Insulating homes has never been more important
Energy bills are going to rise significantly in 2022. As the “energy crisis” continues, Ofgem, the energy industry regulator, recently announced the latest price cap, an unprecedented 54% increase, that will come into effect on 1 April 2022. Many households can expect to see around a £600 hike, which will affect all bill payers and push even more people into fuel poverty.
Meanwhile, energy bills are already at an all-time high. Twenty four energy suppliers have now gone bust with Bulb being the largest of them with 1.7 million customers. Wholesale gas prices have gone up by a record 300%.
We’re seeing even more households are classified as being in fuel poverty meaning they are likely to suffer a cold home and making tough choices about how to spend limited budgets; sometimes choosing between heating or food.
Insulation throughout the nation
Insulating homes has never been more important. We need to insulate our buildings well so they become more energy efficient and there’s a range of measures available for different budgets. Not only will it make a home warmer and save money on energy bills, it’s also good for the planet. In the UK, 40% of our carbon emissions come from heating our buildings.
There is some support available to eligible households for home insulation measures like cavity wall and loft insulation. Cavity wall insulation can often be installed in homes built between 1930 and 1990. Find out if there’s a local advice agency or scheme to give you more information here.
Most houses, particularly old ones, have cracks and gaps through which warm air goes out and cold air blows in. Not all of these can be dealt with by a DIY-er, but many can. These include the gaps between floorboards, around windows and doors and through the letterbox. And the good news is that draught proofing is easy and there’s loads of information in our handy guide.
You’ll save around £30 per year by draught proofing windows, £30 per year if you use a chimney balloon on pre 1900 properties and around £20 per year draught proofing doors.
It’s important to never block boiler flues, air bricks, or window trickle vents and avoid over draught-proofing windows in kitchens and bathrooms where the moist air needs to escape. Otherwise you could end up with damp or mould problems.
Loft insulation is a simple and effective way to reduce your heating bills, and you can even do some types yourself. It might also be possible to get this work funded by a grant. The better the insulation, the warmer you’ll feel and the more money you’ll save.
Standard loft insulation
Standard loft insulation is appropriate for most homes, when rolls of insulation are laid over the floor joists. Generally speaking, if your home has an accessible loft with no damp or condensation problems, it will be a good candidate for loft insulation.
Even if you already have some insulation your loft 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.
Laying insulation is usually a straightforward job for a competent DIY-er. See our DIY loft insulation factsheet for more information on aspects that need to be considered, such as ventilation and safety.
Imagine you are putting a new woolly jumper and hat onto your house. Wrap up now to beat the cold next year.