Insulating your home can be one of the easiest ways to reduce your heating bills. Approximately 25% of your home’s heat can be lost through an uninsulated loft and approximately 35% through uninsulated cavity walls (twice this if the wall is solid) . For a typical property, it will only take a few years to repay the investment.
It is recommended that homes have 270 mm (10.5 inches) of loft insulation. This can be installed by a professional installer, or anyone with competent DIY skills.
Properties with a standard wall cavity (gap between the two layers of an external wall) can insulate this space using insulation blown into the wall through small drill holes. This can be carried out by professional installers. You can find accredited installers in your local area on the Cavity Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) or National Insulation Association (NIA) websites. If the cavity is narrow (less than 50mm wide) or unsuitable for typical insulation then the installer may need to use more complicated techniques or insulation types. Buildings with cavity walls usually have bricks with a uniform pattern, with bricks the same width (left hand image).
If your property has a solid wall then you can insulate it either externally or internally. There are a number of different types of solid wall insulation. For external wall insulation, boards are attached to the side of your property and can then be covered with a render or cladding. If your building is subject to strict planning restrictions, then you can insulate the inside of a room, although this will reduce the floor space. Find qualified contractors through the Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA). Buildings with solid walls usually have bricks with an alternating pattern or short and long bricks (right hand image).
There are two main types of floor that can be insulated: suspended floor, where insulation is installed under floorboards and solid floor, where insulation is installed between the floor and carpet. Having floor insulation installed can be disruptive because furniture and belongings will need to be removed from the room as work is completed. With underfloor insulation it is important to ensure ventilation to the joists and floorboards, and it may be worth considering draught-proofing.
More information about the likely costs and repayment periods for insulation on the Energy Saving Trust website.