Insulation

A well insulated home will keep plenty of warmth inside and unwanted cold on the outside. Good insulation means that you will use less heating as your home will be able to keep itself fairly warm. It also helps to stabilise the property’s temperature during summer, keeping out the intense heat that can created by the sun. A vast percentage of your home’s heat can be lost through the loft and walls. Further insulation measures can be added on tank and pipe insulation, draught proofing and double glazing.

Cavity wall insulation is a relatively expensive home improvement, but it is quick and clean to carry out. Although it costs about £4.70 per square metre of wall, (around £479 for a three bed semi); you may be eligible for a £200 grant from the Energy Saving Trust. It is also argued to save you about £100 on heating bills.

Several holes are drilled into the external wall, and the insulation is blown/injected into the cavity that exists between the inner and outer brickwork leaves. The holes are then re-sealed with little suggestion that work has taken place. The insulation combines with the still air and creates a barrier to prevent energy escaping; as insulation works both ways cavity wall insulation will help keep your home cool in summer as well as warm in winter.

Standard loft insulation can be self-installed, but should be to a depth of 270mm to achieve maximum insulation. Again, it helps to keep generated heat within the home and stabilises heat during hotter summer months.

Fibreglass matting is purchased in rolls 400mm wide, and can be lain out quite easily (with gloves and a dust mask on) by rolling it across the loft. Loose fill insulation materials can be bought and installed in a DIY version or be professionally installed. For home insulation, mineral fibreglass or vermiculite are bought in bags and can be poured between joists or in any awkward corners. During specialist installation, a contractor will blow mineral wool or cellulose into the loft.

To prevent losses from your hot water cylinder, a British Standard insulation jacket can be bought from your local DIY store. For maximum benefits, it should be at least 75mm thick to reduce heat loss by about 75%.

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