Places in the Home that Must Be Insulated
1. Loft Insulation
An un-insulated loft will allow a quarter of the heat in your house to disappear into the loft space and out through the roof tiles.
To combat this we use loft insulation, which comes in rolls at convenient widths to fit between the loft floor joists. The insulation is covered by a government grant and can be fitted by the average DIY person.
However, the insulation contains small prickly fibers that will stick to your clothes, also irritating the skin and eyes, so a disposable paper suit, goggles and a face mask should be worn when installing the insulation.
The thicker the insulation the better; in the UK recent Building Regulations specify using 270mm (11") thick mineral wool insulation, and can save up to a ton of CO2 emissions per year.
Most States in the US and Europe have also adopted 270mm as the optimum thickness of mineral wool to be used as loft insulation.
2. Lagging Hot Water Tank and Pipes
A good water tank jacket should be of at least 3" thick. Ours has a built on foam insulation, but this misses out on openings for thermostats and pipes intersections so I have used old towels around these areas. Hot water pipes need to be lagged. This tubular lagging cost a few pennies in DIY shops and can be fitted in minutes with no tools.
3. Cavity Wall Insulation
If your house is built with double brick walls, then there will have been a space left between the two ‘walls’ this space allows hot air to escape, but if the cavity is filled with an insulating foam, this stops the heat loss. Government grants are also available this giving savings heating bills as well as CO2 emissions.
4. Double Glazing
Single glazing in steel frames is the most inefficient glazing for our homes. There is a grant available for upgrading to double glazed units.
Double glazing is expensive and can take up to 20 years to pay for its installation, but most modern houses are now built to the latest standards and that includes double or triple glazed windows.
The most modern double glazing is the glazing which has the ‘air gap’ filled with an inert gas such as argon or nitrogen. This prevents the transfer of heat between the inside of the house and the outside atmosphere most efficiently, manufacturers claiming the prevent 1/3 of heat from escaping.
5. Draft Exclusion
This is very important as cold air reduces your home inside temperature requiring more heat, at a financial cost and CO2 emission.
Draft exclusion is very simply carried out by putting foam strips around windows and doors, my Dad used to put a few layers of old newspapers between the carpets and floorboards to prevent drafts from the solum ventilation, but nowadays a good quality thick carpet and underlay provide adequate draft exclusion.
energysavingtrust - loft insulation
energysavingtrust - home insulation