Ways to insutlate your home



Ways to insulate your home


You could be wasting a lot of heat and money if your home is poorly insulated. Around 50% of heat in a house escapes through the roof, walls, windows and floors if a building not insulated. Well insulated homes need less energy to heat up and could stay warmer for longer. So, spending some money up front could lead to lower energy bills and a home that’s greener too as lower energy usage results in less carbon being put into the atmosphere.

There are a whole host of simple, quick, cheap and effective measures that can be done with minimal disruption. These include draught proofing windows, doors, and disused chimneys (foam strips, draught excluder brushes and chimney balloons), wrapping insulating material around heating pipes or a special insulating jacket to your water tank or placing insulation on the back of loft hatches. Climate action website One Home has created a useful video with some easy ‘fit and forget’ energy saving tips which can be fitted quickly and with relatively little cost.


After you've taken some simple steps to reduce heat loss, it could be time to look at your roof, walls and floor. You don't need to do them all at once and may find that some of it is already well insulated.


  • Roof or loft insulation

    Why is it important?

    A quarter of heat can be lost through an uninsulated roof, according to Energy Saving Trust (2022).

    Heat rises, so a poorly insulated loft or roof space will let heat leak out of your home. Cold outside air can also cool your house if it gets into roof spaces.

    Insulating the roof of am average sized detached house you could save £590 on annual bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust’s October 2022 figures.

    What type of insulation do I need?

    As with the other forms of home insulation covered here, the type of insulation you need will depend on your property.

    Pitched or flat roofs and whether the space is used for anything are just some of the factors that will determine what you can do.

    How much could it cost?

    The cost of loft insulation will depend on what your home needs, but installing loft insulation for a typical home will range between £590 to £890, according to the Energy Saving Trust’s October 2022 figures.

    You could also save money by fitting loft insulation yourself, if you know it's safe to work in the space and are sure there are no existing problems.

    Speaking with a professional could help you avoid any issues with electrical fire risks, damp or blocking necessary ventilation by mistake. Go to the Trustmark website to find tradespeople who are part of this Government-endorsed quality scheme, or from the National Insulation Association network.

  • Wall insulation

    Why is it important?

    Walls account for as much as a third of all the heat lost in homes, according to Energy Saving Trust (2022). Cavity wall insulation is one way of reducing this heat loss in un-filled cavity walls. Alternatively, insulation can be installed internal or external to solid walls.

    What type of insulation do I need?

    Houses built from the 1920s/30s onwards usually consist of two brick walls with a space, or cavity, between them. If the cavity has no insulation, or is poorly insulated, then heat is more likely to escape through the wall.

    Houses built before the 1920s are unlikely to have a cavity, as building techniques then involved just one solid wall. So, cavity wall insulation would not be an option. Solid wall insulation can be fitted either inside your home using solid boards or outside using external cladding, but is generally much more expensive option.

    If your house was built in the 1990s or after, modern building standards mean they will have insulation in the cavity already.

    If you’re in any doubt, a builder or energy assessor would be able to tell you how your walls are constructed and explain insulation options if you don’t have a cavity wall.

    How much could it cost?

    The cost of cavity wall insulation will depend on the size of your home and the type of insulation. Budget for around £22 - £26 per square metre for foam insulation, or £13 - £18 per square metre for glass wool insulation according to Checkatrade (2022). A qualified tradesperson will explain what type of insulation suits your home and how long it will take to fit.

    Solid wall insulation is much more expensive and disruptive to install than cavity insultation. For a three-bedroom semi-detached house typical installation costs of external wall insulation is around £12,000, compared to around £8,500 for internal insulation.

  • Floor insulation

    Why is it important?

    Your floors could also be a source of heat loss. Cool air circulating below your floor, deliberately perhaps for ventilation purposes or because of damage to the property, can make the rooms above colder.

    What type of insulation do I need?

    Just like wall insulation, your options will depend on your home, including how your floors are constructed and whether there is an accessible space below them, e.g., through an existing hatch or cutting floorboards to get access beneath.

    If you have floorboards with space below, then suspended under floor insulation could be an option. This works by fixing a net to the wooden joists your floor rests on, and then filling that net with insulating material.

    If the crawl space below the joists is accessible and deep enough to enter it might be possible for a fitter to do this with minimal disruption. Otherwise, you may need to clear your room of furniture and floorboards will be lifted to fit the insulation from above.

    If your flooring is laid on concrete, then you could install insulating board on top of the concrete. If you have a carpet, then a thicker underlay could add further insulation.

    As with walls, you need to make sure there’s no existing damp problems or a risk that the wrong insulation could lead to damp forming. Speak to an expert before any insulation work begins.

    How much could it cost?

    According to the Energy Trust, a typical floor insulation would cost between £1600 to £2900. However, the cost of suspended underfloor insulation can vary depending on how much time is needed to do the work, as well as materials, so get a few personalised quotes from professional installers.

  • Conservatory or Orangery insulation

    Why is it important?

    A better insulated sunroom could mean you use less energy and extend the use of the room throughout the year. Being made mostly of glass, conservatories and orangeries are great at trapping the sun’s natural energy during warmer, brighter seasons. However, during colder, darker periods, there’s less opportunity for them to warm up naturally. Without insulation, particularly in the roof, they will feel colder and any energy you use to heat it could escape relatively easily.

    What type of insulation do I need?

    Modern glazing has a much higher thermal performance than older types. If your sun room is old, you may be able to upgrade the wall and ceiling glazing.

    If the roof of your conservatory is in need of replacement, you could opt to have it replaced with something permanent that looks like rest of your home’s roof. Perhaps tiled, with loft style insulation added to retain more heat. If you don’t want to do that, there are companies that can supply and fit new glass panels for the existing glass roofs. For the glass walls, you could consider insulated curtains.

    How much could it cost?

    It depends which insulation options you want to go with and the size of your room. You should ask a qualified tradesperson to assess the space and suggest what choices you have. It’s worth getting a few quotes before the work gets under way.

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