A recent article in the Guardian summed up the steps to take to to increase the efficiency and cosiness of an old, leaky house. We’ve done quite a few things mentioned and plan a few more. It advocates a less invasive approach to start with, rather than investing in modern systems designed for modern houses. We’ve already installed a wood-fueled heating system and turned off the oil-fired range. We’re a stove or two short of the ideal of heating the whole downstairs with wood, though we do heat each room individually as recommended.

I am steadily draught-proofing floorboards, skirting boards and window alcoves to cut down cold draughts into the house. Other sources of heat loss are thermal bridges: these are uninsulated areas within a larger insulated area. The classic one is the loft hatch, so I got to work on it after inheriting an old duvet (the loft hatch is in my office).

P1020868A lovely duvet sandwich, with a loft hatch underneath somewhere. I made the top battens a little too long to start with, so the sides of the duvet wouldn’t flip up enough to fit the hatch. Once they were shorter it dropped in nicely into place. So far it seems a little better in the office, especially with a little simple heating during the day (another post to come).