A properly insulated home will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer without you having to use too much energy. Insulating your home is one of the best things you can do to reduce your energy bills, putting less strain on your boiler, your budget and the environment.
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Insulation and draught proofing will help you control the temperature of your home and can even reduce noise pollution.
Some home insulation measures are low cost and will pay for themselves in less than five years. If you decide to rent or sell your home, its Energy Performance Certificate rating will be improved too.
How much heat you are losing will depend on the type of house you live in. Heat loss will differ between detached, semi-detached and terraced properties, and if you live in a flat the losses will be different again.
A typical house loses most of its heat through the walls and roof. Windows and doors come next as a lot of heat is lost because of draughts. The floor loses the least heat.
Investing in home insulation can help reduce the amount of heat lost in these areas and cut your heating bill significantly.
There are many types of insulation and some will be better than others. A good insulating material will trap tiny pockets of air within the larger material. Even cotton or wool curtains can be a good insulator around windows. Wooden doors and loft boards will also help keep your home warm. Other common types of insulation are polystyrene and spray foam.
Good insulation products do not just slow heat loss. They should also be physically strong, fire-resistant, non-toxic and mould-resistant.
Unfortunately, many materials common in building construction such as stone, brick and concrete, aren’t good insulators. This means home insulation is important if you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Most people assume heat rises but it will actually escape your home in all directions, even down! Making sure your roof, walls, floors, windows and doors are properly insulated can save you a lot of money.
Even if you live in a semi-detached, terraced house, or flat, it’s still a good idea to insulate your home well. However, you won’t be losing as much heat as a detached house.
A lot of heat is lost through poorly sealed windows, doors and chimneys. Draught proofing is a cheap and easy way to keep your home warm and save money.
Cavity walls are exterior walls with two layers and a narrow gap between them. You can usually tell if you have cavity walls by the brick pattern; all your bricks will be facing the same way. Cavity walls already lose less heat than solid walls but home insulation can still improve your energy consumption.
Cavity wall insulation works by injecting foam or will into the gap between the layers. This traps heat inside your home in the winter and will help to keep it cool in the summer.
Solid walls lose considerably more heat than cavity walls so insulating your home can make a huge difference to your energy bills. Solid walls are trickier and more expensive to insulate than cavity walls but you can save up to £435 a year on a detached house.
There are two types of solid wall insulation: internal and external. Internal insulation is cheaper but it does mean fitting insulation to the inside of your house so it can be disruptive and will slightly reduce your floor area.
External insulation means fitting insulation boards to the outside of your home. It’s more effective and you won’t lose any floor space but it’s also more expensive and can change the appearance of your home. If you live in a listed property or a conservation area you may not be able to get external insulation.
Properly insulating your home is one of the best ways to save money on your energy bills. It can save you hundreds of pounds a year!
Cavity wall insulation can save you up to £255 a year and solid wall insulation can save you an extra £435 a year in a detached house.
Loft insulation cuts the average energy bill by £135 a year and it tends to pay for itself in just over two years. Installing proper loft insulation can be a great low cost option.
Even smaller changes such as draught proofing your home can save you around £20 a year and it will make your home more cosy and comfortable.
Home insulation does not normally require planning permission. However, sometimes external wall insulation will require planning permission. If you live in a conservation area then even double glazing might require planning permission.
Even though you are unlikely to need planning permission there may be building regulations on your home. Make sure you check with your local council’s building control department before insulating your house.