You may notice that it becomes difficult to keep your home warm when colder temperatures start creeping in around October. This may mean your insulation is outdated, or you simply do not have enough in the right areas of your home.
In this guide we will help you identify the best places to place insulation, how it could save you on your home energy bills and how much it typically costs.
What is Insulation?
Insulation is like putting a jumper on your house. It keeps heat in your home and reduces the percentage of loss heat. What is often overlooked however, is that is keeps your home cooler in the summer and even combats noise pollution.
Its one of the best ways of reducing your energy bills if you’re on the right tariff.
Why is Insulation Important?
Your house, without insulation, lets heat escape. This means you pay more to try and heat your home up. You will waste a lot of the energy. A house without insulation can lose as much as 50% of its heat through the walls, roof and floor.
You lose a staggering 30 to 40% of your home's heat just through the walls alone. 25% of your escaping heat goes through the roof. Finally, your floor can leak as much as 10% of your heat. Insulation reduces the amount of heat that can escape from your home. Trapping the existing heat inside your house reduces the amount you need to produce to warm the space. This reduces your heating bills.
How does heat escape your home?
Heat can escape from your home in several ways. There are a few ‘common offenders’.
Heat naturally rises so it will move through your home to colder areas. This results in the warmer areas becoming cooler. This happens through:
This is heat moving through solid materials. An example would be heat leaching through your brick walls.
Heat moves from warm objects to cold objects. If you have a radiator on a cold wall, much of its heat will be lost into the wall.
Warm air rises. In a house without roof insulation, warm air naturally moves up and out of the house.
Cracks and gaps can allow warm air to be dragged out of the house and replaced with cold air.
How can you stop heat escaping?
The best way to prevent heat from escaping your house is to insulate it. You can insulate almost every part of your home, but there are key five areas to focus on:
You probably already have some roof insulation in your house. Most houses in the UK do. However, you can almost always increase the amount of insulation, or improve the type you use. A huge amount of heat escapes through the roof. Adding or changing your roof insulation is an easy way to keep some heat in.
Many houses built between the 1920s and 1970s have walls with cavities inside. This gap allows cold air to enter the house, and warm air to escape. You can fill the cavity inside your walls, and enormously reduce the amount of hot air that escapes. The average heating bill could reduce by £150 or more with cavity wall insulation.
Unfortunately, solid walls on older buildings are even worse for allowing hot air out. Increasing your solid wall insulation could save you £375 a month.
10% of your home’s heat escapes through the floor. You can affect this yourself, by blocking cracks in the boards, or putting down rugs. However, a full layer of underfloor insulation can easily reduce your heating bills.
Doors and Windows
Older doors and windows let a lot of heat escape. Getting them replaced can help reduce your energy wastage.
What types of insulation are there?
There are as many types of insulation as there are ways to use it. Which types you use depends on a few factors. Firstly, if you are using a contractor, such as a builder, they may have a favoured type of insulation. This is worth paying attention to – as experienced insulation fitters know what they are talking about.
Fitting insulation to different parts of your home can also require different types of insulation. This is worth checking with a professional, even if you are doing the fitting yourself.
Finally, you may be fitting insulation to help combat climate change. Some types of insulation are themselves more environmentally sound than others. Foam or polystyrene based insulations are less green. Sheep’s wool or other natural insulators are more environmentally friendly.
How much money can you save with insulation?
Any insulation you apply to your home should help you save some money. However, the amounts can vary significantly. It all depends on a few factors. Firstly – what state your home was in initially. If you have a very modern house, you are likely to be quite well insulated already. An older house is less likely to be well insulated. Therefore, the amounts these two houses’ bills will change is significantly different.
Secondly, the amount you can save money on heating with insulation depends on what you did. Even a tiny amount of work, like filling in cracks and gaps, or draught proofing your windows can reduce your bills. Major work could reduce your costs by £250 a year or more.
How much does insulation cost?
Again, the amount that insulation costs can depend on what you want to do. Draught proofing your windows costs only a few pounds to get the necessary equipment. Insulating your pipes can be another cheap way of reducing your heating bills.
Major work, like wall or floor insulation can be much more expensive. While you will likely have earned back the difference in bill savings after a few years, it can be hard to afford the initial outlay of adding insulation. Roofing insulation can, for example, cost around £500. Cavity wall insulation can also cost another £500. It quickly starts to add up.
The government’s Green Homes Grant can give you up to £5,000 to help towards the costs of insulating your home. You can use this money on all sorts of insulation improvements.
How else can you save on heating costs?
You’ve insulated your home from rafters to cellar. You’ve draught proofed your windows, and filled the cavities in your walls. Yet – you’re still paying more for your energy than you would like. It might be time to switch energy suppliers.
With Love Energy Savings’ easy calculator, you can compare and contrast different energy suppliers. Find out what you need, and who might give you a better price with ease. At Love Energy Savings, we help you find the best deals on your energy supply.