What does a Deep Retrofit involve?
The Deep Retrofit of a home means carrying out multiple energy upgrades all at once to achieve a BER of A-rating.
Firstly, you will need to reduce the level of heat loss so that you keep heat in the home for longer. This involves some or all of the following: wall insulation, roof insulation, floor insulation, window upgrades.
The next step is to look at an efficient renewable heating system to support the transition away from fossil fuels. The typical heating system installed on a Deep Retrofit Pilot Project is an air-source heat pump.
It also includes mechanical ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality.
Other renewable energy technologies such as solar water heating panels and solar photovoltaic panels may be appropriate for your home.
HOW UPGRADING YOUR HOME WILL BENEFIT YOU There are multiple benefits to carrying out a home energy upgrade. It will result in a warmer, cosier home with an improved BER rating. Plus you could be eligible for SEAI grant support towards the cost of works. Research has shown that a warmer home also benefits overall health and wellbeing. And, since your home will be much more energy efficient, your heating bills should also be lower. In the following pages, you will fi nd more information on individual energy upgrades which can be combined to bring your home to an A-rating as part of an SEAI deep retrofit. Wall Insulation Attic Insulation Floor Insulation Window and Door Upgrades Ventilation Systems Woodburning Stoves Renewable Energy Systems.
Up to 35% of your home’s heat can be lost through your external walls. This heat loss can be reduced by insulating the walls so that more heat is kept inside your home. There are three different ways to insulate your walls; cavity, external and internal wall insulation. These can be used on their own or in combination depending on your existing wall construction. Additional internal ventilation is needed when your walls are insulated. Your contractor will assess the best method and discuss this with you before the work begins. For further information on the importance of ventilation in your home, see the section on ventilation systems.
CAVITY WALL INSULATION EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION WHY INSTALL IT ?
For solid block or concrete walls with no cavity, external wall insulation is generally the preferred option. It can also be used in addition to cavity wall insulation to further improve the performance of your external walls. WHAT’S INVOLVED? If your home has a cavity wall, insulation is pumped into the cavity. A series of small holes are drilled in the wall, at regular intervals, on the outside. The insulation is then pumped into the cavity through these holes, and the holes are filled in so that they match the rest of the wall. WHY INSTALL IT? If your home has cavity walls which are not insulated, or only partially insulated, then cavity wall insulation is an easy, cost effective first step to reduce heat loss.
WHAT’S INVOLVED? External wall insulation involves wrapping a layer of rigid insulation around your home, fixing it to the walls, embedding mesh in it to provide strength, and covering it in a render to provide weather resistance.
WHY INSTALL IT? Heat rises – and up to 30% of your home’s heat can be lost through your roof. Insulating your attic space keeps the heat below the ceiling and in the rooms below, thus reducing heat loss.
WHAT’S INVOLVED? If you have an attic, a thick layer of insulating material will be rolled out over the ceiling below. The water tank and pipework will also need to be insulated, and a walkway and ventilation provided. It is also possible to insulate sloping ceilings or flat roofs where necessary. With the new insulation, proper attic ventilation is very important; it reduces the risk of condensation build-up in the attic space, which can reduce the effectiveness of your insulation and cause damage to your roof structure.
WHY INSTALL IT? Up to 10% of your home’s heat can be lost through your floors. As with attic and walls, this heat loss can be reduced by insulating the floors so that more heat is retained inside your home. However, upgrading the floor insulation may not be not possible in all homes as the level of disruption is dependent on the type of existing floor construction.
WHAT’S INVOLVED? Different approaches will be needed depending on whether you have a solid ground floor, a suspended concrete floor or a suspended timber floor. In some cases it may be possible to lay insulation on top of the existing construction or in other cases it will be necessary to fi t insulation to the underside of the concrete or timber structure.
WINDOW AND DOOR UPGRADES
WHY INSTALL THEM? You can lose about 10% of your home’s heat through your windows and doors depending on the age of your existing windows. If you’ve got well insulated walls and attic, then the heat lost through poorly performing windows and doors will be even greater. Generally, replacement to current standards will be required as part of the deep retrofit to meet the minimum energy rating.
WHAT’S INVOLVED? During the pre-works survey, your contractor will measure the windows and doors to be replaced. Once the specification and costs are agreed, the contractor will then send the dimensions to the supplier so they can be manufactured. The standard waiting time is around 4-5 weeks from order to installation of the new windows and doors.
WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL I NOTICE WITH THE NEW VENTILATION? Proper ventilation removes stale air and odours and ensures that fresh air is circulated throughout your home at all times. This does not mean that your home will be colder or draughty, but the warm air will not be harmful for your health. You may be able to hear air coming in through the vents, which is normal. If you choose, and when the weather permits, fresh air can also be provided naturally by opening a window.