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Home improvements: 6 insulation methods to save energy and money

Published by on June 14, 2021

Energy-saving home improvements are a great way to help the environment whilst protecting your wallet! The easiest method of improving your house is to install home insulation. By making some simple changes, you can save energy and reduce your heating bills.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of house insulation and explain why insulation is one of our favourite energy-saving tips!

Cavity wall insulation

A cavity wall is constructed from two separate thin walls, resulting in empty space between them. Cavity wall insulation fills this gap with materials that prevent heat transfer, by capturing the cold air within the cavity and reducing heat loss. 

This type of insulation is fantastic for home improvement, as it helps to make your home more environmentally friendly. Up to 35% of energy can be saved through cavity wall insulation, meaning that the right insulation can have an impressive impact on your carbon emissions.

You can tell if you have a cavity wall based on when your home was built. The majority of homes built after the 1930s will have exterior cavity walls, as this was a popular technique adopted back then. The brickwork offers a tell-tale sign: if your bricks have an alternate pattern of long and short bricks, your wall is likely solid. Cavity walls tend to have an even brick pattern instead. In any doubt, an experienced cavity wall insulation team will be able to inspect your home and make an assessment.

Cavity wall insulation costs relatively little in comparison to the savings you can make on energy bills. You could save up to £250 a year on heating bills alone, giving you a payback within 5 years at most.

Internal wall insulation

Internal wall insulation is the application of insulation to the inside of external walls, helping to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulation can be added in a variety of ways with a stud wall, dry lining, or flexible thermal lining, helping to prevent cold air from entering your property. As your home will be nice and toasty, this means you won’t have to have the boiler turned on as often so that you can actively reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint.

This type of wall insulation can be used if you have solid walls. You can tell if the wall is solid from the brick pattern or if your home was built before the 1920s. Another way to tell is by measuring the width of the wall when looking at an external window or door. If the brick is under 260mm, it is likely to be a solid wall.

Internal wall insulation is particularly suitable when there is a need to uphold the external appearance of your property, for example, if your home is a grade listing building. It is worth noting, however, that internal solid wall insulation usually reduces the floor area of the room it is applied to. You can lose approximately 100 millimetres of room space per wall depending on the type of insulation installed.

In terms of price, internal wall insulation costs anywhere between £4,000 to £16,000. Whilst this may seem like a lot, the amount of money you save in the long term will make it worthwhile. Additionally, in some cases, properly insulating your home can also help to improve the overall value of the property.

Loft and roof insulation

One of the best home improvements you can make to your property is loft insulation. With heat naturally rising, a poorly insulated roof or loft space can increase your bills by as much as 25%. Proper loft roof insulation prevents the heat from escaping so that you don’t have to use as much energy to keep your home cosy.

Loft insulation is installed by laying mineral or glass wool between the joints in your loft. The first layer is laid between the horizontal beams that make up the floor of your loft before another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists. Don’t worry about losing storage space, as you can still have a usable attic by laying boards over the insulation and adjusting the levels of the joists – which is a service we proudly offer here at Heat Insulation!

The cost of loft and roof insulation is relatively low. Government funding and helpful schemes are available for those meeting specified criteria, meaning it could cost you next to nothing!

Room in roof insulation

Is your loft conversion too cold to make proper use of it? Room in roof insulation is the perfect solution. This type of insulation replaces standard lost insulation normally seen in an unconverted space. It is estimated that 25% of all heat loss from an uninsulated home is through the roof. This makes insulating the roof space one of the most cost-effective solutions to improve your house.

Essentially, you need to fill the spaces created around the walls of the room. Loft room insulation is installed between the joists and behind the walls of the new room that you have created. In a pitched roof, insulation between rafters may be required. This creates a blanket effect, trapping heat in the empty spaces.

You can check if the room in roof insulation has already been installed by simply inspecting the joints of your room in the roof to see if there is insulation wool. If there are boards underneath this, then you may need to lift one of the boards to check.

In terms of cost, room in roof insulation is comparable to loft and roof insulation. Again, the cost is often covered by Government grants and schemes, making it relatively inexpensive.

Draught-proofing

Draught exclusion is one of the most simple yet effective home improvements you can make. There are small gaps between the frames of windows and doors, which let cold air in and hot air out, resulting in wasted energy.

Other areas draughts can be found include:

  • Loft hatches
  • Electrical fittings
  • Suspending floorboards
  • Pipework leading outside
  • Ceiling to wall joints

Whilst draught-proofing can be done yourself, in most cases, it is best to consult with an expert. Trained draught-proofing technicians, such as those here at Heat Insulation, understand how air needs to flow in and out of your house to stay fresh. They know how to properly install draught excluders in a manner that avoids disrupting the ventilation of your property.

Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you on average between £10 to £50 per year. As there won’t be a chill, your home will feel comfortable at a lower temperature, saving you a further estimated 10% off of your heating bill.

Cavity wall extraction

Clearly, using the different methods of implementing heat insulation into your home greatly improves your property. In some circumstances, however, removing insulation is actually the key to improving your house.

Cavity wall insulation removal is necessary when the insulation previously used is no longer effective. This may be for a number of reasons such as insulation getting wet due to flooding, incorrect installation, or when pieces fall out when replacing windows. Whilst it isn’t always obvious if your insulation no longer works, you’ll typically be able to tell if your energy bills increase or if you have cold areas on your walls.

Making use of cavity wall extraction is important for improving your home. Removing old insulation helps to prevent damp, reduces the amount of heating you use, and increase the property value in the long run.

Cavity wall insulation removal costs vary depending on the extent of the damage. Before the work is carried out, a property technical survey is carried out to identify the issues. Upon completion, a purpose-built insulation removal system is used to collect all the insulation that occupies the cavity. In an average-sized property, It usually takes up to 2 days to complete with two technicians and a separate labourer to ensure it is done safely.

Final thoughts

Each of these insulation methods is a great way to save money and improve your home! In addition to helping the environment, you’ll be able to save on energy bills by decreasing your energy consumption. With cavity wall insulation alone you can save up to £250 a year, giving you a payback within just 5 years.

To begin saving money on energy bills, get in touch today to discuss the best insulation methods for your home. Our friendly teams are excited to help you on your home improvement journey and give their expert advice!

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