Wednesday, 3 June 2015

How to Insulate Your Home and Save Money

Whilst many consumers think that it costs an arm and a leg to insulate their home, reduce their carbon footprint and save on those rising gas bills, there is a selection of schemes and initiatives available in the UK where insulating your home could cost you absolutely nothing!

Making your home as energy efficient as possible can slash your gas bill by hundreds of pounds every year. According to the Energy Saving Trust, insulating your loft could save up to £175 a year, whilst the addition of cavity wall insulation could save a further £135.

How can my home be insulated?

There are a number of steps that can be taken to improve the insulating quality of your home. As well as the DIY options that we explored earlier in this guide, the professionals can be called upon to bolster your home’s comfort factor and affordability further.

Your home can be insulated via the following:

  • Roof and loft insulation – The roof and loft area is where the majority of heat loss takes place and as heat rises, poor insulation may mean that you are not reaping the full rewards of your heating system. Whilst many new homes come with roof and loft insulation as standard, older, uninsulated homes lose around 25% of the heat generated by their boiler through their loft space. Roof and loft insulation provides a great way to insulate and reduce heating bills, and with this type of insulation lasting up to 40 years, it offers a great long-term solution
  • Wall insulation – Walls are also another culprit when it comes to heat loss and around one third of heat is lost here. Again whilst new homes benefit from highly insulated walls, homes built before the 1990s may not be correctly insulated. Cavity walls and solid walls can be improved by adding wall insulation, an upgrade that could save up to £140 per year
  • Floor insulation – It’s not just your walls and roof that need a little tender loving care, the floors throughout your home can also benefit from insulation. Floor insulation can be added under floorboards to provide instant insulation right under your feet, saving between £60 and £75 each year
  • Insulating tanks, pipes and radiators – Insulating the smaller items around your home can also save you money. Water tanks and pipes can be another cause of heat loss, and by insulating these appropriately you can prevent heat escaping and spend less money heating the water inside. With insulated tanks, pipes and radiators your hot water will also stay hotter for much, much longer
  • Draughtproofing – As we covered briefly, draught-proofing your home can be achieved through a number of DIY methods, however for more long-term solutions it is worth calling in a professional to complete improvements. Draught-proofing offers a cheap and easy way to save heat and money for any building type and depending on the amount of changes you are looking to make you could save between £10 and £50 per year. Unwanted gaps can be found around your windows, doors, loft hatches, electrical fittings, floorboards, pipework and wall-to-ceiling joints, so there is plenty to proof and save!

Does my home need insulating?

Whether you have a new or period home, chances are further improvements can be made to enhance insulation with every step taken a step towards cheaper energy bills.

With the wide range of insulation available, the world of energy saving improvement planning can be a daunting one for the average householder but thanks to the Home Energy Check you can get the independent advice and information you need regarding what insulation is suitable for your home and how much you could save once improvements have taken place.

Thanks to this handy tool the average household could save up to £250, which equals a major saving on your annual gas bill.

How can I fund my energy efficient home improvements?

Thanks to a range of government and private schemes almost every homeowner can harness a list of energy efficient improvements to make their home more affordable to run and much more comfortable. A number of gas suppliers also encourage energy saving for your home with a selection of freebies and incentives.

The Green Deal is the most popular option; this government run scheme helps you to make those energy saving home improvements that many would otherwise be unable to afford.

Through the Green Deal homeowners can make the following improvements:

  • Solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation
  • Heating
  • Draught-proofing
  • Double glazing
  • Renewable energy generation through solar panels or heat pumps

Whilst the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is now closed to new applications, assessment can still be requested whilst further help to find the energy grants that could improve the efficiency of your home can be found via the GOV.UK’s Energy Grants Calculator.

For customers based in Scotland, the Affordable Warmth Scheme provided under the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland initiative can still be accessed. Both homeowners and tenants of a private sector landlord can apply for funding, which can be used to add a number of energy efficient measures to your home.

To qualify the applicant must be in receipt of Child Tax Credit, State Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income support. Those who also have parental responsibility for a child or young person that is currently in full-time education or individuals in receipt of disability payments may also be eligible.

To find out more about whether you are eligible for help under the Affordable Warmth Scheme, please call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282.

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