Easy-fit letter box draught excluder

Month: June 2014

Retrofit energy efficiency

Ecoflap - retrofit energy efficiency

An Ecoflap retrofitted to a PVC door in a 1930s house

Retrofit energy efficiency “national infrastructure priority”

We were very interested in this UK Green Building Council article today “Home energy efficiency must be a “national infrastructure priority”, major coalition urges”. The article focuses on an open letter to the government, specifically Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, signed by 20 organisations across the environment, housing and construction sectors, urging heavy investment in retrofit energy efficiency measures.

Ageing housing stock

The letter emphasises Britain’s dire record on fuel poverty, excess winter deaths and cold, draughty housing stock, and comes as the group of signatories publishes the report A housing stock fit for the future: Making home energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority. The report sets out the wider economic benefits of increased home energy efficiency, eg job creation and decreased seasonal stress on the NHS, rather than simply lower bills for the individual, with an emphasis on retrofit energy efficiency for our rapidly ageing inter-war housing stock.

Low cost, simply installed and tremendously effective

Wherever you stand in the economic chain, increased energy efficiency, retrofit home by home, is undoubtedly desirable and beneficial and should be a priority. We entirely support this group’s calls for funding for retrofit energy efficiency, and would be very happy to play our part. Energy efficiency isn’t all about enormously expensive, disruptive and complex retrofit measures We recently heard a social housing official make two comments:

“nothing is cheap”

and

“boilers, insulation, double glazing: we’ve picked all the low-hanging fruit”

As a company providing a low-cost, simply installed and tremendously effective retrofit draught-proofing measure suitable for any house with a horizontal letterbox, no matter how old that house, we have to disagree. An Ecoflap complements and enhances any other energy efficiency measure. Insulate your loft, install a more efficient boiler and it’s only common sense to prevent that warm air getting out through leaky windows, but all these measures are slightly less effective if cold air is still coming through the letterbox and needing to be warmed up. If anything was ever low-hanging fruit, it’s an Ecoflap.

The waterproof Ecoflap

The waterproof Ecoflap under test conditions

The same design principles that make the Ecoflap so draughtproof also enable it to withstand high water pressure, as demonstrated in our video. The wood of the door let through water while the  waterproof Ecoflap resisted for the duration of the test.

We put the Ecoflap through its paces with 100 pascals of water pressure for several minutes – watch the video to see what happens. Please bear with the video as the quality isn’t what it might be but it demonstrates the point.

Flood defence

If you’re in a flood-prone area and have installed flood defence measures, you don’t need to worry that the letterbox is the weak link. An Ecoflap on the inside of your door will withstand a great deal of water, as it will only be pushed further shut the greater the pressure.

In an article from the Hull Daily Mail in December 2013, one Hull resident used anything to hand to try to block her letterbox, including cushions, as water gushed in, but sadly the water won and caused a great deal of destruction. In this article on the Somerset floods, water “gushing through your letterbox” is taken to be a predictable element of flooding, as it is in the comments on this article on ThinkinGardens. Pendle Borough Council recognises the risk posed by an ordinary letterbox and in an article no longer online advised sealing up letterboxes in the event of a flood warning.

The Ecoflap may not prevent your house being flooded in the event of very serious weather events, but it could buy you vital time and will without doubt play a significant part in your flood defences. And all the while we just have cold and windy weather to put up with, the Ecoflap will prevent draughts whistling through your letterbox and help to keep your house warm and your thermostat down.

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