Opinion: Long-term solutions to insulate a home
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Environment
London boroughs recognised for London Warm Zone heating and insulation scheme
By Laura Harrison, SEO assistant, Fountain Partnership Ltd
Fuel poverty has become an increasing issue in the UK, with six of the biggest energy firms announcing that they have dramatically increased their prices. According to regulator Ofgem, energy bills have risen by 28% over the past three years – and it doesn’t look as though this trend is going to change any time soon.
Thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect just how much heat is lost and can identify the performance and quality of insulation in homes. Many homeowners don’t realise that they are actually increasing their energy bills even further because they are overusing their heating due to their homes being very poorly insulated.
So, with energy bills continually on the increase, what better time for homeowners to consider long-term solutions to keep their home warm and avoid fuel poverty? Many people are put off at the initial thought that these solutions come with a price tag. However, in the long-term, it will save homeowners a significant amount of money and is a worthwhile investment. Here are just a few insulation solutions that homeowner’s should consider implementing into their home to avoid getting trapped into paying enormous energy bills or living in cold conditions throughout the winter months.
According to Peterborough City Council, 33% of heat is lost through walls. Cavity wall insulation can significantly reduce heat loss and the government considers it as one of the most effective energy saving measures that homeowners can carry out.
A further benefit of implementing wall insulation in homes is that it’s an excellent way to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and with people looking to live more sustainably, wall insulation can be a big contributor to a greener lifestyle. According to studies, every square meter of cavity wall insulation will save more than a tonne of CO2 over the average lifetime of a building.
Although the initial price may seem too high for homeowners, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs and there are various grants and schemes available to help homeowner’s pay for the wall insulation.
Loft and roof insulation
As well as wall insulation, it is important that homeowners insulate their loft and roof. According to energy saving trust a quarter of homeowner’s heat is lost through the roof.
Like wall insulation, roof and loft insulation is an effective way to reduce your heating bills as well as reduce waste, making your home more eco-friendly. Loft and roof insulation is a worthwhile investment because it can last up to 40 years and as a result will pay for itself repeatedly during that time - it is estimated that loft insulation can save homeowners up to £180 a year and it only takes up to two years to pay back the initial cost.
Forget double glazing, triple glazing is an even better way to insulate a home. Triple glazing means that the home can stay even warmer, because any cold spots are completely eliminated. As a result, less energy is used in heating the house –being kind to the environment as well as homeowner’s pockets.
Although triple glazing costs can be 30-50% higher than conventional double glazed windows, a warmer home isn’t the only benefit. The three layers of glass, increases security levels and significantly reduces the amount of noise.
Eight percent of heat is lost through floors, therefore an excellent long-term solution to insulate a home is to invest in underfloor heating. This has become an increasingly popular choice for many homeowners with the UK under floor heating market currently accounting for around 5% of the total heating market. This figure is expected to continue rising - with a growth of 20% a year it is estimated that the market value will be as high as £90 million by 2016.
Underfloor heating is essentially a giant radiator underneath the floor and creates extreme comfort levels in homes due to its radiance. Again the initial cost of installing underfloor heating may seem high for many homeowners, but once installed, it has very low running costs and will save a significant amount of money on energy bills. In addition, an underfloor heating system is extremely eco-friendly as it requires natural sources and doesn’t emit any harmful greenhouse gases. There are lots of companies within the UK that offer this type of service including RA Brown who specialises in underfloor heating as well as ground source heat pumps in Norfolk.