewis Cropley · The University of Greenwich

Save up to 80% on gas and electricity usage over a year by using the existing technology of your building, I do this to cover overheads when things are quiet.

Cold Bridge Warm Space Energy Saving System: Vernacular Architectural Techniques to Utilise the Technology of Your Home. (Draft Copy)

In winter turn all of your radiators on full blast, set your thermostat to low or just above the click, make sure your radiators do not scald, this will help you heat the space inside the building (not the structure and fabric of the building as well) have all the radiators bled, set your heating timer as follows: on 5am off 5:20 am, on 10 am off 10:10am, on 1pm off 1:10 pm, on 3pm off 3:10 pm, on 5pm off 5:20 pm, on 7pm off 7:25pm, on 9pm off 9:20 pm, on 11pm off 11:10pm, on 1am off 1:10am. (2 hrs 25 mins total) What this type of programming does is stops your central heating system from behaving like a fridge by a process or phenomenon known as “thermal mass” heat loss. If you are in a small building you may get away with smaller bursts. Move any objects away from radiators and give the radiators space, this will save the radiators from trying to heat up objects that have cooled so they can heat the space in the building.

Ventilation is healthy in a building, but ensure the ground floor is reasonably well protected from drafts.

Set your fridge freezer to the lowest level in the winter, remember many appliances around the home give off ambient heat radiation so a draft proofed ground floor will optimise this.

Make sure you have a letter box cover (or use cardboard and tape) on both sides of your front door this creates a thermal cavity.

From December to February cover ground floor outside brick vents with cardboard and leave 10 pin holes, this will stop your cavity wall system from behaving like a freezer in the coldest months. Paint or colour the cardboard black on the south face to allow heated air to circulate under your house and in the cavities,

In the winter the sun is your friend, open all blinds and curtains fully first thing in the morning for maximum solar gain and to heat the house in the day, black ornaments (stable) can be left on south facing window sills to behave like heat batteries.

Solid objects require a lot of energy to heat and keep warm, they will also cool a building if not heated. Remove any unnecessary solid objects from inside your home during winter and the space inside your home will be heated instead of the objects.

Leave all internal doors open during the day and evening, only use lights and lamps with energy saving bulbs, these will add to the heat in a building very cheaply.

At this point your building should be behaving like a “Gortex” jacket, you are taking advantage of thousands of years of construction engineering and embodied energy.

Get a neighbour or friend to help out in return for showing them how to do it.

If you work from home and find it cold in the day go to a coffee shop, cafe, pub or library and spend half or all day working there, it will be cheaper than trying to heat a second building and their facilities are often partially heated by large windows, machinery and customers, some offer free electricity to customers.

Insulate cat flaps with cardboard (do not block opening if a cat owner) make sure it opens and closes properly, this can be done from the inside or outside.

Use dishwashers and washing machines in the evenings to add further ambient heat to the building when it is coldest.

If your household makes a lot of hot drinks use a flask to store boiled water.

Make sure there are no huge drafts upstairs if you have an upper floor, get someone to safely help you check your loft hatch fits properly, cheap foam strips can be used to set the loft hatch down on a sealed opening, it is recommended to keep at least 10 pen hole sized perforations or better a 1cm x 20cm opening into the loft space for healthy ventilation so long as dust is not falling back into the living space.

Do not attempt to 'air tighten' your building as this can lead to suffocation .

Find the energy saving settings on your pc and set it to the lowest energy setting, a pc in a downstairs room will release additional ambient heat into a building.

Hot air rises, so side table, or lamps on low tables, will behave like radiators when used with or instead of overhead lighting, make sure lamps you are using can be fitted with energy saving bulbs.

If you have electric heating, turn all the heaters off, open all the doors, and safely set 1 heater on a timer in a low and central point in that building space, the heat will rise through the building and spread heating the space inside the building instead of trying to heat the structure and fabric of the building through the walls, like a healthily ventilated hot air balloon without the fumes.

People radiate heat and so do vacuum cleaners, save active indoor chores for cold winter evenings, including ironing, iron downstairs if appropriate.

By this time your seasonally covered brick vents will be giving you the equivalent of underfloor heating.

Best Regards

Lewis Cropley

Carpenter, Concept Building Designer, Master Crafts Person.

CITB Site Carpentry and Joinery Level 3
CITB Brickwork Level 2
BA (Hons) Architecture RIBA Part 1

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This document is confidential and is intended for the intended recipient and may contain commercially sensitive, speculative or incorrect information based on the complexities of digital, written or drawn information.

Email: lewiscropley@hotmail.co.uk