Our questionable summer has surrendered and we are now heading towards a chilly winter! One of the most effective ways of keeping your home warm during the cold season is to ensure it is properly insulated. Furthermore, energy efficiency is a key aspect of all Home Reports, making insulation a worthwhile investment for prospective sellers.
Below are our top ten tips for keeping cosy and cutting costs.
- Determine what types of insulation your home already has and whether you could benefit from more. In older homes, loft insulation can usually be seen between the ceiling joists, whilst a series of patched holes on exterior walls is a tell-tale sign of blown-in cavity insulation. It is recommended that loft floors have at least 270mm of insulation.
- Get a survey carried out on your home by the experts – many companies offer this service for free and can offer no obligation quotes for recommended improvements.
- Take the construction and position of your house into consideration when weighing up your options – wall insulation can’t be installed into timber frame houses, and detached, semi-detached and end-terraced properties can lose a large proportion of heat through exterior walls.
- Consider the best type of insulation for your requirements. The most widely used insulation materials are mineral wools, made from melted down glass and rock that is spun into fibres. These come in rolls of different widths and thicknesses for quick and simple DIY installation, or can be produced as more rigid lightweight slabs for installing into the cavity walls when building new houses. Loose mineral wool can also be used to fill cavity walls and is blown in through a hole drilled in the wall after it is built.
- In an uninsulated home, up to a quarter of heat can escape through the roof, therefore installing loft insulation is one of the most cost effective ways of improving energy efficiency. A surprisingly quick and easy job, rolls of mineral wool can be bought at most DIY stores and easily laid within a few hours without professional help.
- If you’ve ever noticed that morning frosts stop six feet away from your property’s walls, that’s because heat has been escaping from your home all night. Installing some wall insulation could have a big impact on energy and cost savings. Modern homes are built with a space between the internal and external walls, and filling this gap can help to minimise heat loss. One of the most common methods involves blowing insulation material into the cavity through a hole drilled in the outer wall. This must be done by a professional installer, but is a simple procedure with great results.
- If draughty floorboards are an issue, laying some insulation underneath them and applying sealant to any gaps can help keep cold toes at bay. A thick underlay is a simple way to increase the effectiveness of carpets and laminate flooring.
- Double-glazing is an obvious option when it comes to keeping your home toasty, however, it is also an expensive one. If you can’t afford to replace your widows or want to retain your home’s original features, sealing any gaps between panes and frames and creating a barrier with some thick curtains can help prevent heat escaping.
- Check for other crevices that might be letting cold air in and look at ways of blocking these off – doorframes, fireplaces, letterboxes and loosely-fitted sockets can all be culprits.
- There is a huge range of grants out there to help subsidise the costs of increasing your property’s energy efficiency through wall and loft insulation. Do some research and see if you can find a good deal to keep your home heated.