Some of the questions BER assessors are asked most often is “How can I improve my BER” or “What can I do to improve my BER before my house goes on the market”? Thankfully, there are a number of quick solutions that are surprisingly simple and inexpensive.
It is very important to note that the assessor is required to gather photographic evidence of all of his findings and measurements. This includes light bulbs, air vents, levels of insulation (eg in the attic space), lagging jackets, window and door seals etc. So make sure that you have as many of the following items completed BEFORE the assessor arrives. Remember, if it’s not there it can’t be photographed. And if it can’t be photographed it can’t be included.
Low Energy Light Bulbs
Replace as many light bulbs as possible with an energy saving equivalent such as CFL’s. Each light in the house is counted and the energy expenditure is calculated.
If you have an old style copper hot water cylinder make sure it is covered by at least one lagging jacket. The assessor will have to measure the thickness of insulation around the copper cylinder and take a photograph showing the measurement.
If possible, block up any chimneys with a chimney balloon. One of the big heat loss elements of a house is the chimney which literally sucks the warm air out of the property. The more chimneys that are in the property the greater the level of heat loss.
Replace any old draughty walls vents with new disc vents that create an airtight seal when not in use.
Draught strips & excluders
Make sure that windows and external door have draft strips to prevent heat loss. These can be purchased at any hardware shop and are easily fixed to prevent draughts.
Proof of Works
This is possibly the most important thing you can do. If you have carried out any works to improve the insulation or energy efficiency of your house you will need to provide a proper certificate or letter from an architect detailed the works carried out. This includes levels of wall insulation (external and internal), building elements of any newly constructed areas (walls, roof spaces and attic conversions). The assessor is not allowed to include any improvements carried out without proper documentation. If in doubt, please ask your assessor BEFORE the inspection is carried out.
Article by Marc Meehan from DublinBER.ie