Retrofitting | Enervate

By: Enervate  05/12/2011
Keywords: Insulation, Boiler, Wall Insulation

What is Retrofitting?

Retrofitting refers to the addition of new technology or features to older systems, in this case older or existing buildings, to improve energy efficiencies. We provide a simple, easy to follow 6-step solution to all our customers.

  1. We provide a free assessment, and discuss options with you.
  2. We give you advice on where you can make significant improvements, discuss your budget, and provide you with a detailed quotation.
  3. On acceptance of quotation, we then issue a contract, which protects both parties, and gives you the comfort of a two year guarantee on all of our work.
  4. We assist you in applying for SEAI grants.
  5. Your home is then ‘Enervated’ by our professional operatives and tradesmen.
  6. We provide a BER cert, which is now mandatory for all grant applications, and provide ongoing support and advice.

Why Retrofit?

  • Avail of a grant towards your energy efficient works.
  • Reduce your home fuel bills.
  • Improve the comfort of your home.
  • Enhance the value of your home.
  • Make your home more comfortable to live in.

What improvements can be made?

The list is limitless, but let’s starts with the basics that have grant assistance…

Attic/Roof Insulation

Grant available: €250

The first, and most important port of call. This includes upgrading the insulation in your attic, sloping or flat roof areas to the current required standards (or better). An air-tight barrier is also advised.

We can supply and install Fibreglass or Rock-fibre, or more sustainable products like Cellulose, Thermo-Hemp, or Sheepswool.

All tanks, pipes and hatches are lagged /insulated as standard, and a walkway provided to your tank for future access.

Wall Insulation

Depending on your property, there are three options…

Cavity wall insulation

Grant available: €400

This involves drilling small holes in your external walls from the outside, and pumping bonded-bead insulation into the cavity until it is completely full. The holes are then plugged using a special compound, which is coloured to match your wall colour. This normally takes about one day to complete, and disruption is minimal. We provide a full manufacturers guarantee on completion. In some cases, where the cavities are not wide enough to achieve the required U-values, another system (below) may also be required. NB: Cavity blocks cannot be pump-filled.

Internal dry-lining

Grant available: €2,500

This involves the addition of insulation to the inside face of your external walls. If your walls are of solid construction it is one of two options. To do it correctly involves quite a bit of work. All electrical fittings, radiators, bathroom suites, tiles, joinery (not to mention the kitchen or the stairs) need to be removed and replaced. Also for two-storey houses, the ceiling should be cut to allow the insulation to pass through to meet with upstairs. Vapour permeability is extremely important, to avoid the risk of mould growth. For this reason we only use products that allow vapours to dissipate or migrate out through them. This measure is quite disruptive, and can take 10-12 days.

External Insulation

Grant available: €4,000

This involves the fixing of insulation to the outside of your house, and then applying a basecoat render, with a layer of fibre mesh and finally a finish coat of render to the colour of your choice. There is no disruption to the inside of the house, and it normally takes 10-12 days. It is by far the best way of insulating your house as it completely wraps the external envelope of your home. It can be expensive, but there are other benefits to consider, like the facelift it will give to worn-out looking facades.

Boiler and heating controls upgrade

Grant available: €700

This involves changing your existing oil or gas boiler with a condensing boiler, which uses the fuel much more efficiently, and improving the way in which it is controlled. For example, if your existing boiler is more than 5 years old, it is possible that it is working at about 60-70% efficiency. A condensing boiler can work up to 98% efficiency, depending on the model. Coupled with the heating control upgrade (below) it can have a huge impact on your fuel consumption.

Heating controls upgrade

Grant available: €500

This involves :

  • Installation of a Seven Day Timer and Temperature Control to the Existing Boiler
  • Installation of Zoned Thermostatic Control over all zones in the dwelling.
  • Installation of a Timer and Temperature Control on the Electric Immersion Water Cylinder.
  • Installation of a Boiler Interlock (which prevents the boiler from firing when the set temperature in the home has been reached.)

In most cases it is simple to add the above without much disruption to the occupants, and it normally takes 1-2 days. Our trained installers take extreme measures to ensure that all cables are concealed, and show you first-hand how to use the system.

Ventilation and Air-tightness

Although the heading seems to contradict itself, both adequate ventilation, and air-tightness are vital to the indoor air quality, heat-loss and the health of the occupants. By stopping unwanted draughts (doors, windows, chimneys and attics) we can radically reduce the heat-loss in your home. This means that we have to introduce controlled ventilation, which can be done in a number of ways. Both of these measures help to reduce the risk of condensation, and mould growth. When assessing your home, we will discuss all the options with you.

Other retrofit works

Because we are a Registered Retrofit Contractor (CIF & HomeBond), we can include any other works to improve your home under our CRR contract. This may include any (or all!) of the following:

  • Addition of more sustainable heating or energy systems (solar hot water, biomass boilers, wood-burning stoves, solar photovoltaic, wind turbines etc). Other grants are available from the SEAI Greener Homes Scheme.
  • Replacement of windows with more efficient units (double or triple glazed).
  • Conservatories, Attic conversions, extensions or refurbishments.
  • New floors, doors, skirting, architraves and tiling.
  • Complete redecoration.
  • New bathroom suites, en-suites, walk-in wardrobes.

As you can see, the list is endless and is not limited to the above.

For those of you who are serious about cutting back on fuel and energy bills, by using our PHPP (Passive-House Planning Package) software to model your retrofit:

We can offer retrofit right up to A-rated, or Passive-house standards.

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: Boiler, Improve Energy, Insulation, Wall Insulation

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