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With 25 percent of heat loss escaping through the roof, 35 percent through walls, and 10 percent through the floors in an uninsulated property, now is the perfect time to check existing insulation or install it to save money on energy bills this coming winter. While the weather has remained fairly mild so far this month, cooler nights and frosty mornings may only be weeks away. And as temperatures drop, central heating systems will likely be switched on.
To help retain a home’s heat, property experts at Insulation Express are urging homeowners to inspect their existing insulation in preparation for winter.
The experts revealed that good home insulation can save homeowners more than £500 a year and how much extra they can expect to pay with zero or poor insulation.
The amount a homeowner can save by installing insulation in a property will depend on the type of insulation and the size of the property.
The experts claimed the average saving for each is as follows:
- Cavity wall insulation: up to £245 per year
- Loft insulation: up to £215 per year
- Floor insulation: up to £65 a year
Homeowners could save themselves an estimated £525 a year on their energy bills based on these figures.
Jenny Turner at Insulation Express said: “Many people are looking for ways to reduce their energy bills right now and a solution is to focus on where you will be losing heat in your home this coming winter – and to act now in preparation.
“To reduce the risk of heat escaping easily, we would recommend checking any existing insulation and areas of your property for cold spots, such as places where draughts can get in surrounding door and window frames.
“You can also insulate hot water tanks, boilers and pipes to make your system extra effective and to try to keep energy costs lower.”
The insulation experts shared five ways Britons can check their existing insulation to see if it’s up to scratch.
Many older homes in the UK often have insulation that is poorly installed or is under the regulatory amount.
Check for gaps
Homeowners who can easily access their loft can physically check for gaps in their existing insulation.
Insulation with gaps can reduce a home’s heating efficiency. Insulation should reach every corner of the loft with no gaps or shallow pockets.
Measure the depth of the existing insulation using a tape measure and make a note of the measurements.
Then, measure the spacing between the joists, beginning at the mid-point of one joist and measuring to the mid-point of the next one along.
Usually, the distance will either be 400 or 600mm. This measurement will then show what the width of the insulation needed is.
The experts said: “The ideal thickness depends on the type of insulation that you are using. For loft insulation, the recommended thickness for glass wool insulation is 300mm on new builds, 250mm for rock wool, and 220mm for cellulose.”
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Check for cold spots, damp and draughts
Cold spots, damp and draughts are more common in older properties. Damp and cold external walls could indicate a lack of insulation which means the heat will be lost in this area very quickly.
Homeowners can use their hands to feel along the wall to feel for dampness and other visible signs of mould and dampness.
If there are obvious signs of dampness and mould, this could indicate poor insulation in addition to a lack of ventilation.
If it is a cavity wall, polyurethane foam insulation can be fitted by a professional.
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Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
All buildings in the UK will have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which will outline the energy efficiency of the building.
On a scale of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), the certificate will show how well a home retains heat.
The EPC can be referred to if homeowners are looking for ways to improve their home’s efficiency. Certificates should highlight possible energy costs and can even provide suggestions for types of insulation homes would benefit from.
If a property scores on the lower end of the scale, then homeowners will know improvements need to be made.
Use a thermal imaging camera
This will help find cold spots on the external areas of the property with the heating on the inside. This is best used at night where there is better visibility.
The camera should highlight areas where the surface temperature changes from warm to cold.
Don’t forget flooring insulation
Homes do lose heat through their floors and there are ways this can be improved.
Seal any gaps between floorboards and skirting boards to reduce any draughts.
Solid floor and suspended floor insulation is available as polystyrene insulation boards and thermal floor panels.
For a cheaper solution, invest in thick rugs that will act as an extra layer of insulation, providing a barrier against draughts and trapping heat before it escapes, helping to keep the room cosy and warm.
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