Wall & Loft Insulation
Home insulation is material that can be added to different areas of your house to help your house retain heat. Fitting insulation means that less of the heat your heating system produces leaves your house, meaning that less fuel is needed to heat your house to the same temperature. This saves you money on your energy bills – as much as several hundreds of pounds a year!
The most effective forms of insulation are:
- Loft Insulation – This is generally easy and cheap to do and will result in an immediate saving; it’s like putting a woolly hat on your house! Typical saving: up to £175 a year.
- Cavity Wall Insulation – This is a form of insulation which is injected into the air gap in some types of wall. This is a very cheap but effective way of insulating your house. Typical saving: up to £135 a year.
- Solid Wall Insulation– If your walls do not have a cavity it is possible to add insulation either on the inside or outside of your house’s walls. This costs a little more but is very effective. Typically saving: around £445 – £475.
There is also funding available for wall and loft insulation under the ECO scheme. Under the HHCRO (Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation) part of the scheme you could get loft insulation and cavity wall insulation installed totally free of charge – see if you qualify for free insulation and apply on our HHCRO Free Insulation page.
- Does cavity wall insulation cause damp?
- No, as the cavity insulation is generally water repelling, meaning water cannot cross from the external wall to the internal wall via the insulation - the only way it could cross is if another obstruction is connecting the walls. Before installing the insulation, the empty wall cavities are inspected for obstructions with a special tool called a boroscope. Any obstructions are noted and cleared by the installers before the insulation is injected.
- What guarantee of workmanship should I look out for in a cavity wall insulation installer?
- Cavity wall insulation installers can sign up to a professional code of practice, such as those provided by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency, which guarantees the work for 25 years. The installer should carry out post-installation checks on both the inside and the outside of the property, and you will be asked to sign a form to show you are happy with the work.
- Are there grants available for cavity wall insulation and are there strict criteria as to who is eligible, like with loft insulation?
- There are grants available for cavity wall insulation available through the CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target) scheme, which is available through the energy suppliers. You can apply to any of the larger suppliers regardless of whether you're a customer of theirs. The scheme is now only available through British Gas and Scottish Power, as most of the scheme shave run out - apply now if you could benefit. The ECO (Affordable Warmth) scheme is due to replace CERT, and is currently operating, but has stricter criteria on who's eligible, focusing on less well off customers.
- I want to use my loft for storage, how can I do that if it is insulated to the depth recommended?
- You or your installer can instead lay down innovative loft boards called Space Board. These are insulation boards made from Polyfoam extruded polystyrene designed to be placed on top of the ceiling joists instead of the 170mm mineral wool insulation. You should still aim to lay down 100mm of standard insulation between the joists.
- I already have some loft insulation - do I need to install more?
- If your loft insulation is 100mm or less you would certainly benefit by having it topped up with more insulation to make it up to a 270mm thickness. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that top-up loft insulation can save the average householder as much as £60 per year at current energy prices.
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