As the weather warms up, it can seem a little strange to think about how to keep your home warm. After all, you’ve just turned your central heating off for the first time since last autumn and you probably don’t plan on turning it on again until October.
But the central heating isn’t the only way you can warm up your property and these warmer months are the perfect time to focus on insulation. Read on to find out why.
Why insulation is important
If it’s been a while since you thought about how your home is insulated or you’ve only recently moved in, it’s worth taking the time to look at the insulation that’s in place so you can decide what needs to be updated.
It will be time well spent as insulation is one of the most energy efficient additions you can make to your property. This is because it keeps the cold out during the winter and the heat out during the summer.
It does this by creating a thermal barrier, slowing the flow of heat out of a room in the colder months, meaning you won’t need to turn your central heating on as early in the year as you would if your home wasn’t properly insulated. In the summer months, this happens in reverse. Most of the heat is outside, so the insulation will prevent it from passing into your house, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
As well as saving energy, insulation can save you money. According to the Energy Saving Trust, just insulating under the floorboards on the ground floor of your home could save you around £45 a year on your energy bill.
Why focus on insulation now?
The warmer spring and summer months are the best time of the year to make updates to your insulation. Doing this before you reach a point where you need to switch the heating on again will give you a chance to make sure you have the right amount of insulation in place before the temperatures dip again.
Additionally, you’re more likely to be able to book in an installation expert at this time of year. Many people rush to make updates to their home before the cold months return, meaning it can be tricky to book an insulation installer in the autumn, but you’re more likely to get an appointment now.
What can be insulated?
There are several areas that can be insulated. How much insulation you have and where you focus on will depend on what works for your property as well as your budget.
For instance, you may want to focus on the loft before you do anything else. Heat rises and escapes quickly though the roof, so getting this insulation in place before the winter returns is a great starting point. The cost of this will depend on how much needs to be added and how much old insulation needs to be removed, but you can expect to pay around £350 for a three-bed semi-detached house.
Other areas that can be insulated include floors. New houses are likely to already have insulation in place, but if you’re in an older property, you might wish to invest in this option. It can be expensive, however, so it’s worth making some simple updates instead, such as adding rugs.
Cavity walls is another area that can be insulated. This insulation is a fibre material that can be added to the gap between the two walls of your house. It’s usually a relatively quick and easy job and can be completed for around £500.
If your property was built before 1920, it’s not likely to have the cavity wall that modern properties have. You can still get solid wall insulation, however. Here, a layer of insulation is fixed to either the inner or outer wall before being covered with plasterboard if it’s added internally or render if it’s added externally. This can be more expensive than other types of insulation, with starting prices at £5,000 for internal solid wall insulation.
Whatever type of insultation you need for your home, you’ll need to budget carefully to make sure you can cover the costs. It’s an investment in the long run as it can save energy, as well as money for you on energy bills.
What are the benefits of good insulation?
As well as maintaining heat levels in the home and making the property energy efficient, good quality insulation has other benefits. These include reducing the risk of condensation and mould, helps to reduce your carbon footprint as you’re less likely to need the heating on for so long, and it can make your property more durable.
What type of insulation will you add? Will you start with the loft or are you thinking of covering the whole house?