Insulation is one of the key aspects of any good home; indeed, cosy insulation and warm heating are part of what makes a house a home. However, the problem is that many homeowners take their insulation as a given, choosing instead to focus on aspects such as updating the interior design of their home rather than the functional needs of the property. Poor insulation should be a priority as it can affect not only the living standards of the homeowners but also their expenses.
Below is a quick primer on what you need to know about home insulation, including its importance, the types of insulation available, and the cost.
Why UK homes need better insulation
A recent report by iNews shows that heat leakage is higher in UK homes than their European counterparts. In fact, the average British home has three times more heat leakage than any other home in the continent. Part of this has to do with the fact that Britain still relies largely on old housing, with many homes built before 1946 still in use.
Poor insulation also carries the risk of more people getting sick during the winter. Experts are already warning of an NHS winter crisis this year in anticipation of the slew of sicknesses that will come about once the cold sets in. Senior citizens in particular are most at risk, as they are much more likely to be living in old homes that don’t have proper insulation.
The types of insulation
Understanding the types of insulation available is where most homeowners get stuck. Roof, floor, and wall insulation are the common solutions a homeowner should look into.
The best insulation for the roof is to use insulation board or a foam spray between the rafters. While a costly renovation, it is the most effective way to avoid losing heat from your roof space.
A lot of heat can be lost through the floor, especially if the flooring is stone. If planning a major renovation, Real Home suggests underfloor heating, as this is an effective way to heat solid floors (such as stone). It is also an energy efficient way to heat the home.
When it comes to wall insulation, it depends on what kind of wall you have. HomeServe recommends cavity wall insulation as a worthy investment, especially since most modern homes are built with cavities. Homeowners can choose between Urea Formaldehyde foam, mineral wool, and polystyrene beads as a way to fill the gaps in between the inner and outer layers of your walls. As the name suggests, cavity wall insulation provides an effective barrier against heat loss in homes. The type of material you will end up using depends on your home, which is why professional consultation is recommended.
The cost of insulation
Proper insulation requires a bit of investment up front, but the yearly savings when it comes to energy costs, not to mention your family’s health, makes it well worth the investment. On the subject of cavity wall insulation, The Irish Examiner estimates that this solution typically costs around £300-700; some providers may also charge a consultation fee in order to survey your home beforehand. That said, the yearly savings for such can be up to £250 for a detached home and £65 for a flat. It therefore only takes a few years before you’ve made back the money from your investment, and proper insulation should last you well beyond that time period anyway.
Our post on Sound Reduction Explained highlights that proper insulation can do more than just keep your house warm. Thankfully, you don’t need extensive renovation and building experience to acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of home insulation. A solid grasp of these three key concepts can help you find the best insulation solution for your home.
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Submitted by Alyson Jackson