Heating costs are one of the highest expenditures of any household and with rising energy prices, most of us are looking at ways of reducing these bills as much as possible. By installing sufficient insulation inside the home, it's possible to cut all energy expenses in half - saving the average home well over £200 a year.
Insulation works by preventing heat escaping from your home. This means you use less energy to keep your home warm, therefore cutting fuel expenses. The temperature inside your home will be regulated, keeping it cosy and warm in colder weather and cool in summer.
Insulating your home also means you are doing your bit for the environment. By cutting down your energy consumption, you reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions you release into the atmosphere. This is one of several good reasons as to why you should insulate your home.
What you should install:
- Loft Insulation. This is a simple DIY task and relatively cheap to install. The thicker the insulation material you use, the less heat will be lost as it rises upward from the floors below.
- Cavity wall Insulation. This prevents heat escaping through the outer walls of your home. A straightforward task, which is carried out by a professional contractor who injects the gap between the cavity walls with a protective layer of insulation material. The whole project is completed within a few hours.
- Floor Insulation. This will stop draughts coming up from damaged or cracked flooring. Gaps between skirting boards and the floor are also a cause of these draughts. Remedies include the use of sealer adhesive to repair cracks and fill any gaps, and fitting insulation material under the floorboards.
- Draught Proofing. A very simple and cost efficient way of insulating your home and is easily carried out as a DIY task. The methods used range from blocking chimneys, using 'snakes' at the bottom of doors and sealing letterboxes to applying self adhesive strips on door frames and windows.
- Hot Water Tank Insulation. A very simple DIY task that involves covering the water tank with a protective jacket. This keeps the water in the tank hot and prevents the heat from escaping.
- Pipe Insulation. This is especially important in colder areas of the home such as the loft. Insulating cold pipes will prevent them becoming frozen during particularly cold spells, which can lead to them bursting and causing serious damage to your home. Hot water pipes that are insulated will keep water warm for longer, thus decreasing the need to use energy to keep it hot.
- Double Glazing. The most expensive of all insulation projects but extremely worthwhile for the protection against the elements it offers. New windows and frames are fitted with a layer of air between the two panes of glass. A very efficient way of keeping the cold out and the heat in.
Reasons to Insulate your Home
- Insulating saves you money. By installing insulation in your home, you can greatly cut fuel costs each year. The initial outlay can easily be recouped within a short amount of time, as insulation will pay for itself many times over. The average household will save several hundred pounds annually by installing sufficient insulation.
- Insulation saves energy. Installing insulation will keep your home much warmer; therefore, you won't need to use as much energy to heat it. Not only will you save on fuel but also on air conditioning or electrical fans in warmer weather.
- Environmentally friendly. Using less fuel is not only good for your pocket but helps fight against climate change and global warming by reducing your carbon footprint. Choose materials made from a sustainable source as an even greener option.
- Comfortable living. Insulation will keep the cold and draughts out in winter, making your home warm and comfortable. In summer the opposite is true, the heat from the sun is kept out, keeping you cool.
- Insulation increases fire resistance. Insulation products made from glass wool or stone wool are fire resistant, protecting your home from the dangers of fire.
Most home in the UK do not have sufficient insulation. New government legislation ensures new homes are provided with ample insulation as standard but if you're one of the many millions living in older housing, there are several insulation options for you to consider.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
Installing sufficient insulation in your home need not be expensive especially if you are on a budget. Many householders are entitled to a grant to cover some if not all of the costs involved. The government's energy review of 2006 entitles households on a low income to help with the expense of insulation, lighting costs and the provision of more efficient heating systems.
Subsidies are available for both loft and cavity wall insulation from British Gas as part of a Government Initiative, you will have to arrange a free survey to see if you qualify. It may also be possible to get free insulation under the 'Here to Help' scheme if your circumstances permit it.