Irish houses & Energy Efficiency

Why has there only been a move towards energy efficiency this in the last few years or so?

Why have builders only discovered insulation (proper levels) in recent times?

I’m just amazed at the crap housing stock we have in this regard.

I have to admit before I bought I was a bit ignorant to this area - I think for any FTB it’s well worth reading up in this area.

Stuff like massive holes in the walls with non closable vents really is shocking - yet you look at the bedrooms of lots of the housing stock and you see them.

Someone else made the point on another thread made that buyers, particularly FTBer’s massively underestimate a good Ber (for all its limitations), and I couldn’t agree more.

While there are diminishing returns as you go further up the BER/improvements ladder - I wouldn’t fancy living in any less than a D for any length of time and there can be very significant costs upgrading. Yet there are houses less than 10 years old that fall into this category - crazy really.

Retrofitting airtightness seems to be next to impossible unless you’ve a huge budget.

Even now it seems people don’t have a clue - you have posters on building new houses to an airtight standard then putting in wall or window vents rather than a mhrv system.

Why do we not (try) future proof houses rather than just build them for ‘now’.

Because that involves the painful business of thinking. :frowning:

Minor tangent, but I’m seeking suggestions for alternatives I can retrofit on my hole-in-the-wall vents.

With old iron windows, wall insulation probably wasn’t worth it.

Also, people were hardier in bygone days.

Thread here and my solution at bottom


PM me if you’ve any questions.

Hardier yes - still it was never much fun getting changed for school under the bed sheets or having single pain glass that needed to be towelled down each morning due to massive condensation.

I see houses less than 15 years old though with minimal attic insulation, poor wall insulation, massive hole in wall vents.

They then have expensive enough double glazed windows/composite doors installed - seems a bit pointless really when a gale can blow in through your wall.

There’s a Heat Recovery solution that involves dual vents switching venting direction every minute or so.

The heat of the air expelled in minute 1 is used to heat the incoming air in minute 2

I was told is was the way forward but can’t vouch.

On the phone so don’t have link to hand

I think this is it
Vario Vent duo.

It has been discussed on boards iirc

Any recommendations for heat pump supply in Ireland?

I’m not sure heat pump & efficiency belong in the same sentence !

The Ground sourced ones seem to have a very long payback period, & they’re only worth considering anyway, if your an A-Rated house, because they’re only able to deliver a small amount of heat flow.

Yes I have experience of these modern poorly insulated buildings. My previous place was a duplex built in the mid-2000s and had a BER of B2 yet behind the plasterboard of the bedroom walls, there were gaps to the outside world in which you could stick your hands through. The bedrooms were 3 storeys up so very exposed to the elements and would regularly become mouldy - all the neighbours had the same issue.

I got an air to water system last November and have been very happy with it. The brand was Thermia. Round the clock hot water is costing me around 12 - 15 euro per month in the summer. The best thing is that you never run out again. I had gas previously and it was costing me around €3,000 over the winter months.

What about your ESB costs? (up much as a result?)

€3k over winter months alone - what size house?

I had one €400 bimonthly bill (with 2 newborns in house) and I nearly had a heart attack.

I spend under 3k on ESB a year (in a bad winter) for a ground source system in a 260sq m house. That’s my only utility bill. As I work from home, it’s a big saving for me, I reckon.

I sold an apartment a while back that was listed (but didn’t know a BER wasn’t required so waste of money). Anyway, the walls were really thick & it got the worst rating despite being really cosy, warm in winter & cool in summer. It had storage heating & the walls went against it! It had insulation, double glazing etc so I was v surprised at the result.

We now have a house with a basement bedroom & we need those vents (that don’t close- got 2 put in) for ventilation - still would prefer better air exchange but window faces the road so don’t like opening it much.

Is this connected up to all your radiators? Was thinking of seeing if I could get the folks to install as the few days down home over Xmas last year left an indelible mark on me :frowning:

Irish houses are a crock of shit, poorly built, badly designed, and unregulated. Like the country

Building insulation standards have been jacked up for last 20 years. There is only a certain este you can force the industry up without effectively doubling prices and putting half the industry out of business at the same time. Irish standards compare favourably with other european countries and i suspect the world.

Enforcement especially during the boom was an issue-but one that has been somewhat now addressed-though arguably not in the best way

I saw someone on the pin complaining/wondering if foreign architects can práctica un ireland, the answer is yes and no, depending con what you mean, but the no is because ubique standards are very difficult for an outside person to máster on their own. One can’t have it both ways.

Agree the standards are now good but that’s a recent thing. My house is less than 15 years old and has a bit of rockwool in the walls and is about as airtight as a kettle.

It seems to be a recent thing the efficiency thing, meaning the vast vast majority of stock is awful.

And as I mentioned even with new builds people are left to their own devices re vents in walls and windows.

The air tightness standards are quite low (levels allowed too high) also.

I could count the houses around me on one hand with solar, a stove or any real form of insulation.

Not really-they have to have some input from a BER consultant to comply.

But you would have to really up the insulation to compensate if you used the minimum- which would be a more expensive option. So in practice it is not too low.