Living in an energy efficient home means being able to make substantial savings on bills, living in a more comfortable space, contributing to the protection of the environment and fighting against climate change. All benefits that can be achieved with a small investment: thanks to government incentives, energy efficiency operations are becoming accessible to everyone. But what are the interventions that can improve the energy efficiency of a house?
There are two main types of energy efficiency measures that can be implemented, those that concern the building envelope and those that concern the installations. The performance of the various interventions obviously depends on a number of factors, including the climate zone in which the intervention will take place, the building system and the type of systems present.
The external coat allows to intervene on houses without insulation and consists in covering the perimeter walls of the house with a layer of material with good insulating capacity, with subsequent protective and finishing layers. ENEA, the national energy authority, has calculated an annual energy saving of 15%. 1 North, excluding mountain areas, and 30 South, Central and Islands for exterior mantle intervention.
INTERIOR WALL INSULATION
If the exterior cladding is not possible for technical or architectural reasons, another solution is to insulate the interior walls. This is a less expensive, though less efficient, alternative. In this case, the insulation is mounted inside the house, and there is a consequent reduction of the interior space of the rooms. In addition, it will not have the same improvement effect as the thermal bridges comparable to the exterior coating. This type of intervention allows those who perform it to achieve energy savings of 15 to 20%, except in mountain areas.
INSULATION OF THE ROOF
An operation that can integrate the thermal insulation of the house is the insulation of the roof, which prevents heat from escaping from above. This operation can be performed on any upper floor in contact with the unheated environment, such as an unlivable attic. This type of energy efficiency work would result in savings of 40-45%.
REPLACEMENT OF WINDOWS AND GLASS DOORS
Another fundamental operation to improve the energy performance of the house is to intervene on the windows, in particular on the low-emission glass and the sealing of the windows. In case of installation of new windows that comply with current performance parameters for energy savings, with thermal glass, with only the replacement of glass and seals, the savings calculated by ENEA are 3-5 North and 5-10.The Center, South and Islands. However, this value does not take into account that with the replacement of windows, the annoying problem of drafts in old windows is also eliminated.
INSTALLATION OF SOLAR COLLECTORS
Among the most effective interventions in the system is the installation of solar collectors for the production of domestic hot water. Suffice it to say that the construction of a system can reduce hot water consumption by up to 90% in summer. It is therefore a real investment in energy efficiency.
BOILER REPLACEMENT AND INSTALLATION OF THERMOSTATIC VALVES
Replacing the old gas boiler with energy-saving, condensing or wood pellet models can also save a considerable amount of money on your bill. By also installing thermostatic valves on each radiator, you will have an efficient heat control system for each room, which will allow you to achieve maximum savings.
TIME AND COST
The costs of energy efficiency measures are difficult to determine because they depend on the scope of the work and the type of building or property on which it is done. Timeframes are not easy to define either, as they vary depending on the complexity of the project, although it is generally estimated that the time between the preliminary design phase, construction and bureaucratic delays, and project completion is approximately 18 to 24 months.
However, there is good news regarding costs: for interventions aimed at energy requalification, it will be possible to benefit from tax deductions (the so-called Ecobonus).
AND THEN? ADOPT THE RIGHT ATTITUDES
In addition to knowing how to improve energy efficiency in the home by taking the most effective measures, what is important is to have the right attitudes: respecting the periodic maintenance of appliances so that they remain efficient, adopting environmentally friendly behaviors such as closing the windows when the heating is on and ventilating the house naturally. However, these are small gestures that can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of our home and allow us not to cancel the investments.