Every home in the world should be fitted with loft insulation, which will help to keep heat within the home rather than allowing it to escape. This is becoming an increasing issue as the importance of global warming is becoming better understood and advertised and many people have recently made the move to check and upgrade their loft insulation to ensure it is up to scratch.
So, if you have been wondering how you can make sure your home isn't contributing to the energy crisis, here's everything you need to know about loft insulation:
1) What is loft insulation?
As explained, loft insulation is placed in the loft space or ceiling area of the home to keep heat enclosed within the property. However, this doesn’t really explain what loft insulation is completely. As the Wikipedia article on building insulation explains, 'insulation reduces unwanted heat loss or gain and can decrease the energy demands of heating and cooling systems'. This obviously also means that you won't need to be turning up your heating all of the time in order to compensate for heat lost through your un-insulated loft.
You can get many different kinds of loft insulation, from ‘generic’ insulation to ‘green’ alternatives. Bettergeneration.co.uk explains that 'rolled or blanket insulation is usually made from mineral wool or fibreglass', but that you can also 'use blanket insulation made from the blended wool of British hill sheep'. This kind of insulation does cost a bit more, but it has the added benefit of being better for the environment and completely non-toxic, so it won't irritate your skin when you're installing it.
You can also get granular insulation which comes as a loose material that can is used within small loft spaces that aren't easily accessible. This kind of insulation must be blown into place using a machine, which is something only a professional will be able to do.
2) How much insulation do I need?
This is a question many people will have pondered, but the answer is very simple. Thinkinsulation.co.uk explains that 'to meet current Building Regulations you need 270mm of mineral wool insulation - 100mm between the ceiling joists and 170mm cross-laid (at 90 degrees to the bottom layer) over the joists'.
3) Where can I buy it from?
You can now buy loft insulation from online shops and bricks-and-mortar stores, so it is generally up to you where you buy it from. However, you should always buy from a reputable retailer, don’t forget to factor this in when considering the cost of loft conversion, you may be better off getting expert advice and expertise rather than taking the DIY approach.
4) Can I install it myself?
It is possible to install your loft insulation yourself; however, as the DirectGov website explains, 'it is important to understand how to install insulation in a way that doesn’t cause problems with poor ventilation of the loft space'.
Because you will be sealing warmth inside your home you may experience some issues with condensation. The peterborough.gov.uk website advises people to leave permanent ventilators uncovered, to leave some space available on chimneys, to not draught proof any room that contains a gas heater or any other fuel burning heater, and to never draught proof a window within a bathroom or kitchen, where condensation can become a real issue.
If you would like to lower your energy bills you should check your loft insulation to ensure it doesn’t need upgrading.