How to insulate your home yourself to avoid heat loss and save energy.
Why is home insulation important?
Proper insulation is essential for any home, as it helps to regulate indoor temperature, reduces energy consumption, and ultimately saves money on utility bills. In addition to providing a comfortable living environment, insulation also has environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable living. Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, insulating your home is a crucial investment that can have a significant impact on your quality of life and the planet.
In the UK, heating and cooling buildings accounts for almost 40% of the country’s energy consumption, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Proper insulation can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, which translates to significant cost savings and reduced carbon emissions. In fact, the UK government has set a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and improving the energy efficiency of homes is a crucial part of meeting this goal. A report by the Committee on Climate Change estimates that by 2035, 19 million homes in the UK will need to have improved insulation and other energy-saving measures installed to meet the net-zero target. Therefore, insulating your home not only benefits your own financial and physical well-being, but also contributes to a more sustainable future for all.
What types of insulation should I use?
There are various ways to make your home more cost and energy saving with insulation installed, but first, we encourage you to find the type of ways to insulate your home that fit you, whether this is through wall insulation, foam insulation, and more. What works best for you depends entirely on several factors such as the type of property, budget, and personal preferences.
Foam and wool insulation
Foam and wool are two popular types of home insulation with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Foam insulation is typically made from polyurethane or polystyrene and is sprayed or injected into walls or cavities. This rigid foam insulation has a high R-value, meaning that it’s highly effective at preventing heat loss. It’s also water-resistant, so it won’t absorb moisture or rot over time; this is why you may find it around the area you keep your boiler, or under the floorboards where your radiator pipes go underground.
Mineral wool insulation is typically made from sheep’s wool, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice due to its eco-friendliness. Wool is highly effective at preventing heat loss, and it has a high R-value. One of the main advantages of the wool option is that it’s eco-friendly, as it’s made from natural materials. It’s also easy to install, and it can be removed and replaced if needed.
You can insulate a house like this without reaching out to a professional with these easy steps:
- Measure the areas around your home that you want to fit before you install insulation, so you can be aware of how much wool you will need to keep your home warm.
- Prepare the areas of your home by removing any old insulation or debris that may be present.
- One of the best ways to fit eternal wall insulation like this is to cut the wool to fit the size of the area you want to fill. Use a sharp utility knife or insulation saw to make precise cuts.
- Push a generous amount of the insulation into the spot until it is at a tight fit. Poor insulation will allow heat escape, which is what you are looking to avoid. Make sure to use gloves and a dust mask when handling the insulation to avoid irritation.
When it comes to wall, loft, roof or floor insulation, you will be expected to undertake a variety of different different process’ depending on what you wish to achieve.
Solid wall insulation involves adding insulation material to the inside or outside of your property’s external walls. This is a popular option for older homes that don’t have cavity walls. There are different types of solid-wall insulation, including internal and external insulation to the wall.
If you want to do wall insulation yourself on a solid-wall, it’s important to note that it can be a complex and labor-intensive process that requires a lot of expertise and specialized tools, so we encourage you to reach out to a number businesses such as Green Home Systems or EWS when you are looking to make changes to your existing home.
Cavity wall insulation: This involves adding insulation to the gap between your home’s external walls, this should help reduce heat loss and make your home more energy efficient by default, so say goodbye to the extra charges on your heating bills this Winter.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, cavity insulation for your walls could save you up to £160 per year on your energy bills. This is because it helps to prevent heat from escaping through the walls, keeping more heat in your home.
Loft insulation: This involves adding a layer of insulation to the floor of your loft or attic. According to the Energy Saving Trust, installing 270mm of loft insulation can save you up to £225 per year on your energy bills. This is because loft insulation helps to prevent heat from escaping through the roof, keeping more heat in your home.
Floor insulation: This involves adding insulation to the ground floor of your home. According to the EST, floor insulation can save you up to £60 per year on your energy bills. This is because it helps to prevent heat from escaping through the floor, keeping more heat in your home.
Window and door insulation
When you insulate your house, it’s good to consider every option, including upgrading windows and doors. Because insulation is usually already installed into your windows and doors when you move, unless you live in an older building, this just means potentially adding to the thickness of insulation in your doors and windows. This can be done in variety of ways, for example:
- Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping involves applying a strip of material, such as foam or rubber, to the edges of windows and doors to seal gaps and prevent drafts. Weatherstripping is a simple and affordable way to improve energy efficiency and can be installed using self-adhesive strips or nails.
- Caulking: Caulking involves filling gaps and cracks around windows and doors with a waterproof sealant to prevent air leaks. Caulking is particularly effective for smaller gaps and can be applied using a caulking gun.
- Window film: Window film is a transparent film that is applied to the surface of windows to reduce heat loss and improve insulation. The film is applied using an adhesive and can be removed easily if needed.
- Insulated window panels: Insulated window panels are removable panels that are installed on the interior of existing windows to provide an additional layer of insulation. The panels are typically made from acrylic or polycarbonate and can be installed using magnets or adhesive strips.
When installing door and window insulation, it’s important to ensure that the surfaces are clean and free from debris before applying any materials. Additionally, it’s important to choose insulation materials that are appropriate for the size and shape of your windows and doors. If you’re unsure about installing insulation yourself, it’s recommended to hire a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.
Draught excluders are a simple yet effective way to reduce your energy bills and keep your home warm. Draughts can enter your home through gaps around doors and windows, causing heat to escape and making your home feel cold and uncomfortable. Draught excluders work by filling these gaps and preventing cold air from entering your home.
There are a variety of draught excluders available, including:
- Door snakes: Door snakes are long, weighted tubes that are placed along the bottom of doors to prevent draughts from entering. They can be made from a variety of materials, including fabric, wool, and silicone.
- Window sealant: Window sealant can be used to fill gaps around windows to prevent draughts. It’s a simple and affordable solution that can be applied using a caulking gun.
- Draught excluder tape: Draught excluder tape is a self-adhesive tape that can be applied around doors and windows to seal gaps and prevent draughts.
Home insulation grants
There are a variety of UK grants available to help homeowners reduce their energy bills by insulating their homes. Here is a list of some of the grants available for different types of insulation:
- Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme: This government-backed scheme provides funding for low-income households to install energy-efficient measures such as roof insulation, cavity wall insulation, and solid wall insulation.
- Green Homes Grant: The Green Homes Grant provides homeowners with vouchers to help pay for energy-efficient improvements around the home, including insulation. The grant covers up to two-thirds of the cost of the work, up to a maximum of £5,000.
- Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): The RHI provides financial incentives for homeowners who install renewable heating systems such as ground source heat pumps or biomass boilers. These systems can help to reduce energy bills by providing warm air to the home.
- Local council schemes: Many local councils offer their own insulation grants to residents to help improve energy efficiency in their homes.
- Warm Homes Fund: The Warm Homes Fund is a national fund that provides grants to help low-income households access affordable warmth. The fund can be used to install insulation and other energy-saving measures.