It’s easy to think that finding the lowest domestic energy prices is it and the battle to save as much money as possible is well and truly won. But did you know that with the help of home insulation, you could scratch even more money off your monthly utilities?
Here’s our definitive guide to home insulation.
Home Insulation: What is it?
Home insulation is the best way to not only keep your home warm and cosy in those cold winter months, but also cool in the summer. It can also really help to combat noise pollution, particularly if you live in a built-up area.
Insulating your home is a surefire way to save money on your energy bills, blocking out any pesky draughts that occur in common places around the house. But how much do we know about home insulation, its benefits and what’s available?
How does heat leave the home?
It’s surprising to discover how much heat can be lost throughout the home. There are four main ways in which it can escape. They are:
Air movement - This is the draught you experience within any room in the home. This is often warm air escaping the most important rooms in your house, like the bedroom or living room.
Radiation - This is the heat you feel when you are near a radiator, fire place or other source of heat. This is actually infra-red radiation - not dissimilar to things like radio waves and UV, which are all forms of electromagnetic radiation. So, these can move around and ultimately leave the home – this can be analysed by taking infrared photos of your property.
Conduction - This is heat leaving your home through the exterior. This could be via wood, brick or metal.
Convection - This is the rising of hot or warm air in the home. This will often result in there being lots of air circulating in certain rooms and forms the principle behind central heating radiators.
Which insulation should I choose?
There are a wide variety of insulation products available on the market, all carrying a variety of benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most popular choices.
Probably the most popular choice for house insulation. It’s easy-to-roll qualities means most people can install it without having to call in a professional. The downside to blanket insulation is that in most cases it is made from sheep's wool, which is usually expensive. And although alternative materials to sheep’s wool that are used, such as recycled glass, are cheaper, they are irritable to the skin, so care and attention is needed when installing.
This is by far the quickest method of insulation, but needs to be done by a professional. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive methods around because its versatility means it can be installed within any loft, especially cramped ones where the use of blanket insulation is virtually impossible.
One of the ‘greenest’ solutions on the market, usually made out of cork, wood and straw, its thickness makes it one of the most high-quality insulation choices. It can also be stylishly hidden within in any loft, when finished with a plasterboard covering.