Insulating your home will not only make it warmer by trapping more of the heat inside, but will also save on fuel costs as your home will heat up faster and retain the heat more effectively. Here are some simple and cost-effective ways of insulating your home and saving energy.
Insulating Your Floor
Installing a bulking material such as mineral wool underneath floorboards will improve heat retention around your home and can often be put in place in as little as a day. An additional benefit of mineral wool is that it acts as a repellent to rodents, but it can also irritate the skin and lungs when handled, so take sensible safety precautions when using this material.
You can also use a silicon sealant to fill gaps around skirting boards and floorboards, but do ensure you use compatible cleaning products to cleanse the area before sealing as some cleaners will stop the silicon from sticking to the intended surface.
Insulating Your Loft
Research carried out by the Energy Saving Trust has concluded that the absence of loft insulation can lead to a home losing 25% of its heat through the roof. Householders can reduce their heating bill by as much as 150 each year by installing some basic loft insulation, which can be effective for as much as forty years.
You can insulate your loft by positioning some cheap insulation blankets across the entire surface area of the loft. The blankets need to be a minimum of 270mm in thickness to really be effective and if you have some existing insulation that doesn't meet this standard you can simply add thinner layers on top of the existing material.
Insulating Your Walls
In addition to the 35% of heat lost through the roof, a further 33% is lost via the walls of your home. Wall insulation is usually carried out by a contractor, but it is relatively inexpensive and there are grants available to help with the costs. Contact the Home Improvement Agency, Energy Saving Trust or your local Citizens Advice Bureaux for help with grant applications.
If you have gaps between your walls you can simply have them filled with wool or foam, but if your walls are solid you will need to have insulation installed around the inside or outside of the property. It's best to hire a specialist for this and you can find a contractor in your area by contacting The Insulated Render and Cladding Association.
Fitting draught excluders, which can be bought from most hardware shops, around windows, letterboxes and door frames can help to retain heat in a room and prevent the cold from creeping in through small gaps.
You can also place some foil behind radiators, which heat back into the centre of the room rather than seeping through the walls. DIY stores sell foil specifically for this purpose, but you can also use standard kitchen foil.
Lastly, make sure you don't have furniture such as a sofa blocking radiators as this will absorb most of the heat and cause the room to take much longer to reach a comfortable temperature.
Genelia writes regularly on a variety of topics encompassing home improvement, cleaning products and general DIY tips for a range of specialist websites and blogs.