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Insulate Your Home and Save Energy: A Comprehensive Guide

Insulate your home and save energy: a comprehensive guide

Ashton Berkhauer
Written by  Ashton Berkhauer
4 min read
Updated: 09 Feb 2024

Read our guide to find out how insulating your home could save you money

Insulation is more than just a layer of material; it's a barrier that prevents heat loss through your home's roof, walls, and floor.

By maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round, insulation reduces the strain on your heating and cooling systems.

This not only prolongs the life of your boiler but also translates into tangible savings on your energy bills.

Moreover, the environmental impact is significant, as less energy usage means a smaller carbon footprint.

Just as important is the fact that with energy bills still sky high, it's a critical issue for homeowners to address.

Where does your home need insulation?

Insulation can be strategically placed in various parts of your home to maximize its effectiveness:

  • Walls: They account for a third of heat loss, but with cavity wall insulation, you can significantly reduce this. Cavity walls are exterior walls with two layers and a narrow gap in between. They lose less heat than solid walls, but can still be improved with insulation.

  • Roofs or lofts: A quarter of heat escapes here, but loft insulation can keep that heat where it belongs.

  • Floors: They might be underfoot, but don't overlook them; 10% of heat loss can occur here.

  • Draughts: Windows, doors, and chimneys can be sources of heat loss if not properly draught-proofed.

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Cavity wall insulation: filling the gaps

Cavity wall insulation works by injecting foam or mineral wool into the gap between the layers.

This traps heat inside your home in the winter, and keeps it cooler in summer. If your home has been built since the 1990s, you probably already have this feature.

However, if you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to check – a large proportion of eligible homes are uninsulated, so you have the opportunity to save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills.

Solid wall insulation: a solid investment

Buildings with solid walls lose considerably more heat than those with cavity walls – but the overwhelming majority of houses with solid walls don’t have insulation.

Solid wall insulation can be applied internally or externally, with external options being more effective but also costlier.

Loft insulation: sealing in warmth from above

Loft insulation stops heat from escaping from the roof of your home.

You can either insulate the floor of your loft – keeping heat inside your home – or, if you use your loft as a living space or for storage, you can insulate the inside of your roof.

Choosing the right insulation for Your Home

The best type of insulation for your home depends on several factors, including the structure's needs and wall type:

  • Blanket insulation: Ideal for lofts, made from fibreglass or mineral wool.

  • Loose fill: Perfect for topping up existing loft insulation, made from a variety of materials.

How thick should your insulation be?

Thickness matters when it comes to insulation:

  • The government recommends a loft insulation depth of 270mm.

  • For cavity walls, it's best to seek professional advice.

  • When it comes to insulating boards, the Energy Saving Trust suggests a thickness between 60mm and 100mm.

Cost-effective insulation options

Looking for the cheapest way to insulate your home? Fibreglass and mineral wool rolls are budget-friendly choices for lofts and stud walls.

However, for more complex jobs like cavity walls, professional services are the way to go.

Grants and free insulation: are you eligible?

The Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme may offer free insulation to those on certain benefits, such as Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Not all energy providers offer free insulation, but some may provide it even to non-customers, either fully free or partially subsidised.

Not all energy providers will offer you free insulation – but some will help insulate your home for free even if you aren’t a customer.

Depending on your circumstances and your provider, you might get insulation installed entirely for free, or you may get a partial grant to cover some of your costs.

Securing insulation grants

If you're eligible for an insulation grant, major energy suppliers can arrange this for you. It's recommended to make direct inquiries to ensure you get the assistance you need.

Insulating your home is a smart move that pays off in more ways than one. Not only does it contribute to a more sustainable future, but it also puts money back in your pocket.

With various options and potential financial support available, there's no better time to explore how insulation can benefit your home. Remember, a well-insulated home is a comfortable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective haven.

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