A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Insulate Your House

You don’t need a major home makeover to banish the chill. In fact, the solution is simpler and more cost-effective than you think: insulation. It keeps the cold air out during winter and traps the cool air inside in summer. So, you can enjoy a comfortable temperature in your home all year round.

Less need for heating or cooling means less energy consumed. And less energy consumed translates into reduced utility bills. Insulation can also prepare your home for new technology like heat pumps that use less fossil fuels. 

Since energy bills are expected to stay high, it’s a good idea to insulate now while there are grants available from the government. This article will show how to insulate your house and make it energy efficient. 

Check the Energy Efficiency of Your House

Almost all homes on the market since 2008 have an EPC. It provides a detailed analysis of the property’s energy usage and areas that could be enhanced. 

To access your home’s EPC, you can look it up on the government’s official EPC Register for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the Scottish EPC Register, run by the Energy Saving Trust, has this information. Both websites also list qualified Domestic Energy Assessors to help with any further queries or assessments. 

An ECP is only valid for a decade. Getting an updated EPC is usually not too expensive, though. For most homes, it’s around £60 to £120.
A home energy audit with a knowledgeable assessor is better if you can invest more money. After a thorough evaluation, you’ll get expert advice and a tailored plan to make your home energy efficient. 

Here’s how to do a quick DIY home energy audit in 4 steps:

  • Look for insulation in your loft, walls, and under the floor (if possible). Your hot water tank and pipes should also be insulated.
  • You have to stop the drafts. Are there any gaps around doors, windows, and anywhere else air might leak in? 
  • Make sure your heating system is working well and the controls are set correctly.
  • Switch to LED bulbs everywhere, including appliances and outdoor lights.

This table can guide you further through the process. Here’s how to insulate your house:

Home Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Details

Upgrade windows and doors

Consider double-glazing to prevent heat loss.

Insulate your hot water tank and pipes

Use cylinder jackets and foam pipe insulation.

Install reflective panels behind radiators

Prevent heat loss through external walls. It’s great for uninsulated solid walls.

Focus on These 3 Areas for Maximum Home Insulation

Stop throwing money at the heating bills and fight back with targeted insulation! Let’s check out the three key areas that have the biggest impact on insulation in your house. 

Walls

If your home isn’t properly insulated, you’re losing heat right out of the walls. Detached houses are more affected than mid-terraced homes or flats since all their four walls are exposed to the chilly air. 

So, what can you do? First, figure out what kind of walls your home has. Different types need different insulation solutions.
A quick tip: your house’s age can give you a hint.

If your house is one of those charming century-old homes, it probably has solid walls made of brick or stone. There are both internal and external insulation systems for these walls.

A house built after 1920 will likely have cavity walls. That’s two walls with a gap in between. As long as the gap is at least 50mm wide, you can get insulation installed.

The modern 1990 homes usually have insulated cavity walls already, so you’re good to go. But if your home is built with steel or timber, or if it’s a pre-made concrete setup, you will need professional advice from an insulation expert or retrofit coordinator.

Floors

Did you know your home could be losing as much as 15% of its heat through the ground floor? Insulating the ground floor can prevent that heat from slipping away. 

While upper floors normally don’t require insulation, there may be circumstances where it can come in handy. For instance, if you have a room directly above an unheated space, like a garage, insulation could make a big difference in keeping that space comfortable. 

Your floors are either suspended or made from solid stone or concrete. If you have suspended floors that sit above a gap, you can insulate them with rigid boards, mineral wool, or spray foam insulation. 

For solid stone or concrete floors, you need to lay a layer of rigid insulation on top. Your house may have both types of floors as well. In this case, you can use different insulation methods for different parts of your home.

Roof or Loft

Whether you’re living in a big, detached house or a charming little bungalow, there’s a good chance you’re losing some precious warmth through the roof. You don’t need a huge budget to insulate your roof. You can make your home energy efficient with 270mm of loft insulation. 

If you’re living under a pitched roof, you’ve two options. One is insulating at the joist level, which we often refer to as loft insulation or a cold roof. Or, you could go one step further and insulate at the rafter level. This is known as a warm roof. You can use different materials for this, like insulation rolls, rigid boards, or even spray foam.

As for flat roofs, you can insulate them in three different ways. You can choose a warm deck, a cold deck, or an inverted roof. 

Efficient Heating Solutions for Well-Insulated Homes 

Right now, gas and oil boilers, while on their way out, might still be your best option. Just make sure you pick the most efficient one and learn how to use those controls and thermostats effectively. But if your house is super insulated and you’re ready for a modern upgrade, you can switch to a low-carbon system. The UK government has grants for air source heat pump installations to help homeowners with sustainable heating options.

Final Words

Insulating your house can increase energy efficiency and reduce your bills. A well-insulated home doesn’t need as much heat, so you can opt for a heating system with a lower output. You can also explore low-carbon alternatives for long-term sustainability.

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