How to insulate your home and save on energy bills
As the icy chill of autumn starts to bite, the universal cry of, ‘shall I put the heating on?’ echoes throughout the land. We try to hold out as long as we can, before our thoughts turn to the end of balmy summer nights.
It’s times like this the inevitable concerns about heating, and heating costs, really start to come mind. So to help with those bills, here are some tips and advice on how to insulate your home.
Draught proofing and draught excluders
There are many different ways to ensure optimum energy efficiency and keep heat in, but the simplest and most cost-effective way to insulate is draught proofing. Most houses will have problems with draughts somewhere along the line and the older the property is, the worse the draughts can be.
Among these ways of preventing drafts, there is the classic invention of the draught excluder, which sits at the foot of doors to hold back those cold gusts. These can be bought, but to be really thrifty you can make your own draught excluder stuffed with anything from rags to rice.
Old windows can also be a terrible source of draughts and replacing them can be costly. Plastic sheeting can be used as a temporary measure, helping to seal in heat and holding back the cold. If sealed correctly, this can be really effective, but it is just putting off the inevitable of replacing windows completely.
Cavity wall insulation
When looking for a real investment in heating for the home, cavity wall insulation can be one of the most effective ways of keeping heat in. It does require professional installation, but the results can make a massive difference to your comfort in the colder months. While it’s doing that, you’ll also be saving on your heating bills!
So what is cavity wall insulation exactly?
Between the outer and inner brickwork of a house is a gap, or cavity. This allows for air to act as a form of natural insulation. However, in very cold weather, this isn’t always effective, and further insulation is required. This can be a variety of substances, including glass or rock wool, polyurethane foam or polystyrene beads.
However, some buildings don’t have these cavities to insulate. So what do you do then?
What is solid wall insulation?
Solid wall insulation is designed to stop heat loss in homes when cavity wall insulation isn’t and option. Depending on preference, budget and personal taste, solid wall insulation can be fitted to the inside or outside of your house.
If having the outside walls insulated, there are optional facades available to suit the style of your home, particularly if it is a period building. There are some companies that can provide specific historical designs from Georgian to Edwardian styles.
Internal solid wall insulation can be more affordable then external, but it doesn’t come without its own considerations. There are parts of the fixtures and fittings to consider, such as plug and phone sockets, or even be prepared for a slightly reduced floorspace because of the thickness of the insulation.
Pipes and boiler insulation
One of the main worries people have during winter is freezing pipes and the chilling discovery that either a pipe has burst causing flooding. Insulating pipes reduces this risk, while helping to make them energy efficient and reduce heating bills. There are different ways to insulate when it comes to pipes.
This can be done by either insulating the pipe or the gaps around the pipes themselves. These are usually foam insulation, which comes as wraps or foam tubes to cover the pipe. To insulate gaps around the pipe, this can be done with different materials, with the most common being fibreglass or expanded foam.
In the same way, it’s a good idea to insulate boiler pipes to ensure they’re as heat efficient as possible. And while we’re on the subject of boilers, it’s also a good idea to get boiler cover and make sure it’s regularly serviced. A replacement boiler could run to a significant cost.