Insulating your loft is simply covering the floor or walls with an extra layer of material to stop heat escaping. It’s a real quick win for energy saving in your home.
It’s much easier to install than you might think, and doesn’t cost the earth, so find out more with our loft insulation guide.
How much you can save?
The thicker the insulation the more energy savings and the money you can save, so even if you’ve already got some insulation in your loft it’s worth checking if it’s as effective as it could be.
With a recommended insulation thickness of 270mm, you could save a significant £175 a year on heating bills for an average three-bedroom semi.
You may already have some fitted so have a look and check the thickness. Often it does not meet the recommended minimum limit of 270mm.
And if you fit it yourself, it can pay for itself in less than two years.
As well as the money savings, there’s the environmental benefit. If every home had adequate loft insulation, we’d save almost 3 million tonnes of CO2 a year. That’s like taking about 100,000 cars off the road.
And if you’re planning to rent or sell your home, fitting home insulation means you’ll improve its Energy Performance Certificate, making it more attractive to prospective tenants or buyers.
Best loft insulation
There’s several types of insulation material. The most common is blanket style insulation, which is a roll of foil-backed mineral, rock, felt or glass fibre. It’s easy to fit and probably the best loft insulation option for accessible spaces.
It’s recommended to install around 270mm of loft insulation to get the best effect and money savings. It’s usually easiest to do this by fitting two layers of insulation.
Other options include loose-fill insulation, sheet insulation and blown-fibre insulation.
DIY loft insulation
While there are plenty of professional loft insulation companies out there, it’s really easy to install blanket loft insulation yourself. DIY loft insulation means you’ll save money and get the job done at a time that’s convenient for you.
You can get blanket style insulation at most DIY outlets. Get the size that most matches the width between your loft joists, then simply cut the material to the right size for your loft cavities and fit it in snugly between the joists. You can cut the material with scissors.
Take care to ensure you have the right protection. You will need to wear:
- Facemask – fitting properly and tight enough to ensure there is no leakage. The majority of materials can irritate your nose and throat
- Eye goggles – again due to the types of materials it can cause irritation to your eyes
- Protective gloves – you don’t want your hands to come in contact with the materials
You shouldn’t squash the insulation, so if you want to use your loft for storage you can put boards over the top.
While the process is easy if you’ve got half decent DIY skills, if in doubt, get a professional in – most will do get the job done quickly and are good value.
Cheap loft insulation
Fitting loft insulation yourself can cost anything from about £50-£350, depending on the size of your loft. Expect to pay at least £50 on top of that for labour costs if you’re getting someone in to do the job for you.
There are some very cheap loft insulation products, but cheapest isn’t always best. As a guideline, a good quality 7-metre-long blanket roll of 200mm thickness will cost about £37. A top-up layer to take it to the most efficient 270mm will cost an extra £34 a roll.
Preparation is key, so if you’re going to fit it yourself make sure you measure everything carefully before you buy the materials.
Save energy and save money now
So if you want to save energy and save money for a modest initial investment, then loft insulation is a winner. With ever rising energy bills there’s never been a better time to check out your loft and make sure you’ve got adequate insulation.
To work out how much material you may need, use this handy B&Q calculator.
Wickes has special offers on the materials you need and are often running “Buy 1 Get 3 FREE deals”. Check out the Wickes website for details.
Image courtesy of Flickr – nataliej