We are constantly being reminded to insulate our homes and with good reason given the UK has some of the most poorly insulated housing stock in Europe. Last year, over 31,000 people died from cold weather related illnesses which highlights the scale of the problem in the UK and the need to make sure we protect the vulnerable.
Heat Loss and Where to Insulate
The problem facing many households today will be what to insulate and what they can afford. For low income households, there is the Energy Company Obligation scheme which aims to insulate and improve the efficiency of households. Any households can also take advantage of the Green Deal, a loan scheme designed to help householders pay for insulation and energy efficiency improvements up front and then pay back the loan via their energy bills. However, whatever scheme a household uses, it is worth actually understanding where most households lose heat so that insulation can be prioritised in these areas.
A study of a mix of European homes suggests that heat loss occurs as follows:
Walls – 35%
Roof – 20%
Windows – 15%
Ventilation – 15%
Floors – 10%
Doors – 5%
It should be remembered that this is a study of a mix of housing and there will be differences according to the type of house you live in. If, for instance, you live in a mid-terrace property, the heat loss from the walls will be less because you have fewer external walls. The same is also true if you live in a flat. However, this data does give homeowners some help in where to focus spend on insulation. It clearly shows that if you do live in a detached property, you are going to get more benefit from looking at cavity wall insulation than insulating your floors or windows.
How Much Will You Save by Insulating Your Home?
So, when considering insulation for your home, consider the above data and focus your energies on the areas of your home where heat loss is going to be the greatest. The savings can be quite considerable so you may find they pay for themselves relatively quickly. Below are some examples of the typical savings you can make by insulating your home:
Cavity wall insulation – up to £140 per year
Solid wall insulation – up to £460 per year
Loft insulation (assuming you have none) – up to £180 per year
Draught proofing doors and windows – up to £55 per year
Floor insulation – up to £60 per year
Data from The Energy Saving Trust.
This data clearly shows that there are big savings to be made by insulating your home and we hope, armed with this information, you are able to prioritise your spend and start to reap the benefits of a warmer, efficient home.
The Energy Company Obligation Scheme for Low income Households
The Green Deal funding for improving the energy efficiency of your home.