In his monthly Green Life column, retired airtight technician Trevor Clark gives his advice on how to cut energy costs through heating efficiency.

This week, he makes a case for the ‘fabric first’ approach when it comes to energy efficiency measures.

There are two ways of looking at reducing energy costs [with regard to heating your home, office or workplace]:

1) Throw money at the solution (problematic)

2) Invest in a fabric first [when you carefully consider the design and construction of the building to minimize the energy needed to heat and cool the property] 

Yes, there is a cost to this fabric first approach’ and the cost is generally not seen in the building itself as most of the work is 'hidden' from view behind the surface decorations.

Like a new kitchen, bathroom or shower, the insulation, air tightness and ventilation all cost to install, and are hidden from view, but these 'unseen' performance upgrades are the most important parts of saving on your heating bills and will continue to save you money in the years to come, along with an increase in the value of the property you occupy as your home, office or workplace.