Is insulation really going to make a difference to my energy bills?

by Tim Deakin Domestic Energy News

Is insulation really going to make a difference to my energy bills?

It’s one of the most common tips offered to households looking to cut down their energy consumption and save on utility bills, but is home insulation really all it’s cracked up to be?

It’s 2019 and we use technology for pretty much everything. From doing our shopping to counting our steps, accessing our banking to reading the news, our whole lives are becoming more and more streamlined and digital.

And this extends to the energy industry, too. Features like smart meters are making it easier than ever to take control of your energy usage, while low-energy lighting and even renewable technologies are creeping into new builds.

Yet despite all this, insulation remains one of the primary ways to cut your bills. So, is a roll of foam really that effective?

Roof and loft insulation

Loft insulation is one of the most effective forms of insulation. In fact, a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home, and good quality loft insulation can be effective for at least four decades, paying for itself many times over.

There are a lot of factors to consider when insulating your loft, like whether there is any damp that needs addressing first. But the figures speak for themselves. The average installation costs £395 for a detached home, but saves an estimated average of £225 a year in energy bills.

Solid wall insulation

While cavity walls are made with two skins featuring a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them, solid walls do not feature the same air space. These external walls usually predate 1920, and are given away by their alternating brick pattern.

While both wall types can be insulated effectively, the cost difference between the two can be significant. The average price of insulating an external solid wall of a UK semi-detached home is around £13,000. However, in the long term it can also save you money. Solid wall insulation saves an average of £260 a year in a semi-detached home.

It can also reduce your annual carbon emissions by an estimated 1050kg, which is something worth considering in our current age of environmental consciousness.

Cavity wall insulation

Cavity wall insulation is significantly cheaper than its solid wall counterpart, and is possible in most homes built after 1920. Insulating cavity walls is so much cheaper, in fact, that most people can make back the cost in energy savings within five years.

For a detached home, the average cost of cavity wall insulation is £725, but the average annual saving is £255. Similarly, in a flat or apartment, cavity wall insulation costs on average £330, but can save around £70 a year.

A third of all heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls, so either of these options is worth considering.

Floor insulation

Floor insulation is another way to keep your heat in the house during the colder months, especially if you have bare floorboards. Insulating under your floorboards on the ground floor could save you around £40 a year.

This may not sound like a huge saving, but year after year, it adds up. Typically, insulation can cost between £520 and £1,300, but a detached home could see savings of £70 a year.

Draught proofing

Floor insulation is also an effective means of draught proofing, which is an important way to insulate your home and stop heat from escaping. One of the best things about draught proofing is that it’s cheap, especially when compared to some of the other insulation methods we’ve talked about. It can work to fill the gaps around your doors, windows, pipework, extractor fans, chimneys, loft hatches and floorboards. Draught proofing your chimney alone could save £15 a year.

So, despite our super smart, tech-driven lifestyle, it’s clear from all this that insulation – in all its forms – remains one of the most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your home.

What’s another way to cut your annual energy costs? Find a better deal on your utility bills. Start comparing energy tariffs today. Click here or get in touch by calling 0800 031 48 00.

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