The Best Ways to Insulate Your Home
There are several key areas which will affect how well insulated your home is:
- Roof / Loft
- Wall cavities
Roof / Loft Insulation
Heat rises, so if you want to keep it in your house, you will need a well-insulated loft or roof.
Most homes which have not had a loft conversion will have deep insulation laid between the joists above the ceiling on the top floor of the property. This insulation is usually quite effective as long as it is not too old or has not become compressed or damaged.
A loft which has been converted should also have insulation between the rafters on the underside of the roof, as well as between the ceiling joists. The insulation between the rafters is more likely to be a rigid type of foam insulation such as Kingspan, which will be thinner than the rolls of soft insulation used on the floor of the loft space.
If you have an older property with old insulation or a boarded loft which was done a long time ago and/or on the cheap, it is quite possible that your roof and loft are not as well insulated as they should be and would benefit from new insulation.
Walls make up the largest surface area of the exterior of a house and will obviously have a big impact on how warm it is in your home.
Traditionally, the walls in houses in the UK have two ‘leaves’ of brickwork, separated by a cavity. The outer ‘leaf’ or layer gets cold and wet, but the inner layer is kept warm and dry and the two are kept apart by an insulating layer of air.
In recent years, studies have shown that replacing the air in that cavity with an inert foam does a much better job of insulating your home. The UK government ran a programme for many years which allowed people to get their walls insulated for free, such was the improvement and saving on energy bills.
Exterior Doors can cause a tremendous amount of heat loss from your home if they don’t make a good seal when closed.
Older wooden front doors are particularly bad for this and a good way to remedy the problem is to buy insulating strips for the top and sides and a draught excluder for the bottom.
There are a variety of products on the market to improve door insulation, from some fairly hi-tech materials to a simple curtain, but just about any of these will pay for themselves in a few weeks with the amount of energy that can be saved from a very draughty door.
Windows represent a slightly different problem for the insulation of your home because they replace what is normally 30cm of brickwork and air / insulation with half a centimetre of glass.
Modern window units are better insulated than older solid wood frames because they are often hollow and limit the ability of heat to travel through it. The glass itself will usually be made of two or even three layers (triple glazing) each of which is separated by a layer of inert gas, to reduce the transmission of heat.
Buying new windows might take a long time to pay for itself in terms of energy saving, but it will almost certainly add value to your property if the existing windows and old, plus it will make you feel a lot more comfortable in the winter and reduce the likelihood of damp.