Attic conversions are one of the more popular renovation projects embraced by homeowners who would rather improve their properties than attempt to move up the property ladder. Also known as loft conversions, attic conversions add living space that can be used for sleeping, entertaining, or work.
It turns out that an attic conversion can be beneficial in ways over and above just increasing living space. For example, you could use your own conversion to save energy. By converting your loft into usable living space, you can also reduce the amount of energy you use by implementing certain strategies during construction.
Better Insulated Spaces
Building regulations require that attic conversions include insulation that minimises heat loss. Without getting into all the details, compliant insulation must be installed between and underneath the rafters and between walls and the structure’s roof. Just doing the bare minimum can significantly reduce energy loss. But homeowners are free to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.
More insulation than the law requires can be installed in the loft. Your conversion can also include new, energy-efficient windows that allow for maximum light with a minimum loss of energy. A good window is a triple-glazed window with an A+ rating. Installing the windows in strategic locations can further reduce energy use by flooding the space with natural light and, thus, reducing dependence on artificial lighting.
Opportunities for Solar Power
Another thing to consider with attic conversions is taking advantage of construction to install solar equipment. As long as you are paying contractors to better insulate and install energy-efficient windows, you might just as well invest in solar PV panels that convert direct sunlight into electricity.
A solar system will by no means eliminate your need for grid electricity. But it will reduce your dependence on it. The less grid energy you consume, the lower your monthly utility bills will be. With a feed-in tariff, you will even be able to sell excess energy back to the grid for a still lower utility bill.
Attic conversions are often the starting point for increasing living space without building up or taking the next step on the property ladder. And because of the potential built-in to such conversions, homeowners also have opportunities to utilise their new living spaces to save energy. It is a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.