Do you need extra insulation?

Do you need extra insulation? Here’s how to check

When it comes to keeping your home warm and cosy, insulation is the key. Getting rid of all those nasty draughts and maintaining as much heat as possible is of paramount importance, so here are several checks you can make to ensure hot air isn’t escaping unnecessarily.

Inspect your walls

According to EST Insulation, about a third of all heat lost in an uninsulated home is through the walls. This is because heat will always move from a warm area to a cold one, so it’s important to inspect your walls and find out if they’ve been insulated properly – if at all.

While modern houses built after 1990 tend to have wall insulation, older buildings are less eco-friendly and might need to be adapted slightly to retain warmth. The good news is most properties can be insulated easily, but first you must find out what kind of walls you have.

  • Cavity walls

If your home was constructed in the last 100 years it might have two layers of wall with a cavity in the middle – these are known as cavity walls. While the purpose of this cavity is to prevent rainwater from seeping through the wall into the property, unfilled cavities can let heat escape and should be filled in using a reliable insulating material such as mineral wool, polystyrene beads, or foam. This is not a job you can do yourself but there are many highly-qualified insulating professionals that’ll do it for you. Sure, you might have to spend a bit of cash but rectifying this issue could save you a lot of money in the long run and it’s worth checking out the Green Deal for financial help and support.

  • Solid walls

Very old properties tend to have solid walls which let twice as much heat escape as cavity walls. So, if your property has external walls that are made up of one layer instead of two, it’s certainly worth insulating them as soon as possible to retain warmth. Not sure if your walls are solid or cavity? Then ask for professional help or measure the width of the wall. Look at an external wall, window or door and if the width is less than 260mm then it’s likely to be a solid wall, while if it’s greater it’s probably a cavity wall. Solid walls can be insulated from the inside or outside of the building and could give you an annual saving of £460 a year for a detached house.

Check your loft insulation

Is your loft well-insulated? If you’re not sure there’s only one thing for it – climb up there and have a look. This might seem cumbersome but as a quarter of the heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home it’s important to do. Don’t worry if you find there’s very little or no insulation as there are many ways to rectify the problem and you can usually make these home improvements yourself using a high-quality lagging material such as loft roll. Bear in mind that most loft floors should have at least 270mm insulation and you’ll be on the right track.

Insulation can make all the difference to both your home and your bank balance, so make some checks today and improve your living standards and utility bills.

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