Don’t Let Your Money Disappear Into the Thin Air: Insulate Your Loft
There are many things you can do to conserve energy and cut your energy bills — from switching to LED light bulbs to fitting super-efficient windows to switching off devices at the wall to washing clothes on a lower temperature setting. Most of these methods will only save from a few to maybe a few dozen pounds a year.
In the UK, the single biggest part of energy costs is space heating. We spend on average 4% of our income on energy (although this proportion rises to nearly 10% in the poorest households)* and keeping our homes warm (and, let’s be honest, not always THAT warm) accounts for two-thirds of our energy bills.
So it’s logical that slashing the bills starts with heating too. There are many ways to save on heating costs: turn your thermostat down a notch, buy a top-rated energy-efficient boiler…
But if you don’t want to feel any colder in the winter than you already do, and cannot commit to the initial outlay involved in replacing your appliances, there is one thing that can save you up to £225 every year!
Insulate your loft.
How Soon Will Your Loft Insulation Pay for Itself?
The average cost of fitting loft insulation varies depending on the size and type of the property, but even in the case of a mid-terraced house, where the savings are smaller, having the loft professionally insulated will pay for itself in under four years. For a detached house, the savings are so significant in relation to the costs that they get recouped in under two years — everything after that is pure savings!** Note also that these numbers are based on a typical gas-heated home, so if your fuel costs are higher, your savings will be even bigger and the investment will pay for itself even sooner.
How Much do I Need & Will I Lose Storage Space?
Recommended thickness of loft insulation is currently 270 mm — this will extend above the joists level and will either require raising the floor or will make boarding impossible. Squashing the insulation down is not an option, as it’s the air that’s trapped between the fibres that actually does the job of insulating.
Do you have to choose between insulated loft or loft suitable for storage? Not at all!
First of all, you might be able to raise the floor level. And if this is not the optimal option (e.g you don’t have enough height in the loft), fitting mineral wool between the joists, rigid insulation panels over that and loft boarding on top, or installing boarding pre-bonded to insulation panels will let you have your loft cake and eat it: a reduction in heat loss thanks to a well-insulated loft, and a convenient, safe to negotiate loft storage space.
DIY or Pro?
Lofts are our daily bread and butter here at Loft Professionals, and we of course think you should use professional services — ideally, ours. It is, after all, so much more convenient, faster and minimises mess and disruption in your home and your life.
But in all honesty, it’s perfectly possible to complete a perfectly passable loft insulation job as a DIY project, especially if your loft is fairly straightforward and accessible. Lugging big rolls of mineral wool blanket might not be everybody’s idea of a fun way to spend a weekend, but savings can be made this way.
If you are thinking of combining insulation and loft boarding, or if you want to not just insulate your living spaces but create a well-insulated loft storage room (a so-called ‘’warm loft’’), hiring a professional loft services company is definitely recommended.
* Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy data
** Energy Saving Trust data