How to reduce energy consumption in period homes

Simple draught-proofing may be all you need to keep the heat in, but care also needs to be taken with windows. Chris Wood, head of building conservation and research at English Heritage (EH), fears that the energy-saving lobby is encouraging huge numbers of owners of Victorian and Georgian houses to have eco-makeovers, and that thousands of lovely old windows will be lost for ever. This has been exacerbated by a marketing drive from double-glazing salesmen offering plastic-framed units as energy-savers.

‘Many original timber sash windows have lasted more than 200 years, and are capable of lasting another century,’ comments Dr Simon Thurley, EH’s chief executive. ‘It’s a waste to throw them away unneces-sarily.’ Research carried out on windows rescued from a skip by EH shows that they keep heat in much more efficiently after some repair.

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