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Top Tips – August


Prepare for Winter – Insulate your home

Augusts Top Tip is to prepare for winter by insulating your home. Summer is a good time to start thinking about this as you can get the work done while it isn’t too cold or wet (hopefully) and also once it is done you will be ready for the colder weather. 

We like to keep our homes warm but as a result a lot of this warmth is lost through the materials that the house is made of. The main areas where this happens is the walls and the roof of the house. The picture below shows how much heat is lost from different parts of a house.

Diagram showing heatloss from a house

What is Insulation?

There are two main types of household insulation that people can have installed; cavity wall and loft insulation. You can also get insulation for other things around your home that give off heat such as your hot water cylinder and hot water tank and some of your pipes. These are very easy and cheap to insulate and usually pay for themselves in less than a year and then all the savings you make after that is money in your pocket. 

Cavity Wall Insulation

In most homes built after the 1920’s the external walls were made of 2 layers of brick with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them. Insulating your cavity walls means filling that gap in order to keep more heat in your home. The walls of the average house lose around 35% of the heat from your home therefore insulating these walls makes a big difference. Cavity wall insulation can save up to £115 per year on your heating bills.

Installing cavity wall insulation is not something people can usually do themselves as it takes specialist equipment and surveyors to assess whether the property is suitable for cavity wall insulation and also to carry out the work. There are a number of local contractors available who can do this. At current prices it takes the average household around 2-3 years to pay back in savings what it costs to have this installed.

Image of cavity wall insultation  Image showing cavity wall insulation being added

Loft Insulation

Loft Insulation being added to a houseMost homes have a loft in their roof. As heat rises a lot of it escapes from the roofs of properties therefore it is very beneficial to put insulation in this loft space so that your home will lose heat more slowly. This can be difficult as sometimes we have loft conversions where this space is actually another bedroom but if not and you do have room for insulation in your loft then it is recommended. Getting your loft insulated alone can save you between £30 and £40 per year on your heating bills. Loft insulation is relatively easy to install and (unlike cavity wall insulation) you can pick up some loft insulation and do this yourself. As seen in the picture below it is just a case of ensuring that the sheets are the correct size and rolling them out to the desired depth in your loft.

Please note that many of the materials used for loft insulation can be harmful to inhale therefore a mask should be worn if doing this yourself. Alternatively there are again a number of local contractors that can do this for you. At current prices it takes the average household around 12 months to pay back in savings what it costs to have this installed (this varies depending on whether you do it yourself or whether you get a contractor to do it for you).

How can I get it done?

As mentioned above there are a number of local contractors who can carry out cavity wall and loft insulation installations. In order to find a list of approved and accredited contractors please contact the Energy Saving Trust free on 0800 512 012. They have up to date information on the best deals from trusted contractors or alternatively for similar information call Tameside Trading Standards Service on 0161 342 2288.

Did you know…?

The government is currently running a scheme called the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) which aims to reduce the amount of carbon we use. This has resulted in all cavity wall and loft insulation being heavily subsidised so it is much cheaper than it used to be. Also, if someone in your household is over 70 it is completely free no matter who you get to do the work.

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