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Is your home overheating?

We’ve all been spending an unexpected increased amount of time in our homes during the past few months, and you might have noticed just how warm your property can get during the hotter days.

This May was a scorcher, 2018’s summer was equal warmest since 1976, and the highest temperature in the UK of 38.7 degrees centigrade was recorded in Cambridge in July last year. But whilst we Brits all love a bit of sun, it can create some downsides. Unlike continental locations, UK properties usually aren’t constructed in a way that leaves them equipped to handle hot temperatures like these.

The Covid-19 lockdown has certainly made us all re-think our lives and the way we interact with our world. Climate change is upon us. How we choose to approach our environmental issues now, will affect all of our futures. The good news is that we can all help make a difference and here at CLPM, our sustainability and heating advice experts can help you play your part. Making smart decisions about the fabric and infrastructure of your property can improve the energy performance of your home, improve its comfort and reduce your carbon emissions.

There are a lots of things you can do – whether you’re looking to improve your existing property or to build a new home.

1. Improve Your Insulation

You might just think of insulation as a way of keeping your home warm during for the colder months, but it’s actually important to think about insulation for the summer as well. Insulation can help to stop your home overheating. It keeps your house warm by preventing the heat from escaping the building through the walls, however it also can work the other way around by stopping heat from entering too.

If you have a loft or attic, it’s quite likely you’ve found you can’t spend a lot of time up there in the summer months – because of just how hot and stuffy it can get. That’s because the materials of most UK roofs absorb heat, which can then transfer to the space below- i.e your loft or top floor bedrooms.

While overheating might be seen as an occasional irritation, the Met Office is predicting that hot summers like that of the past few years will become more common, so you would be wise to check your plans. Make sure you can keep your home cool through the summer – by checking, and if possible improving, your roof or loft insulation levels. Always remember if you’re considering a building project which includes converting your loft space then insulation is a very important detail to get right.

Note. If you have a large or more complex property reviewing your insulations needs can be complicated. If so then it’s a good idea to get expert, impartial advice to make sure you get it right. CLPM’s sustainability team can check the energy performance of your home and offer practical advice on how to better regulate its internal temperature. So you can keep your home cooler in the summer months, and cut your winter fuel biils too.

2. Consider Your Home’s Airtightness

Getting the balance right between airtightness and ventilation can stop your home overheating. Controlling the air moving in and out of your home can be another way of keeping it cool in summer, and warm in winter. But only if that home has been properly designed with its uses and situation in mind.

As a general rule, most UK homes are quite leaky, especially older properties. But while air leaks cause unwanted cold draughts through the winter, they can also help ventilate your home on a hot day.

By contrast a very airtight home needs to be designed in such a way to prevent it getting stuffy and overheating – for example with sufficient overhang on glazing or shutters to prevent solar gain – as well as windows that can open and close. It may also need a mechanical ventilation system. Whatever the situation it’s a good idea to get advice, as if you get it wrong a very airtight building can seriously overheat.

3. Reduce Your Home’s Solar Gain

While it is nice to live in a home which is flooded with light, lots of glazing can also cause problems. Glass can allow up to 10 times more heat into your home than an insulated wall. This solar gain – which is an increase in the thermal energy of a space as it absorbs radiation from the sun – can be a major issue.

Our experts can help review your architectural plans and ensure that you make an informed decision and stop your home overheating. The location, sizing and orientation of your windows need to be considered carefully to avoid your home over-heating in the future. Good architectural design – for example with overhangs or selecting the right types of glazing – can prevent solar gain from becoming an issue.

However if your home does have a tendency to overheat then there are a number of things you can do to help keep your home cool. If your windows face south you can help reduce solar gain by shutting blinds and curtains during the day to keep out the heat. In addition it is a good idea to close the doors to of your unused rooms during the day, as this will help you stop any hot air permeating throigh the house. In the evening open the doors and windows to let the cool air in.

4. Turn Off Appliances

Most appliances create heat when they’re switched on or left on standby. By switching off appliances such as your TV, lights, mobile phone chargers, game consoles, laptops etc. you will reduce the additional heat, help stop your home overheating and save money on your electricity bill too.

CLPM – Helping Future Proof Your Home

After a challenging 4 months there is currently much talk of ‘building back better’ and rebooting the economy whilst delivering on our environmental commitments.

Whether you are carrying our some home improvements or planning a major building project it makes sense to have an expert check that your plans are the best they can be – for now and the future. The best homes are built in such a way to be warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, with minimal running costs. CLPM can stop your home overheating and help make sure your property is built with this in mind.

If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can stop your home overheating then do get in touch.

Call 01923 896550, email info@cl-pm.com or complete a contact form.

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CLPM Project Managers cover London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex. Energy Consultancy and Cost Advice services available across the UK.
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