Get your Home Snug for Winter!
With the coldest months of the year approaching, Sustainable Home Insulation expert Mukti Mitchell shares advice for keeping your period house warm while saving money and protecting the environment
While the UK has been enjoying a mild winter, the weather will be getting much colder from January to March, so it’s a great time to think about making your home warm and cosy for the winter weeks ahead.
And with the recent Climate Change Conference in Paris highlighting the urgent need for the world’s nations to reduce their carbon footprints, Mukti Mitchell – Sustainable Home Insulation expert and author of The Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles (downloadable at www.lowcarbonlifestyle.org.uk) – has simple tips for insulating period homes to keep them warm, save money and help avert climate change.
Mukti Mitchell explains: “In the UK, the price of heating fuels has risen 10% a year for the last decade and it now costs over £1,500 to keep our homes warm. We pump hot water into our radiators all winter while the heat floods out through the windows, walls and rooves. 27 million homes at £1,500 and us Brits are spending £40bn a year, heating the planet directly!
“By dramatically reducing fuel bills, home insulation represents a phenomenal investment opportunity. You’d be lucky to get a 5% return on your investment from £5,000 in savings or stocks and shares – but if you re-invest this insulating your home, the money saved on heating can yield a return of 10-25% per year. And home insulation is good for the planet, cutting the national footprint by 10%.”
Mukti Mitchell is Director of CosyHome Company, winner of the CIOB Southwest Sustainability Award (2011), recognised for its pioneering secondary glazing and insulation systems for period houses and substantial contribution towards making Britain’s buildings more sustainable (www.cosyhomecompany.co.uk). He famously built and sailed an award-winning eco micro yacht around Britain in 2007 endorsed by The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, and his 45 talks along the way extolling the benefits of low carbon lifestyles reached an audience of 10 million.
Completing the sailing tour, Mukti was inspired to start CosyHome having been invited to parliament to do an internship. He has a background in property restoration and energy auditing, so hearing MPs debating the issue of how to insulate Britain’s old housing stock, he realised he was in position to help. Also envisioning a fantastic opportunity to make beautiful old properties warmer for winter while furthering his mission to avert climate change, he took direct action.
Mukti Mitchell elucidates: “Of all the heat pumped into a typical period house, 10% escapes through the lofts, 20% through glass windows and 30% through draughts. If you top up your loft insulation to 300mm and fit double or secondary glazing and draught proofing you can reduce heat loss by a third, dramatically affecting warmth and comfort and diminishing fuel bills. Wall and floor insulation will bring further reductions. We started CosyHome because the market offered few elegant solutions for traditional properties and to this end we developed a virtually invisible secondary glazing system and a full range of insulation services which have proved very popular with period home owners.”
If you have a period property and feel inspired by the recent Paris Climate Change Talks to do your bit to save the planet, insulating your home represents a very worthwhile investment, as Mukti Mitchell explains:
“The world’s governments can agree on targets, but it’s down to us citizens to make it happen, because all energy use ends up with a final end user. And the most effective areas to focus on making cuts are our homes and how we buy food and clothes. Financially, insulating your period property is currently one of the highest-yielding investments available, offering up to 25% annual return with little risk, and saving tens of thousands of pounds over the next 20 years. “
So if you want to get your home warm and cosy for the winter, you can make the investment confident in the knowledge that it’s beneficial not only financially and for comfort, but also for averting climate change.