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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35834733

I can't tell from this story whether they own the place or rent.


They live in a draughty two-storey, semi-detached house in Hastings that's hard to keep warm. It means that with even a slight dip in the temperature outside, their bedroom soon feels like an icebox

My questions to the reporters who went would be: has the house been insulated? Do they not qualify for any of the grants/freebies to improve their home? Have they read the advice about stopping black mould by ventilating the house more?

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Barely any journalism done there. I'd say it's probably a rental. If so, they should be onto the council. If they own it, they should be trying to raise some funds to sort out the draughts, insulation.

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I guess with the mild winter we've had, the Queen must be out of fuel poverty for the time being.

I've heard said she's borderline, on account of having those big houses, and the modern pressure to keep them warmer than anyone would've dreamed of a generation ago.

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Barely any journalism done there. I'd say it's probably a rental. If so, they should be onto the council. If they own it, they should be trying to raise some funds to sort out the draughts, insulation.

You've never had to deal with private landlords, letting agencies or council housing offices have you? Every one of them would blame the tenant in this situation for not keeping the place heated and ventilated (never mind the cost of that)

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You've never had to deal with private landlords, letting agencies or council housing offices have you? Every one of them would blame the tenant in this situation for not keeping the place heated and ventilated (never mind the cost of that)

But isn't that the point.

There's nothing a landlord can do apart from telling you to adjust your lifestyle (Don't dry clothes indoors), open windows, use a dehumidifier, and put the heating on.

https://www.allergyuk.org/avoiding-respiratory-allergens/mould-allergy-advice

If there's damage to gutters or a roof, then that's the landlord problem, but poor lifestyle is the cause of a lot of mould.

Insulation has been free for the vast majority of the last ten years (It might even be free again at the moment) and new boiler schemes are always on the go if you're on benefits. And that's for landlorded properties as well as OO.

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/warm_homes_oldham

Oldham Council has secured some money to help lower income households who have never had central heating before to have a full new gas central heating system installed for free. The funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis dependant on households need.

You may be eligible for free* energy saving home improvements if you live in an area that is eligible or if you are in receipt of qualifying benefits.

The level of grant funding you can access will depend on where you live, the type of house you live in and what potential energy efficiency improvements can be made.

You dont need to be on benefits to get these grants but if you are you may be eligible for heating improvements.

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Doesn't sound like they can afford to stick the dehumidifier on.

You can't lead a horse to water, either. I've been bothering my mum about getting free insulation for the past 2 years, she keeps saying she will do it, but just prefers to moan about how cold her house is. Maybe they aren't aware of that scheme, who knows.

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If they are that cold at night why don't they just double up on the bedding?????

Years ago I used to have to sleep wrapped in a duvet inside a sleeping bag on the coldest nights - frost on the inside of the windows etc. As kids we used to have to sleep in our coats some nights - that was normal for a lot of people.

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The reality is for many after paying the rent or mortgage and other debt obligations.... There is not much disposible left for food and fuel, council tax and water....

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The reality is for many after paying the rent or mortgage and other debt obligations.... There is not much disposible left for food and fuel, council tax and water....

But we don't talk about food poverty or water poverty? Why is fuel poverty special and also why is there not a maximum size of house where we say "downsize?"

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But we don't talk about food poverty or water poverty? Why is fuel poverty special

That'll be down to its heritage as part of the NuLab social engineering agenda.

Food and water were already essential before the do-gooders decided we should all wear t-shirts all year or be labelled Scrooge, so it would've been superfluous to measure food or water poverty.

And because the results of measuring them could've been embarrassing.

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But we don't talk about food poverty or water poverty? Why is fuel poverty special and also why is there not a maximum size of house where we say "downsize?"

Well unless you are vanurable elderly or small children, living in an ice cold home is something many people grew up with during certain months of the year, one fire to warm the whole house, no central heating....no harm done, good for your character.... What is all the fuss about?

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If they are that cold at night why don't they just double up on the bedding?????

Years ago I used to have to sleep wrapped in a duvet inside a sleeping bag on the coldest nights - frost on the inside of the windows etc. As kids we used to have to sleep in our coats some nights - that was normal for a lot of people.

Yes it was. I remember ice on the windows as a kid. Double glazing wasn't there. :blink:

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Well unless you are vanurable elderly or small children, living in an ice cold home is something many people grew up with during certain months of the year, one fire to warm the whole house, no central heating....no harm done, good for your character.... What is all the fuss about?

I think the fuss is because of all the attempts to seal the draughts, they've got high humidity in the house. This is then causing damp.

The damp is definitely bad. They need to sort out their ventilation.

Other than that, the house is a bit cold. Might be on average as cold as houses were in the 70s.

uk-average-internal-external-winter-temp

It'll be summer soon.

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But we don't talk about food poverty or water poverty? Why is fuel poverty special and also why is there not a maximum size of house where we say "downsize?"

Or property poverty? Chances are if they were paying less rent (I doubt very much they own) then they could afford to heat the house better.

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Watched the prog. Nothing particularly new mentioned imo.

Massive failure was to only talk of cold weather, from which an estimated 9000 die each yr. Heat wave weather can kill too.

I've had a few low income yrs in a freezing flat & then a converted warehouse, where we could not afford to heat at night & some days .

Sleeping in a hat & coat were the norm.

A few ideas...

A new 120cm x 60cm electric blanket now £10, perhaps using this to sit on, rather than heating a room would be cheaper.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BENROSS-SINGLE-SIZE-ELECTRIC-HEATED-UNDER-BLANKET-UK-BRANDED-SINGLE-SIZE-/262312977900?hash=item3d131265ec:g:~roAAOSwe7BW1Gis

Heated seat cover & jackets are £30- £90 up

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Electronics-HAN-CarSetCity-Electric-Heated-Cushion/dp/B019DXM9GM/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1458599291&sr=8-11&keywords=electric+heated+jacket%20%20

http://www.amazon.co.uk/PROsmart-HJ-27-50-Cordless-Battery-Powered/dp/B00PJX6YQW/ref=sr_1_25?s=clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1458599333&sr=8-25&keywords=electric+heated+jacket

It may take a bit of getting used to, as your face would still be getting cold, but not wasting energy heating the air is eco, as well as fuel smart.

I did a bit of research in dividing up oldies & low income houses to reduce areas to heat with insulated panels, but so far it has come to nought.

Theres no getting away for a subject oft discussedon hpc, of much of the uk housing stock being unfit for purpose.

We need houses built of insulated SIPS panels like much of the rest of Europe that suffers cold winters. Bricks & blocks are a thermal bridge & not up to the job

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Watched the prog. Nothing particularly new mentioned imo.

Massive failure was to only talk of cold weather, from which an estimated 9000 die each yr. Heat wave weather can kill too.

I've had a few low income yrs in a freezing flat & then a converted warehouse, where we could not afford to heat at night & some days .

Sleeping in a hat & coat were the norm.

A few ideas...

A new 120cm x 60cm electric blanket now £10, perhaps using this to sit on, rather than heating a room would be cheaper.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BENROSS-SINGLE-SIZE-ELECTRIC-HEATED-UNDER-BLANKET-UK-BRANDED-SINGLE-SIZE-/262312977900?hash=item3d131265ec:g:~roAAOSwe7BW1Gis

Heated seat cover & jackets are £30- £90 up

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Electronics-HAN-CarSetCity-Electric-Heated-Cushion/dp/B019DXM9GM/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1458599291&sr=8-11&keywords=electric+heated+jacket%20%20

http://www.amazon.co.uk/PROsmart-HJ-27-50-Cordless-Battery-Powered/dp/B00PJX6YQW/ref=sr_1_25?s=clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1458599333&sr=8-25&keywords=electric+heated+jacket

It may take a bit of getting used to, as your face would still be getting cold, but not wasting energy heating the air is eco, as well as fuel smart.

I did a bit of research in dividing up oldies & low income houses to reduce areas to heat with insulated panels, but so far it has come to nought.

Theres no getting away for a subject oft discussedon hpc, of much of the uk housing stock being unfit for purpose.

We need houses built of insulated SIPS panels like much of the rest of Europe that suffers cold winters. Bricks & blocks are a thermal bridge & not up to the job

Do you work for a SIPS company or something?

How do you avoid the catastrophic cold bridge at the wall floor junction with sips?

What reason are brick and block an unacceptable thermal bridge?

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If it's a privately rented property then they should move before next winter. That gives them seven months to find alternative accommodation that is properly insulated.

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If it's a privately rented property then they should move before next winter. That gives them seven months to find alternative accommodation that is properly insulated.

Indeed. Then someone who is accustomed to nature's temperatures can take the drafty place.

(Just got my gas bill: £30 for the quarter just ended, being the coldest part of the year. And that's with a huge bath and a mains-water-pressure shower where I don't stint myself).

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Do you work for a SIPS company or something?

How do you avoid the catastrophic cold bridge at the wall floor junction with sips?

What reason are brick and block an unacceptable thermal bridge?

No, I don't work for a Sips company.

I do have an interest, which I declared.

I did start a small unfunded community group called Cabinz, run by volunteers, which experiments with insulated panels for outbuildings & shelters, mainy to re-use industrial off cuts, otherwise land filled as waste.

This was mentioned on a couple of previous posts & the blog url is on my hpc profile http://www.cabinz.net

May I ask what type of Sips panels you are talking about that have a ' catastrophic cold bridge at the wall floor junction with sips' ?

I had a quick google, is this due to any condensation issues ?

Certainly great care needs to be taken to seal SIPS correctly

My understanding is that the thermal bridge is minimised in osb / pir foam Sips walls as the osb overlaps a Pir foam insert. So the foam is virtually a continuous envelope. This is why they are used is Passive Haus designs

Perhaps this link will help - Avoiding Thermal Bridging with Structural Insulated Panels https://terrahaus.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/avoiding-thermal-bridging-with-structural-insulated-panels/

As mentioned by Bucky Fuller in the c.1930s , Houses are just too heavy, and require an enormous amount of energy, resources & money to transport & construct them by hand.

He compared it to a car, made in a factory. A much more effiecient product, greatly reduced in price & improved in performance.

My main bug bear is the weight of the BB house making it almost impossible to insulate it from the cold ground.

Perhaps lighter BB could be put on sips foundations to solve this ?

How to Build a SIPs Foundation

I started a thread a few months ago comparing commercial building , now mostly built with steel frames & Sips, to houses built with brick, ( I cannot find link now)

This dealt with some of the Sips v bb issues.

From memory conclusions were that uk builders / house buyers were v. conservative, unable to change.

House builders & bank Vi's made more money building with bricks & brick co's were powerful

Btw, did you ever find a link to the Hpc'er house thread you started as you mentioned here?

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/208359-an-ideal-house-designed-by-and-for-hpcers-cant-remember-a-thread-on-it/page-2

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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The bed in the child's pink bedroom doesn't look to me as if its braced for cold nights. We use 2 duvets in winter (not this winter though), wear socks in bed, and you can see your breath when you exhale in the house. Mold, where it occurs on very cold surfaces, is controlled (not eliminated) by a dehumidifier and a wipe with bleach once a month. Their house, as an example, doesn't look too bad tbh.

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Yes, the catastrophic risk of condensation forming at the sole plate 1) because its a thermal bridge and 2) rotting the structure that supports the house. Particularly an issue with SIPs as both inner and outer faces of the panel are structural. Hoe do you intend to eliminate that? Its not just the cold issue you have to worry about and unfairly comparing the UK to colder European nations. Part of problem is large, sudden and frequent changes in humidity. You can alleviate some of these issues but form what I have researched, it is not a typical detail in residential SIP building i.e. SIPs have bad practices just like the traditional methods you deplore.

You cite SIPs being proven to be better than other methods but you often cite commercial use. I would make a claim to say that commercial SIPs building are somewhat larger than residential SIPs building. Large building typically have a greater internal volume to external surface ratio than small building i.e. houses. In these cases, it is less important that the structure of the building be thermally efficient than the level of air tightness and keeping the warm air in the building. Here SIPs do have an advantage over traditional brickwork methods but the structural make up of those building is not usually great (A typical 120mm SIP?) and can easily be matched both with traditional brick method, timber frame, even something like ICF. In residential cases it may be preferable to go for a better insulated not as quite well air tight structure than just a one sixe fits all, SIPs rulz. What is the design life of a SIPs house?

I'm also not sure what the issue is with ground insulated slabs. How does 300mm of insulation under/over a slab not insulate from the ground? SIPS is no panacea, still requires the correct design in the first place and then the correct construction to get those benefits and traditional methods (brick AND timber) can be made to be just as effective with the correct detailing. My experience of the building industry is exactly the same that they're backward looking and slow to innovate.

As to the off topic thread, it was not as reverent in general as you would like

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I'm replacing some roof insulation and last night spent the night under an uninsulated ceiling. It wasn't particularly cold, down to about 4 degrees but it certainly felt cold in there. Its amazing what some simple measures can make.

Having spent 4 years in a single skin, single glazed incredibly draughty house, my sympathies lie with anyone who has little choice but to rent such a house. Owners however need to stump up or move out.

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