If you have studied GCSE physics, you’ll know that 25% of the heat in your home is lost via its roof.
With this in mind, finding ways to discover where heat is lost and improving your home’s insulation by stopping cold air from entering couldn’t be more important, especially if you want to reduce your fuel bills!
Installing loft insulation is known to be highly effective in reducing the amount of heat lost from your property.
But how does insulation reduce heat loss?
Knowing this is imperative if you’re going to slash your home’s energy bill and preserve heat.
Read on to discover how loft insulation reduces heat loss.
In this article you’ll find:
- How Does Insulation Stop Heat Loss?
- How Thick Should Loft Insulation Be?
- Can I Carry Out Insulation Installations Myself?
- How Do I Ensure My Home’s Insulated Properly?
- Will I Be Able To Store Items In My Loft If It’s Insulated?
- Will Warm Air Get Into My Loft Through The Loft Hatch?
- My Loft Is Now A Living Space – Can I Still Insulate It?
- How Can I Find A Professional Installer?
- Can I Get Any Financial Help With Insulation?
How Does Loft Insulation Reduce Heat Loss?
Whenever you’re heating your home with a fireplace or central heating, lots of the heat inside escapes, not only through windows and doors but also through your roof space.
This is because warm air rises so you might ask, will my lofts insulation make my house warmer?
Well, both convection and conduction methods cause heat loss via the roof.
But if you lay an insulating material in your loft space, this is an effective way to reduce heat escape and heat transfer.
As a result, your heating bills will be lower, and your house will be warmer, yet you won’t need to use your heating system as often.
A layer of insulation traps heat in the rooms under your loft. This means the air in your home stays warm for longer.
Also, the cold air from outdoors is prevented from getting into the property, thus reducing the amount of heating you require to stay comfortable in your rooms.
Over a single year, the energy-saving could help you reduce your heating costs and save hundreds of pounds.
Insulating My Loft: How Thick Should Insulation Be?
When it comes to making sure your homes insulated, and you want to insulate your loft, you need to know how thick the insulation material should be.
Any professional installer will tell you that when it comes to roof and loft insulation, the thicker your material is, the better it performs.
The energy-saving trust, an organisation working to address climate change, suggests that, as a minimum, you insulate your home to a depth of 120mm and preferably up to 270mm for maximum benefit.
What type of loft insulation do I need to reduce heat loss? There are two main types of insulation:
- Laying out batts (or rolled pieces) of fibreglass or mineral wool insulation onto the loft’s base.
- Blowing loose-fill roof insulation material into place with pressured air and a hose. Spray foam insulation is ideal for this. Spraying foam insulation is easy in hard-to-access loft spaces as well as those with difficult to reach crevices.
Can I Carry Out Insulation Installations Myself?
Many people who are keen on improving the insulation in their own loft find that they can do the job themselves. You can insulate it yourself so long as:
- You can easily access your loft space through the loft hatch
- You have no issues with condensation or damp
- You have regularly spaced joists
- You aren’t insulating a flat roof
How Do I Ensure My Home’s Insulated Properly?
If your loft is dry, easily accessed and has joists that are evenly spaced, the easiest way of preventing heat loss through the roof and improving your home’s insulation is by insulating between the joists using blanket insulation material:
- Clear any items from the loft floor
- Next, lag your water tanks and pipes to stop them from freezing
- Make sure electrical wiring in your loft is above the blanket insulation material
- Measure the loft space then purchase the right amount of insulation product so it can be filled to the recommended depth
- Unroll the blanket material, laying it carefully between the joists. Cut it with scissors if necessary.
- Make another layer of material, laying it at a right angle to the first one.
By following these instructions, the insulation material reduces heat losses significantly from your roof.
Will I Be Able To Store Items In My Loft If It’s Insulated?
Many people want to store items inside their loft. If you wish to do this after insulating it, you’ll need to put boards on top of the joists.
However, you can’t get a thick enough layer of insulation if you just fill the gaps between your joists and place boards over the top.
The easiest way to achieve this is by laying wool insulation between the joists before fitting rigid insulation boards over them. Finally, lay floorboards over the top.
Alternatively, you could insulate in between the roof’s rafters instead of insulating the joists.
Will Warm Air Get Into My Loft Through The Loft Hatch?
Even if the insulation has trapped warm air in your home, it could still escape through the roof via your loft hatch.
A well-fitting loft hatch stops heat from escaping, and applying some draught-stripping in between the frame and hatch will also help prevent home heat from being lost.
My Loft Is Now A Living Space – Can I Still Insulate It?
Lots of people now use their loft as a study, games room or bedroom. However, to prevent losing heat, insulation is still needed.
You can’t insulate the floor if you’re using the space as a living area so insulating the roof is the best solution.
You can do this by fitting insulation boards between the rafters making sure to leave air gaps to guard against condensation.
How Can I Find A Professional Installer?
Go to the NIA (National Insulation Association) website. You’ll find plenty of reliable installers close to your home who can advise you on the type of insulation you need. Alternatively, if you live in Scotland, visit the Home Energy Scotland website.
Can I Get Any Financial Help With Insulation?
You can save energy at home and get great discounts with a scheme called the Green Homes Grant. Green Homes help landlords and homeowners in England to pay for the costs of improving their homes energy efficiency and heating system.
The grant can help pay to improve your homes insulation as well as other energy-saving options such as fitting double glazing to a pane of glass, installing source heat pumps, and fitting energy supplier smart meters.
Although it doesn’t cover the cost of fitting charging points for electric vehicles, it can not only cover the cost of loft insulation but also:
- Solid wall insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Floor insulation
These vouchers can cover up to 2/3rds of the cost to make your property more energy-efficient and can be worth £5000 per household.
If you aren’t sure which energy-saving methods your home could benefit from to lower your heating bills, you should arrange an energy assessment.
You can find out more about energy services by clicking here.