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Loft insulation

Insulate your home and stop the 'great escape'

Heating your home isn’t cheap, and with the price of gas, electricity and oil  going up all the time, it seems to cost more every winter to stay warm. To save money you need to stop the heat escaping, and the best way to do this is to insulate your home. The better the insulation, the warmer you’ll feel and the more money you’ll save.

A quarter of a home's heat is lost through the roof, which is why loft insulation makes such a difference.

Even if you have some insulation in your loft you may need a top-up. The recommended depth for mineral wool insulation – the most common material – is 270mm (about 1ft), but there are other materials (usually more expensive) which require different depths.

Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, and it will pay for itself over and over again in that time. Plus there are grants available to help pay for professional insulation.

A quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof, which is why loft insulation makes such a difference. And if you save energy, you’ll be helping to tackle climate change, too.

Loft insulation is cheap and easy to install

Generally speaking, if your home has an accessible loft with no damp or condensation problems, it will be a good candidate for loft insulation. Mineral wool insulation can be bought in big rolls (also known as ‘blankets’ or ‘quilts’) from builders’ merchants or DIY stores. Laying this insulation is usually straightforward for either an installer or a competent ‘DIY-er’.

For lofts with difficult access – e.g. small hatches and very little space – loft insulation blankets aren’t suitable. Instead a loose, fire-retardant insulation material is blown into the loft using specialist equipment. This is a job for a professional installer and can take a few hours depending on the size of the loft.

If you’d like to use your loft for living space, then you could look at insulating the roof of the loft rather than the floor. This is usually done by fitting rigid insulation boards or insulation foil between the roof rafters.

How much money will I save?

Cost (installed professionally)Around £500 
Annual saving per yearAround £46
Payback time11 years
DIY cost£100 to £350 *
DIY payback time2 to 8 years

These figures (correct April 2013) assume you have 50mm of insulation and top it up to the recommended 270mm. If you have no insulation at all, then savings can be up to £174 a year.

* This price depends on materials, and assumes no grant available for DIY. However, subsidised loft insulation material is available at large DIY stores and will bring the cost down considerably.

Frequently asked questions

What depth should my loft insulation be?

The current recommended depth for loft insulation is 270mm (10.5 inches). If your insulation is less have than 150mm (6 inches) then it is worth considering getting it topped up.


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Can I install loft insulation myself or do I need a professional?

You can chose to insulate the loft yourself. Mineral fibre can be an irritant so you should wear a full-body overall, gloves, eye goggles and a mask to cover your mouth. You should take great care when moving around in the loft and only undertake the work yourself if you are a confident DIYer.


Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

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Will it be possible to use my loft for storage after it has been insulated?

You can set aside part of your loft for storage where the insulation is only installed to the depth of the joist and insulated storage boards can be laid on top of the joists. If you want to use the whole loft for storage you will need to consider raising the height of the joist to allow the full 270mm depth of insulation to be laid. Do not compress insulation underneath loft boards - it makes it less effective as an insulator.


Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234


Next question

View all frequently asked questions

Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us

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