Around half of heat loss in a typical home is through the walls and loft. To put that into context: the amount of heat lost in homes annually through un-insulated lofts and cavity walls is enough pay for 1.7million families gas bills for a year. By taking back control and insulating you can minimise the heat loss of your home.
Why insulate your home?
It’s simple: the better insulated your home is, the less energy you need to keep it warm – and the more money you’ll save in the long run.
When it’s cold outside, a well insulated, draught proofed house keeps warmth inside, to heat your home efficiently. This equals: lower bills, less waste; and for the environment: less carbon dioxide (CO2) one of the biggest causes of climate change. Insulation can also help prevent condensation on walls and ceilings and gives your home a more even temperature, all year round.
So, when it comes to insulation and draught proofing, the real question is: why not? In fact, insulation is so cost effective that it will soon be paying for itself over and over again, with payback starting much quicker than you might imagine. Insulating unfilled cavity walls now typically pays for itself in around 2 years, while topping up your loft insulation to the recommended depth of 270mm typically pays for itself within 6 years.
How does insulation work?
Heat loss occurs because heat naturally flows from hot objects or areas to colder ones. During winter, when your house is warmer than the air outside, heat will flow out of the house through poorly insulated solid surfaces such as walls, roofs and windows.
Properly installed insulation will create a barrier between the inside and outside of your home that will reduce the amount of heat being lost and keep more of it inside your home. This will help save you money on your heating bills, because your heating system won’t have to keep switching on to replace the lost heat and keep your rooms at a comfortable temperature.
What is the most effective form of home insulation?
Loft & cavity wall insulation are two of the most effective types. Around half of heat loss in a typical home is through the walls and loft, so it’s worth checking whether your walls and loft (if you have one) are insulated.
Cavity wall insulation is a fantastic way to significantly reduce the amount of energy you need to heat your home and could save you around £135 a year on your fuel bills.
Insulating your loft could save you around £175 per year on your energy bills if you don’t have any insulation there at the moment. If everyone in the UK topped up their loft insulation to 270mm, around £930m would be saved each year!
If you have solid walls you can either insulate them with external or internal insulation, saving you around £475 a year on your energy bills. Insulating beneath floorboards will reduce heating bills and improve the comfort of your home. You could save around £60 a year by insulating your floors. Gaps and cracks around floors and skirting boards are easy to fill yourself using a tube of sealant – reducing heating bills by around a further £25 a year.
Draught proofing works by blocking any gaps around windows, doors, walls and floors where warm air can escape from the room or the house. With fewer draughts, you’ll need less energy to keep your home warm – so draught proofing measures could save you around £30 a year on your heating bills. In most cases, draught proofing can be managed with ease by a competent DIY-er.
Won’t it take a long time – and make a lot of mess?
No, insulating your home doesn’t have to mean turning it upside down. It can take professional installers just a few hours to install cavity wall or loft insulation – with no mess and little fuss. And if you’re a competent DIY-er, you could even install loft insulation yourself.
What kind of savings should I expect?
LOFT INSULATION Loft insulation (0 – 270mm) Loft insulation (50 – 270mm)
Annual saving per year (£) Around £175 Around £25
Installed cost (£) Around £250 Around £250
DIY cost £50 – £350 £50 – £350
CO 2 saving per year Around 730kg Around 110kg
Annual saving (£) Installed cost £ Annual CO2 saving
Around £135 Around £250 Around 550kg
The Energy Saving Trust is the UK’s leading impartial organisation helping people save energy and reduce carbon emissions. We do this by providing expert insight and knowledge about energy saving, supporting people to take action, helping localauthorities and communities to save energy and providing quality assurance for good, services and installers.
Call your local Energy Saving Trust advice centre for free impartial advice: 0800 512 012
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