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March 11, 2024

Loft Insulation Benefits

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insulation energy efficiency

Home heating costs have become a major concern in the wake of the energy crisis. But a quarter of heat generated in a house with an uninsulated loft escapes through the roof, at a cost of hundreds of pounds a year. Yet millions of lofts in the UK remain uninsulated or have insulation that’s not doing its job properly. Perhaps this isn’t as surprising as it sounds. According to researchers, half of homeowners don’t realise the benefits of loft insulation.

Insulating your loft is a simple energy efficiency measure that not only saves money but has numerous other advantages. This post explores the benefits of loft insulation, how much it costs, and how much you can save. You can also find out about types of loft insulation, loft insulation grants, and the advantages of professional loft insulation services.

To fully appreciate the benefits of loft insulation, it helps if you understand how it developed and how it works. So that’s where we’ll start.

Origins of Home Insulation

The concept of insulating our homes is nothing new. 

Insulation has been around in one form or another since our ancestors abandoned the chilly caves where they lived. They used materials such as stone and wood to build homes that kept them warmer.

Then the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans caught on to the idea of insulation, followed by the Vikings.

Home insulation in the UK started in the 1930s but only became commonplace relatively recently. 

Now, with energy shortages, large heating bills, and the push towards net zero, it’s regarded as a necessity rather than an option.

How Does Insulation Work?

Heat drifts from warmer areas to cooler spots.

This is why heat generated in our homes will always try to escape into the cooler outside. In warmer weather, external heat flows into your cooler home, heating it up.

Installing insulation reduces this thermal transfer and regulates temperatures in the home. This means less pressure on your heating system in cold weather. During the warmer months, insulation maintains a comfortable, cooler temperature for your home, too. 

How Does Loft Insulation Work?

When external temperatures fall, loft insulation controls the amount of heat transferring from your living space into the loft.

Besides flowing towards cooler areas, heat also floats upwards. It will keep going until it reaches ceilings in rooms directly beneath the loft. Unless your loft floor is insulated, this heat will then go into the loft and out through your roof, wasting the energy you have just paid for.

Insulating the loft also keeps your living space at a comfortable temperature during hot weather. It reduces levels of warm air descending into your home.

In summer, your house starts off cooler than the temperature outside. This quickly changes as external heat travels into your home. In an uninsulated loft, the heat will build up and then bounce back down into your living space, making your home uncomfortable.

Types of Loft Insulation

There are two ways to insulate a loft. These are known as cold loft insulation and warm loft insulation.

Cold loft insulation refers to insulating the loft floor, or floor joists.

Warm loft insulation means insulating the loft roof, or roof rafters.

Loft Floor Insulation

Insulating the loft floor – cold loft insulation – is the most common type of loft insulation.  It provides the best solution unless you’re planning a loft conversion or need to store valuable, temperature-sensitive items in your loft.

Unlike insulating the underside of the roof, laying insulation material between and across the loft floor joists blocks transfer of heat from your living space into the loft, meaning your loft will remain cold, but your house below won’t.

Roof Rafter Insulation

Roof rafter insulation – warm loft insulation – entails insulating the underside of your roof, between and across the roof rafters that run above the loft. This is more complicated and costs more than insulating the loft floor, and it’s far less suitable for DIY enthusiasts.

Insulating rafters reduces the amount of heat that escapes through the roof. But it still allows heat to make its way up into the loft. This increases energy bills because your heating system has to work harder to keep your home warm.

Common Loft Insulation Materials

The most common types of loft insulation materials come in the form of blanket insulation or insulation boards.

Blanket Insulation 

Blanket insulation is typically made from materials such as rock mineral wool or fibreglass (glass mineral wool).

Other types of blanket insulation include plastic fibres and natural fibres such as sheep’s wool.

Blanket insulation is packaged in rolls or batts. 

Insulation rolls are the most common way to insulate lofts, and need to be cut by the installer themselves. Batt insulation is supplied in flat, pre-cut sections. 

Insulation Boards 

Rigid foam insulation boards are made from polyurethane or polystyrene.

They cost more than blanket insulation. But they provide better thermal efficiency, with a surface you can walk on and use as extra storage space.

Multiple Benefits of Loft Insulation

  • Insulating your loft is an easy, cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. And this results in many benefits.
  • Loft insulation makes your home more comfortable – warmer when the weather’s chilly and cooler in summer.
  • This means big savings on energy consumption and bills in winter as you rely less on your heating system to keep you warm.
  • Using less energy also benefits the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
  • A further advantage of loft insulation is that it soon pays for itself. It could also increase the value of your home.

Savings on Energy Bills

Around 10 percent of monthly household budgets go on paying electricity and gas bills.

Based on energy prices heading into 2024, this is about £160 a month – £1,920 a year. Heating accounts for more than half of this.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, based on fuel prices as of January 2024, loft insulation can cut annual energy bills by:

  • £445 in a detached house.
  • £270 in a semi-detached house.
  • £240 in a mid-terrace house.
  • £440 in a detached bungalow.

Increased Home Value

Insulation is a key factor in housing prices.

Fifty percent of homeowners may be unaware of the benefits of loft insulation, but savvy homebuyers will expect a loft to be insulated to ensure their heating bills are kept to a minimum.

They’ll also be interested in your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Home sellers are required by law to make this available to potential buyers.

An insulated loft means a higher EPC rating. This will make your house more appealing to homebuyers. It can raise the value of your property by 14 to 16 percent, according to some energy efficiency experts.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that absorbs heat. When released into the atmosphere it drives climate change and global warming, going against the UK’s legally binding goal of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Reducing heat loss from your home by insulating the loft lessens dependence on gas or electric heating systems, which reduces your carbon footprint. And the more efficient the insulation, the fewer carbon emissions.

Insulating an uninsulated loft reduces carbon output by anything from 550kg to 1,000kg a year, depending on your house type. Upgrading old loft insulation reduces carbon emissions by 50kg to 95kg.

Another environmental benefit of loft insulation is that it’s typically made from sustainable materials. This helps reduce your carbon footprint by contributing to conservation of natural resources.

Loft Insulation Payback

Some sources claim loft insulation lasts a hundred years. More conservative, and probably more realistic, estimates suggest it has an expected lifespan of at least 30 years and much longer in some cases.

One thing is certain: you’ll soon recoup the cost of insulating your loft. Loft insulation payback is fast – typically within two years. And you’ll enjoy long-term financial benefits as your loft insulation pays for itself many times over.

Loft Insulation Costs

Loft insulation costs depend largely on the type of house and loft size and the type of insulation materials.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates the cost of loft insulation at around:

  • £930 for a detached house. 
  • £760 for a semi-detached house. 
  • £720 for a mid-terrace house.
  • £940 for a detached bungalow.

Loft insulation rolls, priced at about £5 a square metre, are the most affordable way to insulate a loft. Costs average around £300, plus labour costs, which can vary widely.

Loft insulation costs increase if access to your loft is tricky or old insulation has to be removed.

If you want to see how much a loft insulation installation with Effective Home is, enter your postcode with us today for a free, no-obligation quote.

Loft Insulation Grants

The government funds various loft insulation grants that cover the entire cost or reduce the price considerably.

The main initiative that does this is the Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS), scheduled to remain open until March 2026.

The GBIS is designed for homes with an EPC rating of D to G in Council Tax bands A to D in England and A to E in Wales and Scotland.

Low-income households can also apply for loft insulation funding from the Local Authority Flexible Eligibility (LA Flex) initiative and the Affordable Warmth Scheme.

Benefits of Effective Home Loft Insulation Services

Leading energy efficiency company Effective Home has been helping households across the UK reap the benefits of loft insulation since 2008.

These homes lose substantially less heat, which reduces carbon emissions. And householders save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills year after year.

Effective Home loft insulation pricing is competitive and our expert insulation installers use cutting-edge techniques and work with the most technologically advanced loft insulation materials to ensure a long-lasting installation that keeps on benefitting you. 

A long-lasting solution from us will give you the full benefit of loft insulation, including maximum savings, for as long as possible. And there’s no VAT on professional loft insulation services until March 2027, making working with us even cheaper.

For some households, our loft insulation services cost them nothing or just a fraction of the cost, thanks to government-backed grants.

Effective Home offers a high level of customer service including ongoing support after loft insulation installation, and we provide a 25-year guarantee.

Contact us online or phone 0333 003 0703 to schedule a free, no-obligation loft insulation survey. We can also help you apply for a loft insulation grant, which could cover up to the entire cost if you’re eligible.

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