Converting a loft is a popular means of expanding the amount of living space available in a home. According to some estimates mentioned by the Energy Saving Trust, as many as about four in every ten London houses include converted lofts.
However, you may not have realised how eco-friendly a loft conversion can be, too. It does admittedly depend on exactly how the loft conversion project is undertaken – as the following points attest.
Double- or triple-glazed windows can be installed
While adding new insulation to a loft can be a natural part of converting it, that insulation wouldn’t do its best work if energy-efficient windows were not also fitted as part of the loft conversion work.
As a general rule, you should go for the best-performing windows within your budget. A+-rated double glazing, for example, can significantly streamline energy bill costs, if not quite to the same extent as triple-glazed windows.
Smart home devices can make heating easy to regulate
You have probably at least heard of the concept of the “smart home”, where various aspects of your residential property – including its lighting, electricity and heating – can be controlled with just a few taps on a smartphone screen.
It would be especially straightforward for you to have your converted loft’s heating system connected to your smart home controls if the necessary digital additions were made as the conversion as a whole took shape.
New, more eco-friendly lighting is an option
Did you know that lighting is responsible for 15% of a typical annual electricity bill? You could find that statistic a strong incentive for you to replace any standard bulbs you currently have in your loft with LED alternatives that won’t expend quite as much electricity.
What about opting for solar PV panels, too?
Those might initially seem like a costly add-on, but they can be appreciably less so when installed as part of a loft conversion project rather than as a separate job.
That’s because you will need to have scaffolding erected for loft conversion work in any case. Therefore, you could leave it up for when solar PV panels are installed by professionals who will likely be willing to charge you a lower fee due to that scaffolding already being ready for them to use.
Controlled ventilation can help as well
Another way to improve the energy efficiency of a roof space is by making it as airtight as possible. However, to counter this, you must introduce controlled ventilation, as this would lower the risk of condensation as well as preserve good air quality, Homebuilding & Renovating explains.
You should add background ventilation, like trickle vents, and rapid ventilation through windows.
You don’t need to lose existing insulation
When planning your loft conversion, you could be misled into thinking that you would need to squash or remove insulation already fitted in the loft. However, on the contrary, none of that insulation must go if you invest in raised loft boarding such as that available from the UK company Instaloft.