Helpful advice for insulating your home this winter

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The chill in the air alongside the ongoing global effort to tackle climate change has got us all thinking about how we can save energy in our homes and businesses. Taking the time to insulate your home is one of the best ways to save energy and money. Plus, it will add value to your property too. Let us take a look at how you can do it.

Your walls

The more external walls you have, the more energy you will be losing. It also depends on whether they are solid (typically older houses built before the 1920s) or built with a cavity and therefore easier to insulate. Shockingly, a third of all the heat lost in an uninsulated home, seeps through the walls. By properly insulating walls, whether they solid or cavity walls, you will save energy and be sure to notice a dip in your heating bills as well.

What is the difference between cavity and solid walls? A cavity wall consists of two walls with a gap in between (the cavity), and the outer layer is usually made of brick, and the inner layer is typically brick or concrete. Solid walls are exactly that…solid. No cavity, just a single solid brick (or stone) wall.

The Energy Savings Trust has some great advice on how to work out what kind of wall you have, types of insulation, costs and expected savings

Your roof

when it comes to your roof, you can either choose to have a warm loft (where the insulation is directly under the roof) or a cold one (where the insulation is on the loft floor and blocking heat that is rising up through your home). Some home insulation options, such as laying fibreglass, you can do yourself. Alternatively, a specialist will advise you regarding boards, panels, loose-fill or blow-in materials.

Are you eligible for a government grant to help pay for the insulation work? It is definitely worth checking.

If you are considering a loft conversion or home extension, your loft conversion specialist should ensure your roof and walls are insulated in the best possible way to ensure maximum heat retention is achieved in your new living space.  Our thirty plus years in business has provided us with in-depth knowledge within the insulation landscape and we work alongside some of the biggest suppliers in the industry to achieve impressive results for our clients.

One of our recent projects, The Institute, Oxford, required us to convert an uninsulated historic period building originally constructed in 1860, into a modern, energy efficient four-bedroom, two storey, residential dwelling.  We needed to minimise headroom loss with insulation in both the floor and pitched roof of the property which meant that selecting the right product was vital, there were also a few challenges to factor in resulting from the fact that retrofitting insulation into period properties is notoriously restricting. For this project we knew that Recticel (one of our trusted insulation suppliers) would have the solution we needed to meet the required U-valve targets (U-values measure how effective a material is an insulator and therefore how successful it is at reducing heat loss). We successfully managed to minimise headroom loss and met the U-valve target, much to our customer’s delight.

Draught-proof where you can

Nobody appreciates a draught blowing on their neck when they are trying to relax on the sofa. Draughts will let in the chill, no matter how high you have your thermostat dial turned up. Filling the gaps around windows and doors is one of the most cost-effective ways of keeping your energy bills low. You might want to also consider investing in some heavier curtains or some window shutters. Interior window shutters are a fantastic way of preventing heat loss in your home, mainly because they function as a barrier against chilly air entering a room.

You may also benefit from running a draught excluder along the bottom of your doors. The old-fashioned snake-shaped designs are long gone…there are many fantastic, modern draught excluders and door stops on the market now that will help you stay snug and improve your day-to-day comfort during the wintertime.

Other useful insulating tips

Insulating tanks, pipes and radiators, cylinder jackets, foam tubes that wrap around piping and reflector panels that slide behind radiators on external walls will all save energy.