Well On The Way

This 2-storey semi-detached home with shared brick wall is 14 years old. The owners are interested in reducing energy costs and carbon emissions, and anticipate participating in a local community approach to energy independence.

The home features recent upgrades to both a split system and the solar installation (6.08kW) and battery (9kW). It is well on the way to reducing power draw from the grid and making a good contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.

The assessor highlighted that the main energy efficiency issue is the large front picture window in the living area that is single-glazed, metal-framed and has no window furnishings. Other inefficiencies are being created by draughts caused by worn, ineffective door and shug window seals and old style downlights.

It was not possible for him to assess the extent of ceiling insulation, but the thermal camera revealed there was no wall insulation.

The assessor and the owners discussed the challenge of the thermal leakage from the large picture window which provides much-loved ocean and town views. Double glazing as a retrofit is a very expensive solution. Other solutions suggested were secondary glazing or the installation of either cellular blinds or top-up/bottom-down blinds to create a thermal blanket, especially for night-time.

Neither is insulation upgrade in the ceiling an option so the owners could either paint the roof with cool roof paint to take the edge off heat absorption or, at a minimum, replace all downlights with IC rated sealed LED units. These actions would be intended to improve insulation performance and reduce power costs.

The building’s thermal efficiency is significantly compromised by the lack of wall insulation which could be addressed – but at quite some expense – with pumped loose glass fibre silicon treated material. The assessor suggested that the owners contact an insulation specialist company, Enviroflex, if they wish to pursue this option.

The owners are poised to replace the old electric storage Hot Water System with a Reclaim 315L heat pump, although the assessor suggested there would be efficiency and cost advantages in a 250L or even 160L tank, especially if they changed the showerheads to "Methven Kirri Satinjet slow flow". They could also consider replacing the ceramic cooktop with an induction cooktop.

Discussing treatment options for the large picture window to counteract significant thermal loss

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