It is a known fact that insulating a house saves fuel and money. Other benefits which tend to be overlooked is that life becomes more comfortable. There are no more chilly corners; as the rooms will be free from cold draughts. Cold walls are eliminated and this combined with a warmer atmosphere helps to make condensation less of a problem.
If changing from one heating system to another, insulation will save a great deal of money, because a less powerful heating system will be required. It has been shown that it is possible to reduce the boiler size by fully insulating a house. Good insulation also reduces the amount of time that the heating is necessary, as well as reducing the level at which it will need to be set to maintain a comfortable living temperature.
Before dealing with full insulation it is useful to know where heat escapes from a house and how much is lost. These figures will vary from house to house depending on the design, materials of construction, and exposure to winds.
It can be assumed, however, that in a typical uninsulated house three-quarters of the heat that is generated inside is lost through the walls, roof, floor, windows and doors. Of the heat that is lost, approximately 35% escapes through the walls, 25% through the roof, 15% through the floors, 10% through the windows, and 15% is lost due to draughts.
These losses can be greatly reduced by insulating the house. The more thorough the insulation the more heat is saved. It is impossible to completely eliminate heat losses, but it has been shown that by fully insulating the roof space, walls and windows, plus draught proofing, heat losses can be reduced by as much as a half!
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of insulating your home is by installing loft insulation to a depth of at least 200mm (8 inches), which could save as much as 20% of heating cost.
There are three types of Loft insulation:
- Blown mineral wool/blown cellulose fibre
- Insulating quilt rolls
It found that the insulation quilt rolls to be more durable than granules or fibre that is blown in.
Installing the insulating roll is quite easy, and is simply rolled out between the ceiling joists. Because the roof area is meant to be ventilated, its important not to take the insulation tight up into the eaves, as this will block the soffit vents and cause untold damage to the roof timbers.
In more recent years, it is found to be beneficial to lay 100mm of insulation across the joist, as heat loss is greater at these areas, which means that joist will be hidden. In such cases, an elevated boarded passage will be required to get safe access to all parts of the loft.