Loft insulation is a reasonably inexpensive and very effective way of insulating your home. An un-insulated home loses 25% of its heat through the roof, so you stand to save around £110 per year on your energy bills and a massive one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.
The heat in your home rises upwards and will eventually escape through the roof. By having sufficient insulation in the loft you can prevent this from happening. The heat will stay in your home, therefore keeping it warmer and using less energy.
Types of Insulation
There are two main types of loft insulation – blanket type material on a roll or loose granular beads.
The blanket insulation is typically made from fibreglass or mineral wool. The recommended thickness for this is 270mm. Most homes with insulation already fitted do not have anywhere near this depth of insulating material in place, so it’s worth checking and upgrading if necessary. Similar insulating material made from sheep’s wool, hemp or newspaper is available and whilst more environmentally friendly, be prepared to pay a lot more for it.
The loose granular insulation is not ideal for draughty lofts although it may be easier to install around awkward piping or joist areas or in lofts with restricted access.
The insulation is laid between and then over the joists on the floor. Walk boards can be laid on the joists to allow access to water tanks and pipes in the loft.
Is My House Suitable?
If you live in a house or a flat that has loft space then you should be able to install loft insulation.
If roll insulation is being installed it is simply rolled out between the joists and then another layer is placed over the joists to ensure that it reaches the required 270mm depth.
If you are having insulation that forms a floor to the loft the job involved in similar to laying traditional flooring.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
The cost varies depending on the size of the property. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that insulating a semi-detached house with 0 to 270mm loft insulation has a typical installation cost of £300 but can save you £140 a year.