FAQs - Heating, Boilers, Solar, Grants | Effective Home


If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our solar PV, heating or insulation pages, check out our frequently asked questions below.


Heating & boilers


About us

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to call us on 0333 003 0703 or drop us a line at sales@effectivehome.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

SolarBuying a solar system

What will my home’s solar energy system cost?

Going solar is an investment in a brighter tomorrow. It’s cleaner, greener and more affordable way to source your energy, become less reliant on the Grid and even make money by trading your surplus energy. Your solar solution will be bespoke to your home. It could cost from £4,995 for solar PV panels alone and from £8,495 for solar PV compete with the Social Energy smart battery (based on a typical 3-bed house); the exact price depends on your roof size, how many solar panels you need and whether you wish to add a smart battery to store/sell your energy.

Simply book your free home survey with one of our solar energy experts. We can also discuss finance options on the day (subject to status).

How long will it take to install?

Our installation team usually take one day to install a standard 12-panel system on a standard roof. All properties are different, so this can vary. Our team will confirm how long the job will take before it starts. Scaffolding may be erected up to a week before and may be left erected for a period beyond installation. We will let you know in advance and will keep you updated when the scaffolding team will be with you.

Do I need planning permission for solar PV panels?

No red tape, no hassle – a solar panel system doesn’t need any special permission from your local authority to be fitted onto your home.

The only exception to this is if you live in a listed building or live in a designated Conservation Area or World Heritage site. Even then, you can still have solar panels installed – onto a roof that isn’t visible from a road.

How do I get a quote?

When you make an enquiry, our experienced team will call you to go through some basic questions and see which system will be best for you and your home. We’ll put together a full presentation detailing exactly what we can install at your home. We’ll then call you back at an arranged time, send you your presentation and explain what systems we can install and the fantastic savings you can expect to make from each – whether it’s just solar PV panels, solar and a battery or the Social Energy package.

What happens during a free home solar survey?

Every home’s solar energy system is unique – varying from the number of solar PV panels to the size of your smart storage battery.

When you book a free home survey, our solar expert will assess:

  • Your home and rooftop – to determine what your solar panel system options are
  • Your energy consumption – tells us what size of smart battery you need, to make sure you get the best returns
  • Recommendations for the best solar energy system to suit your household – all discussed with you in detail
  • How much money you could make by trading your solar energy on the Grid

How many panels will my house need?

During your free home survey, one of our solar energy specialists will assess your home and rooftop – this will determine what your solar panel system options are and how many PV panels you need to produce sufficient energy for your household.

We can also give you a good idea of how much money you could make by trading your solar energy on the Grid.

What system is right for me?

There are a lot of options, from the type of solar panel to the size of battery. But don’t worry. When you request a survey from us, an expert will assess:

  • Your home and rooftop – this will determine what your solar panel system options are
  • Your energy consumption – this will tell us what type of home battery you need so you don’t pay for one that’s too big, to make sure you get the best returns.

Then we’ll tell you exactly what system is best for your household and discuss everything through with you in detail.

Book your free home survey today

Do I have the right roof for PV panels?

The area, facing and pitch angle of your roof will affect your solar panel system options.

The more panels that can fit on your roof, the more energy you can generate. A roof area between 10-20m2 will typically deliver up to 45% of an average household’s electricity needs.

The ideal facing is south, clear of any shade caused by trees or adjacent buildings. However, even panels placed on east or west facing rooftops are worthwhile – producing between 80-85% the energy of south.

Fun fact: in the UK, the angle of the sun is 50-60 degrees. This means that the perfect pitch angle of a roof to capture solar energy is between 30-40 degrees, which handily enough is the typical angle of most UK house rooftops.

Do I need a storage battery?

You don’t have to add a smart solar battery. However, without one you will only be able to use the energy your new PV panels generate for your home at the time it is generated. When there is no solar energy to tap into, your energy supply will revert back to the Grid. A smart solar battery stores your energy ready so you can use it, store it and even sell it to make money via Social Energy. How it works.

Will a smart battery work with my existing PV panels?

Yes. If you already have solar PV panels on your roof, we can supply and fit a battery so you can store and sell your solar energy. Simply book your free home survey and one of our experts will advise on a price and timings.

Is it easy to start trading my stored energy via Social Energy?

Once we have installed the system, Effective Home will connect you to Social Energy – they will be your energy provider. Social Energy is the only supplier currently offering Grid trading. Only their batteries are compliant with the Grid, but this may change in the future.

Using a solar system

Is solar energy worth the investment?

Sunlight is free – so once you’ve paid for the solar panel installation, you save money on your energy bills – and can even sell your surplus energy and battery capacity to the Grid.

How much could solar energy save me?

You could earn and save up to £31,022* if you switch to solar PV, add a battery and Trade via Social Energy.

By generating and using your own solar energy – instead of power from the National Grid – you can make significant savings on your electricity bills. The Energy Saving Trust calculator estimates that a typical 4kWp solar panel system can knock between £200-£305** off your annual bill with the Smart Export Guarantee SEG depending on where you live.

Using battery storage alongside your solar panels can further increase your savings – because a battery will store the surplus energy that you produce, so you can use it when the sun goes down instead of drawing it from the Grid.

*Social Energy figures based upon a new Social Energy connected SolaX battery and a 4kW Solar PV system with JA Solar JAP60S-1-275 panels with an annual panel degradation of 0.5%, installed in April 2019 in the South of England, at a capex of £8,495. Factors include: customer annual electricity consumption of 4000kWh, annual solar generation of 3800kWh, on-site solar usage of 26% (based upon BPVA studies), initial electricity unit rate of 16.45p/kWh with annual electricity inflation of 7.03% (Based upon approved data from the National Office of Statistics). These figures include Social Energy benefits from self-consumption, FFR, grid trading, network avoidance and SE export payment of 5.6p/kWh. Returns include factoring in future forecasted costs of battery system overhaul and solar inverter replacements at year 15. Considering the above factors, the specified system delivers a net benefit of £31,022.30. These calculations demonstrate a 365% ROI for Social Energy.

**Example of annual savings based in Manchester with SEG (Sept 2020): https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels

How will switching to solar reduce my carbon footprint?

You could cut 100 tonnes of carbon.

Imagine you’re on a return flight from London to New York. You’ve just generated 986kg CO2 – per passenger, not the whole plane. Think about how much carbon the aircraft you’re in is emitting into the atmosphere. Now times that by 100. That’s how much carbon you can cut by simply using solar energy over a 30-year period.

100 tonnes of carbon wiped clean off your carbon footprint and out of our planet’s atmosphere. Surprised? That’s the power of solar.

  • The average UK household produces 8.1 tonnes of CO2 a year
  • 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from households
  • Half of your home’s carbon footprint is made of the energy you use

Why do I need a battery?

It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Your solar panels are soaking up all that daylight enabling you to power your home. But then, the sun goes down – no more solar energy is being generated, but you still need to power your lights in the evening. What happens then?

Well, if you didn’t have a battery, you’d then switch to using power from the National Grid – costing you money. But with a battery installed in your home, you can use all the extra solar energy captured during the day that you didn’t use.

So you can keep the energy you’ve generated and use it exactly when you need it most – instead of it going to waste.

How long do smart batteries last?

We supply Solax Triple Power Batteries. They come with a 15-year warranty – their lifespan far exceeds that of standard batteries you use on gadgets at home.

Is it easy to earn money trading solar energy?

In the summer months when we have more daylight (meaning more solar energy is generated), we generally use less energy to power our homes. So your solar panels may produce an abundance of energy.

With a home battery system in place, you can store excess energy to be used when you need it – and you can also sell energy on the UK’s energy market. Here’s how it works…

No hassle trading
Effective Home has partnered with Social Energy to enable our customers to trade energy with the Grid automatically without having to lift a finger.

Earn ~5p per kWh
When the National Grid needs extra power, any excess energy stored within the network of home batteries will be sold at around 5p per kWh (depending on your provider rates), earning you income.

Rent your storage
You can also earn by lending out the storage in your home battery. If you’re not using the space, then the Grid’s excess energy can be moved here temporarily – and you get paid rent.

And what’s best is that the app manages and trades your energy automatically. You can easily see all the info you need about your solar panel system all in one place.

The app can quickly and clearly show you how much energy you’ve created, what energy you’re using and how much income you’re earning by selling surplus energy and renting out your battery storage.

At what stage do I join a solar energy company?

Once your solar PV panels and battery are installed by Effective Home, we arrange your Grid connection. Then you can join an energy supplier. Social Energy is the only renewable energy provider that lets you trade your surplus energy on the Grid. They will arrange the supply of a new solar meter (these are the new standard in SMART meter that everyone will switch over to soon). It’s worth noting that not all areas of the country can get a smart meter yet, but we can check that prior to installation.

Are there any extra costs to connect to the Grid?

The price we give you during your free home survey includes grid connection and all relevant meter work and applications. If you are planning to trade, Social Energy will arrange for the supply of a new solar meter and installation. After your system is installed and connected to a new smart meter, it will start generating electricity for you immediately. Then you can download the app and use its smart features.

How does the app work?

The all-in-one app offers a complete overview of trading and selling, energy usage, displaying a live status of every big data touchpoint it gathers as they happen. Besides the savings, the best thing is that once the system is up, you don’t need to put in any effort yourself – just keep an eye on your energy trading through the app.

Solar thermal panels

How much does a solar heating system cost?

Prices start from £7,495 inclusive of VAT.

Will it work?

Solar hot water panels will work for most homes in the UK. The facing, pitch angle and size of your roof area will determine which solar thermal system is the best for your home, it will also contribute to how much energy you’ll capture.

Does solar thermal work in the winter?

Yes, a solar thermal system does work in winter. However, it will be a lot less efficient than it is over the summer. For this reason, you will likely need to rely more heavily on your boiler, immersion heater or other backup water heating system as the solar thermal installation will not be contributing the same ratio of your homes hot water.

How do solar thermal panels work?

A solar thermal system works by harnessing is the sun’s energy and converting it into heat which is then transferred into your home or businesses heating system as hot water or space heating. Solar thermal panels are used in conjunction with a boiler, collector or immersion heater.

How long do solar thermal panels last?

A properly designed and installed solar thermal system should last in excess of 25 years.

How much money can I save?

Based on the results of a field trial conducted by The Energy Savings Trust across a range of household and system sizes, these are the typical savings from a well-insulated and properly used system. Savings will vary from user to user.

Annual Savings

  • Gas £60
  • Oil £65
  • Coal £70
  • Electricity £70
  • LPG £100

Annual CO2 savings (kg/year)

  • Gas 295kg
  • Oil 410kg
  • Coal 660kg
  • Electricity 205kg
  • LPG 340kg

Is there any financial support for generating my own renewable energy?

You may be eligible to receive payments for the heat you generate from a solar water heating system through the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

  • 2 person household £215 – based on a 2m2 system
  • 3 person household £295 – based on a 3m2 system
  • 4 person household £375 – based on a 4m2 system
  • 5 person household £450 – based on a 6m2 system
  • 6 person household £525 – based on a 6m2 system

Do you need planning permission?

You don’t need planning permission for most domestic solar thermal systems in the UK, as long as they aren’t too big. But exceptions apply for listed buildings, buildings in conservation areas and World Heritage Sites. If this applies to you, contact your council to see whether you need to apply for planning permission for your solar panels.

I don’t have a south facing house will it work for my home?

For optimum performance solar panels should be positioned South facing, however, not all roof orientations may allow this. In general, any position between South East & South West is suitable and will only reduce the optimum by up to 5%.

Solar thermal panels can also be mounted on an East & West elevation; this type of system will absorb energy both in the morning and in the afternoon as the axis of the sun or diffuse light moves from East to West.

Is there an ideal roof pitch?

The ideal pitch angle is between 30-40° which is the standard pitch of most roofs in the UK.

Can solar thermal be used for central heating?

Solar thermal systems transfer heat from sunlight to a heat transfer fluid which in turn heats domestic hot water and can preheat the central heating. There are two main types of solar panel: flat plates, and solar tubes.

What’s the difference between solar thermal and photovoltaic?

Solar PV is based on the photovoltaic effect, by which a photon (the basic unit of light) impacting a surface made of a special material generates the release of an electron.

Solar thermal, on the other hand, uses sunlight to heat a fluid (depending on the particular application, it can be water or other fluid).

Heating & boilersBuying a boiler

How much does a new boiler cost?

We can supply and fit a wide range of combi, conventional and system boilers. Prices start from £2,350, spread over monthly payments if you choose finance (subject to status). We can give you a fixed price on a boiler that best suits your home when you get a free quote, and an idea of what your payments could be. It’s also worth a 2 minute check to see if you qualify for ECO funding before you purchase.

Can I get a boiler through the ECO boiler scheme?

You could be eligible for a free or heavily subsidised boiler through the ECO Scheme. You can find more information here.

Does it take long to install a boiler and will I need to be at home?

This will depend on how complex your heating system is, but your engineer will give you a good idea before the work begins. You don’t have to be at home the whole time, but we’ll ask you to be there at the start and end of the work. This will enable our heating engineer to confirm all the details of the installation before we start and show you how to get the best out of your heating system when it’s finished.

Will I be able to control my home’s heating by app when you fit a new boiler?

We offer a range of heating controls, thermostats and programmers – which we can install along with your boiler. These include smart ways to control your heating system by app (even while you’re away from home), such as “ask Alexa” to turn your heating on with a simple voice command. You can find more information here or get in touch.

How do combi boilers work?

Combi boilers work by taking water directly from the mains and heating it producing a continuous supply of water. This makes new combi boilers more energy efficient, as they don’t store hot water in a separate tank.

How do system boilers work?

System boilers work by pumping hot water from the boiler through the heating system to the hot water cylinder and radiators around your home by removing the need for a feed and expansion cistern. A hot water storage tank will always be required with a system boiler, as it needs somewhere to store the water it has heated.

How do conventional boilers work?

A conventional boiler works by igniting fuel to heat the water stored in the hot water cylinder, which is fed by the cold water storage cistern. The boiler then passes water to the central heating through a feed and expansion tank.

Boiler repairs & servicing

What should I do in a boiler emergency?

Our team of highly trained advisers and engineers have the skills and experience required to quickly and accurately diagnose the problem with your boiler enabling the engineer who arrives at your home to have all the knowledge and parts they require to get your boiler back up and running.

Why does my boiler need an annual service?

Getting your boiler serviced regularly will ensure it runs efficiently and safely. It’s also a requirement of your boiler warranty. A great time to book a service is towards the end of summer, as your heating system could have been idle for some time. Then you know your boiler is ready for the big central heating switch on in October. Remember, a faulty boiler can be dangerous – and they’re not cheap to replace. We can help with that too with easy ways to pay.

How much does a boiler repair or service cost?

A boiler service takes around 1 hour and typically involves:

  • Visual inspection
  • Operation and control checks
  • Flue and combustion release checks
  • Clean the main boiler components
  • Flame, pressure and ventilation tests, including safety checks
  • A check that your boiler and central heating are working properly

The standard cost is £90, which covers the service and labour. If you require extra parts or a repair, our engineer will advise you during the service.

If you have booked a boiler repair – for an emergency or breakdown – our standard callout charged is £100, which includes the first hour of work. Labour is charged at £50 for every hour thereafter. Parts and material costs vary. Your engineer will let you know what the problem is and advise of the cost to fix it during the callout.

Boiler help & advice

Why is my hot water cloudy?

The water from combi boilers is heated directly from the mains, so the only time the water is released to the atmosphere is when it comes out of the tap. This means that during heating, the calcium bicarbonate which is present in the water changes to calcium carbonate. This creates carbon dioxide, which is seen as millions of bubbles when viewed close up. It is not sediment and is not harmful. If you run some hot water into a glass and let it cool, it will slowly clear.

Why is steam coming out from my boiler flue?

There are times when a white plume or discharge can be seen coming from the flue terminal on condensing boilers. This is due to the flue gases being cooler than in non-condensing boilers. With standard efficiency (non-condensing) boilers, flue gases are hotter and cool down further away from the flue’s terminal and dissipate differently. The flue gases of condensing boilers exhaust at around 55ºC, cool quicker in the atmosphere and in certain outside temperatures cause a plume similar in effect to breath on a cold morning.

Does the water in my central heating system need treating?

We recommend the use of suitable water treatment in the form of an inhibitor to the heating water system, in accordance with the water treatment manufacturer’s instructions. The concentration level of the water inhibitor should be checked every 12 months or sooner if system content is lost.

Do I need to be at home for my boiler installation?

We don’t need you to be there when the work is being carried out, but we ask that you make yourself available for at least one hour at the start and end of the work. This will enable our heating engineer to confirm all the details of the installation before we start and show you the benefits of your heating system when it is finished.

How long does it take to install a new boiler?

This will depend on how complex your heating system is, but we will give you an estimate before the work begins.

Will I have heat and water while you install a boiler?

Your gas, electricity and cold water supply can normally be isolated in the areas where we are working, so you should be able to use these utilities for most of the time.

What are the benefits of changing to a high efficiency condensing boiler?

Upgrading to a condensing boiler can offer the following benefits:

  • Cheaper heating bills
  • A more energy efficient home
  • Better for the environment
  • Increased reliability and performance
  • Easier control of your heating

First central heating systems

How long does it take to install central heating?

This will vary as it depends on the size of home and your flooring. Once we have surveyed your property, we can advise how long it will take.

Can I get a free central heating system?

If you are a homeowner or a private renter (with permission from the landlord) who receives qualifying benefits, you could be entitled to a first time central heating grant through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), an initiative that aims to help lower the carbon footprint of homes and heating bills in the UK. Under the scheme, grants are available to help people pay for energy efficiency improvements, such as central heating systems, if your home hasn’t had one before – along with upgrades like home insulation. Visit this page to find out more.

If renting, what else would I need to qualify?

If you live in a Housing Association home, grants are only available on properties with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, F or G. If you live in a rented property, grants are only available to rented properties with an EPC rating of A, B, C, D or E – along with the landlord’s permission, which is always required to complete the first time central heating and insulation grant application process. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are here to help.

Air source heat pumps

Is an air-to-water heat pump suitable for my home?

Every home is different. We’ll need to ask you a few questions to see whether an air source system is suitable for your home, before arranging a free survey.

The market-leading heat pumps we use are air-to-water systems. They do not need an existing heating system as we will be able to provide a full heating system if one isn’t present. ASHPs do run at a lower temperature and due to this most existing radiators will need replacing to create enough heat for each room. This will be discussed at point of sale and calculated after a technical survey.

Air source heat pumps work well with traditional as well as underfloor heating. During your survey and at installation, we will design a bespoke heating system for your home to meet all of your home and family’s heating needs.

If we believe the system isn’t suitable for your property or won’t suit your usage requirements – we’ll let you know and the reasons for this. This service is completely free of charge and with no obligation.

How long does it take to install the pump?

It only takes a few days to install an ASHP and it causes much less disruption when compared to ground source heat pumps, for example. This is because there are no buried underground coils, so they can be easily integrated into existing properties.

You’ll be advised how long it takes during your free survey – if you want to spread the cost, ask us about finance on air source heat pumps.

Will a heat pump work with microbore pipework?

In some instances, a heat pump will work with microbore pipework but our engineers do not recommend it, as many manufactures do not support it. If you do have microbore pipe in your home this will be identified at the survey stage, our recommendation would be to replace it. For a standard 3 bed semi, we charge £1,000 to re-pipe the heating system.

Can air source heat pumps be fitted on listed buildings or in conservation areas?

If your property is listed building or you live in a conservation area, this doesn’t necessarily stop you from having an air source heat pump installed. You will need to ask your local authority planning department prior to any work taking place. Through permitted development rights, more and more people are being granted planning permission.

Are air source heat pumps noisy?!

The majority of the heat pumps we install have attained the Noise Abatement Society’s ‘Quietmark’. The noise levels on some have been described as the same decibel level as a library!

How is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for air source heat pumps calculated?

As part of the UK government’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions, the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) encourages more people to replace costly heating systems – such as oil, LPG and electric – with a cleaner, greener, efficient and cheaper to run system. The incentive is quarterly cash payments over 7 years – worth up to £13,000.

Our expert will design your system during your free home survey. This gives you the cost of the air source heat pump system and your RHI estimation. It is calculated with the SCOP (Seasonal Coefficience Of Performance) and the kWh needed to heat your home and hot water, multiplied by the current tariff to generate how much you’ll receive each year. Once your air source heat pump is installed, we inform MCS and Ofgem and a ‘Date of Application’ email is produced within 7 days. At this point, your tariff is set (it can go up if the tariff rises but will not come down if it decreases).

You’ll receive your first quarterly payments around 3 months later. Other incentives are also available; you can claim an additional £1,610.

My house and boiler are old, should I get an air source heat pump?

As with all heating systems, the more efficient your home, the cheaper it will be to keep it warm. So whether you have a gas, oil or LPG boiler, changing to an air source heat pump should save you money to heat your home. Our experienced team will also design your bespoke heating system to make sure the system runs to its maximum efficiency whilst still providing you with the heat you need.

I’m not on benefits, can I claim any financial incentives?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is available to all homeowners wishing to install air source heat pumps, providing you live in the property for the majority of the year. You can find out more about RHI here.

My home isn’t insulated, can I still claim RHI?

All homes are different and not all walls can be insulated. If your property is built from solid stone or brick – or if you have cavities that can’t be filled – you can have a new air source heat pump installed and still claim the RHI. However, If you have a cavity wall that can be filled with insulation this will need to be completed before you are able to claim the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive). Don’t worry though, we can help you with insulation too.

Is an air source heat pump better for my home than a gas boiler?

Due to climate change, most of us are more concerned about the way we use energy. Many of us are looking for ways to lower our carbon emissions and a big part of that is rethinking about how we heat our homes.

Heat pumps are widely recommended as a more environmentally friendly heating system to the traditional gas boiler, but there are pros and cons to consider before making the change. If you are looking to install a new heating system but wondering which is the best choice for your home, book a free home survey to find out whether you’d be better off with an air source heat pump.

What is the difference between air and ground source heat pumps?

Air source and ground source heating systems do similar jobs; they warm the home by extracting naturally occurring heat from outside your property. Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) do this using air, while ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) get heat from underground. Both are renewable energy sources and have minimal impact on our environment compared to fossil fuel heating systems, such as oil and gas.

While the basis of the two heat pumps is the same, the cost of having them installed is not. A ground source heat pump on the other hand can cost between 50-100% more than an ASHP.

How much does an air source heat pump cost?

Air source heat pumps cost between £10,000 and £16,000 depending upon size of your property. This price also includes radiators with thermostatic regulating valves and, if required, an unvented hot water cylinder plus smart controls.

Is an air source heat pump cheaper to run than a boiler?

Running costs are similar to a gas boiler, however, the air source heat hump will keep your home warm 24 hours a day compared to the running cost of a gas boiler heating the home for 6 hours. Compared to oil and LPG you can expect to save over 30% and compared to electric heating an ASHP can be as little as 25% of the existing running costs.

Home insulation

Can newer homes benefit from extra insulation?

Many older properties have less insulation than modern houses built today, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself within a few years, such as topping up loft insulation or underfloor insulation.

What qualifications do Effective Home installers have?

Effective Home only uses BBA approved, DBS checked, direct employed installers. In addition, we only use BBA certified bead or Mineral Fibre cavity products. Find out more about BBA here.

Could I be entitled to FREE home insulation?

The ECO scheme provides grants for loft, cavity wall and underfloor insulation to help reduce carbon emissions and keep heating bills down.

How it works

1 Effective Home carry out a check to see if you are eligible for ECO funding
2 We arrange a free home survey to ensure your property meets the criteria
3 An installation date for your home insulation, when it suits you

If you are eligible for ECO funding or other grants, your home insulation could be heavily discounted, maybe even free. Get in touch on 0333 003 0703 and we can help, or check if you qualify here.

Loft insulation

Can all lofts be insulated?

If your loft is easy to access and has no damp or condensation problems, we should be able to insulate it.

What will you do on installation day?

If access is easy and your loft joists are regular, we will install rolls of mineral wool insulation. The first layer is laid between the joists – the horizontal beams that make up the floor of the loft – then another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the insulation up to the required depth.

Any tanks and pipes that are in the loft would be insulated as part of the install to prevent them from potentially freezing in the future. Also, as part of the installation process, we need to ensure your loft is adequately ventilated. In some cases we might need to add some roof or tile vents and in others where the loft space is already adequately ventilated we would not need to make any adjustments.

What about inaccessible lofts?

If we can’t get into your loft to insulate it with rolls of mineral wool, ‘blown insulation’ may be an option. This requires specialist equipment to blow appropriate insulation material into any awkward space. They may use mineral wool fibre, treated cellulose or polyurethane foam.

How much does loft insulation cost?

The cost of loft insulation for a typical 3-bed house starts is around £350. Your price depends on any insulation you already have and your home’s specific installation requirements. You could also be entitled to free loft insulation through the ECO Scheme – we can help you with this, as well as getting you a quote.

Cavity wall insulation

Is cavity wall insulation right for my home?

If your house was built in the last 20 years or so, the walls are probably already insulated. If you’re not sure whether a) your walls have cavities, or b) if you have cavity wall insulation already, we can help.

If your house was built after the 1920s, it is likely to have cavity walls. A cavity wall is made up of two walls with a gap in between, known as the cavity; the outer leaf is usually made of brick, and the inner layer of brick or concrete block.

Pre-1920 older houses are more likely to have solid walls. A solid wall has no cavity; each wall is a single solid wall, usually made of brick or stone.

How does cavity wall insulation get inside the wall?

Most cavity walls can be insulated by injecting insulation material into the cavity from the outside. Your installer will drill small 22mm drill holes at intervals in your outer walls, inject insulation through the holes using specialist equipment, and then seal them with cement. The insulation materials are usually either mineral wool or polystyrene beads, but polyurethane foam may sometimes be used instead.

Once all the insulation is in, we’ll fill the holes in the brickwork so you’ll barely notice them.

How long does it take to insulate cavity walls?

Filling cavity walls is not a job you can do yourself, you will need to employ a registered installer. Effective Home can do the job in around two hours for an average house with easily accessible walls. It shouldn’t make any mess.

How much does cavity wall insulation cost?

The cost of cavity wall insulation depends on the size of your property and the walls to be insulated. As a general rule of thumb, installation prices for a typical 3-bed house start at £680 – solid wall costs may be higher, whereas bungalows tend to cost less due to their height. You could also be entitled to free cavity wall insulation through the ECO Scheme – we can help you with this, as well as getting you a quote.

Underfloor insulation

Why do timber floors need insulating?

Timber floors are on average only 19mm thick and air leakage creates a heat sink under the home drawing the heat out from below.

Why does floor insulation need to meet building regulations?

When adding extra insulation to your floors, the work must comply with the relevant building regulations for where you live. Effective Home can arrange this for you.

If you live in England or Wales, the floor should achieve a U-value of 0.25 W/m2K or less, if possible. The U-value is a measure of how quickly heat will travel through the floor. To achieve this standard, you will normally need at least 70mm of high-performance foam insulation, or 150mm of mineral wool, but this will vary depending on floor type, shape and size.

If you are replacing at least half of a floor then you have to insulate to these standards whether you planned to or not.

How long would I have to wait to get it installed?

Effective Home will first carry out a check to see if you are eligible for ECO funding. Next we will arrange a free survey to ensure your property meets the ECO funding criteria. Once we complete the above process, we can arrange an installation date for your underfloor insulation.

Our easy process means we can turn around a qualifying application in less than a week, ready for installation.

How much does underfloor insulation cost?

The cost of underfloor insulation, depends on the size of the floor space and the cost of the materials, including any that you will need to fill the gaps between the floor and the skirting boards. For a typical 3-bed house, expect to pay around £795. You could also be entitled to free underfloor insulation through the ECO Scheme – we can help you with this, as well as getting you a quote.

GrantsECO Scheme funding

Can I get a free boiler through ECO?

The ECO Scheme is a Government initiative – often called the ‘replacement boiler scheme’ or ‘ECO boiler scheme’ – designed to help low income households save money on their heating bills. One way it does this is by providing gas boiler grants to replace faulty and inefficient boilers with more energy efficient ones.

How much are the ECO grants worth?

They vary by your situation, property type and what the grant is for. For example, an ECO boiler grant could entitle you to a free A-rated gas boiler or you may be asked to pay a contribution. First time central heating grants that are 100% funded could save up to £4,500 on a new, efficient central heating system if you’ve never had one in your home.

Loft insulation, cavity wall and underfloor insulation grants also vary house by house. Firstly, check if you qualify – it only takes 2 minutes – and if you’re not sure, get in touch. We know ECO funding inside out and will do our best to help you get the money you need.

What benefits would qualify me for ECO funding?

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit*
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee)
  • Employment and support allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s allowance (Income-based)
  • Income Support
  • Industrial injuries disablement benefit
  • Mobility supplement
  • Personal independence payment
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Universal credit
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement
  • Working tax credit

If you receive one of these qualifying benefits (excluding Child Benefit) you will be eligible regardless of household income, so no means-testing is required for applications.

If Child Benefit is the only qualifying benefit you receive, you will also need to ensure your annual household income does not exceed the amount set out in the table below, corresponding to the type of claim and the number of qualifying children.

Number of children or qualifying young persons for which the person is responsible
Type of claim1234 or more
Single claim< £18,500< £23,000< £27,500< £32,000
Member of a couple< £25,500< £30,000< £34,500< £39,000

Why apply for ECO funding through Effective Home?

We know that upgrading your home to save energy and lower your carbon footprint is a big investment. Depending on your circumstances and home, we may be able to help get a new boiler, central heating or home insulation installed for free or part-funded through the ECO Scheme.

If you qualify for ECO funding because you are on a low income or benefits, we can help make the whole process easier. We’ve been helping homeowners and landlords for over 10 years through:

  • Money towards a new energy efficient ‘A’ rated boiler
  • Lower everyday energy usage and bills
  • Cosier and more comfortable homes
  • Work carried out by qualified, professional installers
  • Expertise in ECO Scheme funding

Green Homes Grants

What are Green Homes Grants for?

The Green Homes Grants will give homeowners, including owner-occupiers and social/private landlords, vouchers to install one or more of the following primary measures:

If you used your vouchers for one of the above primary measures, you can also use your voucher for further energy saving measures. These include one or more of the following secondary measures:

  • Double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
  • Upgrading to energy efficient doors
  • Hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats and heating controls

Households can only receive funding for one of these secondary improvements up to the amount of funding they are receiving for the primary measures.

For example, if you spend £2,000 on roof insulation, you can only get £2,000 for double glazing.

How are the grants allocated?

Of the £2bn scheme, £500m will go directly in vouchers to low income households, and £500m will go to local authorities, specifically to help fuel poor households. Vouchers are worth up to £5,000 for most homeowners; however, those on low incomes can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of improvements, capped at a maximum of £10,000.

How many vouchers could I get?

You could be eligible for a voucher up to £10,000. One voucher per household. 600,000 vouchers are available altogether – so apply today.

About us

Why choose Effective Home?

Whether you are looking to upgrade your home or lower your carbon footprint, we can help. From making your first steps to sustainable living to the big leap to renewables, our teams are highly qualified with the expertise to making your journey effortless from day one. We’re a small company with a big heart – covering a huge area of the country – so you get a personal service with ‘bulk buy’ value. For peace of mind, our accreditations speak for themselves.

Are you a Which? Trusted Trader?

We are proud to be a Which? Trusted Trader.

Effective Home is endorsed by Which? as a Trusted Trader – but not just anyone can become endorsed. The assessment process includes customer satisfaction checks, a thorough business procedure examination a face-to-face visit and interview carried out by a Which? trading standards expert.

Which? is the largest consumer body in the UK, rigorously testing products and services for more than 60 years. Which? Trusted Trader logo is a sign of reputation and trust; helping consumers choose the right trader for them and giving good traders the recognition they deserve.

What accreditations do you have?

We are proud to be certified and approved by industry leading assessors, registration bodies and consumer watchdogs, including NICEIC, OFTEC, Gas Safe and Which?. You can see them all here.

What guarantees do you offer?

Knowing we’re quality assured with these accreditations is reassuring for our customers. It gives you peace of mind that you’ve made the right choice in Effective Home. Every product and service we sell comes with its own guarantee – some up to 25 years – and an aftersales support service that is second to none.

Do you offer finance?

Effective Home offers a choice of ways to pay for any upgrades to your home, including finance. Not everyone has the money set aside to pay for investments in renewable energy or ways to make their home more efficient. You’ll find details on our boiler, heating, home insulation and solar product pages – along with any relevant funding that may be available to reduce your costs, such as ECO Scheme or the Government’s Green Homes Grants.

What areas do you cover?

You can see the areas we cover for heating, home insulation and solar energy solution here.

Where are you based?

Our main HQ is in South Yorkshire – Unit 3, Crompton Business Park, Crompton Road, Doncaster DN2 4PA. We also have teams of engineers and installers based throughout the country from Newcastle down to Worcestershire.

Are you hiring?

You can see our latest vacancies here. If you feel you have the experience and energy required to drive Effective Home’s business forward, please email your CV to David Wright.

How are you working during Covid-19?

Rest assured, Effective Home is following current Government guidelines and updating our working procedures to comply with current Covid-19 recommendations and as they change. All of our team – including surveyors, engineers and installers – are mindful of the 2m distance rule, carry hand sanitiser and are equipped with the correct safety gear for home visits.

When you book a survey, repair or appointment we’ll ask you if:

  • You or anyone in your home has been diagnosed with Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • You or anyone in your home has been advised to self-isolate
  • Anyone in your home is at higher risk – either through existing health conditions or over 70 years old

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we’ll work with you to assess your need for a home visit agreeing next steps with you.

We’ll prioritise emergencies and we may need to postpone non-urgent visits, like annual services, to a later date.

Before your home visit
On the day of your appointment, we will also call you and ask the same set of questions – this is important just in case anything has changed since you booked.

When anyone from Effective Home visits your home

  • Handwashing will take place before, during and after their visit
  • You won’t be asked to sign anything

Our engineers will be social distancing, so please keep a 2m radius of their work area at all times. Any Covid-19 questions? Call us on 0333 003 0703