Insulation: Perrey advises on when to insulate your home
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With gas and electric prices on the rise, homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more energy-efficient. The good news is, there are lots of ways that you can prevent heat loss from your home, which will ultimately improve the running costs of your property. Then once you have identified the key areas of heat loss, there are a whole host of products available that have been designed to prevent heat loss in both new and old properties.
Experts at Northern Energy said: “Many people believe that heat only ever flows upwards. This is not the case. Heat is actually capable of flowing in any direction.
“This means that any part of your home that is not properly insulated will allow for heat loss. We call this process heat loss, and it results in higher fuel bills for many thousands of UK home owners every year.
“Well insulated homes almost always pay less for fuel. To effectively insulate your home, you must address all the main sources of heat loss.”
The four main sources of heat loss consist of the roof, walls, windows and doors and floor.
According to the specialists at GOS Energy Heating, “the best course of action” to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to install loft insulation.
They said: “It’s affordable and easy to install, and the payback from doing so will take no more than two years on average.
“Loft insulation remains effective for 40 years. So, whether you’re there for the long run or looking to sell, the value of your home increases after installation.”
They argued that, even if your loft is inaccessible, there are other ways to insulate it, such as through the use of blown insulation. They explained: “The benefit is you end up spending less on your heating bills as the warmth is retained.”
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The type of walls in your house depends on when it was built, and the amount of heat loss it allows depends on which kind it is. Generally, homes built after 1930 have cavity walls. Anything made before this time usually has solid walls.
The experts said that cavity walls are “simple to insulate” as the cavities are filled with insulating materials which quickly get the job done and slow the transfer of heat to the outside of the house.
However, when it comes to solid walls they are “slightly more complicated to insulate”. They explained: “The lack of a cavity means either internal or external insulation must take place, which can be costly.
“Fortunately, there are grants available to help cover the cost of solid wall insulation. Wall insulation is something worth doing if you want to use less energy and save money.”
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3. Windows and doors
Contrary to popular belief, windows and doors actually account for the least amount of heat loss in the home.
It is true that draughts are more noticeable when they are coming through windows and doors.
However, these points of entry actually “account for very little” of the overall surface area of your home’s exterior, noted the energy experts and Mother Energy.
They said: “As most of this surface area is taken up by the walls and the roof, it is here that most of the heat is lost.”
If your windows are in good condition, you may be able to improve their efficiency by ensuring there are no leaks or by introducing draught proofing, while thick curtains can also help to improve your insulation. If, however, your windows are old and in need of an update, then replacing them with secondary glazing will prevent cold draughts and improve your soundproofing on top of limiting your heat loss.
Draught excluders around doors can save energy too. The installation of a draught excluder is easy and you can do it yourself, making this a great investment when reducing heat loss.
The amount of heat lost through your floor will depend on the age and the construction of your home. In older houses with cellars and stone foundations, the floor can account for up to 10 percent of heat loss, according to the experts.
Much like with your home’s walls, there are two types of floor – solid floors and suspended timber – which will determine your installation method.
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