How Much Insulation Do You Need?

For many people, talking about insulation at this time we are heading into the summer might seem strange. However, experts will tell you summer is the right time to insulate your home, and for obvious reasons:

  • You will be through with insulating your home by the time winter sets in;
  • Installers will be readily available during the summer to do your installation than in the winter when most people are doing the insulation.

Now that you are ready to carry out insulation in your home, do you really understand how it works? Many people don’t understand the science behind the insulation.

How Insulation Works

In simple terms, insulation is a way to prevent heat gain or heat loss by creating a barrier in two parts that have significant temperature differences. Buildings require help to maintain their energy efficiency by utilizing varying insulation options available.

By insulating your home, you can maintain your home warm during the winter and keep it cool during the summer, while also minimizing your heating and cooling costs.

Remember that by insulating your home, you are not doing so to keep the cold out but to reduce the loss of heat from your home. Often, installing insulation doesn’t need planning permission. However, there could be some exceptions if you live in a conservation area or if you need to install exterior insulation to your property.

According to insulation suppliers in UK, there are varying insulation types, with each having a specific R-value that denotes its effectiveness to retain heat in the building.

Types of Insulation

Insulating your home not only helps in cutting down your energy bills, but it also helps the environment. But with different types of insulation meant for different areas of your structure, the process of choosing the insulation type can feel like a daunting task to do.

To make it easy for you, we have compiled different types of insulation. By understanding each type, you would be able to choose the one to use.

1.       Loft Insulation

You should prioritize this type of insulation since a quarter of the heat is lost through the inadequately insulated roof or isn’t insulated altogether. Insulation normally comes in rolls, batts, or loose in bags, and you may find it hard to fit some compared to others.

2.       Roof Insulation

This type of insulation is typically done if you convert your loft into a room. The roof is usually insulated by insulation materials like rigid insulation panels, which are put between the rafters or foam.

3.       Wall Insulation

It comes in varying types, depending on the kind of wall you are planning to insulate. They include:

  • Cavity wall insulation – this consists of two walls with a space in the middle. Typically, one wall is made of concrete, and the other is made of brick.
  • Solid wall insulation – houses built before the 1920s have solid walls. Solid walls can be insulated by adding internal or external insulation. Internal insulation is done by applying rolls of insulation to the walls. This usually cuts some of your floor space.

4.       Floor Insulation

If there are gaps in your floor, they will allow heat to escape and compromise your home’s energy efficiency. Floor insulation can be done in two ways; solid floor insulation or suspended floor insulation.

5.       Crawl Space Insulation

You can use mineral roll or loose-fill insulation to insulate your crawlspace. However, if there is existing ventilation, you can utilize mineral wool but cover it with a vapor barrier afterward.

6.       Ceiling Insulation

This is best done when building a new structure, or when the home is being renovated since you need to get rid of the entire plasterboard ceiling.

How Much Insulation Do You Need?

If you have already installed 270mm of loft insulation (any material), you won’t benefit from a top-up. The installation and material costs would be too high compared to the few bucks you will save per annum.

On the other hand, if your installation is less than 75mm, you can make significant savings with an attractive ROI of around ten years or less. The cost/benefit of 350mm of insulation is very marginal but may come in handy if you spend a lot on heating.

Where to Insulate

Not sure where to insulate? There are many places to insulate than you think. Besides attics and walls, you should install insulation in ceilings with unheated spaces, floors over unheated porches or garages, basement walls, cathedral ceilings, knee walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, and in between interior walls- especially ceilings, floors, and bathrooms. The aim is to create a ‘thermal envelope’ with no penetrations.

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