I’ve recently written about Winter proofing your house and touched upon making sure your house is insulated properly. Good insulation is essential. Even the attic needs to be properly insulated. If it isn’t, cold air can get into the attic and that will compete with the warm air that naturally rises. Proper insulation also means having adequate seals around all windows and doors. If you have an unheated garage that is attached to the house, make sure that is also well insulated. Otherwise, that poorly insulated wall that is up against the house may bring in a lot of cold air.
An uninsulated home loses around:
- 25% of its heat through the roof
- 33% through the walls
- 15% through the floors
- 15% through draughts
- 20% through the windows.
However, you may be like me and not know which type of insulation is best for your home or the cost of loft installation or inner wall insulation. We are currently in the process of buying a house and know that the insulating needs to be one of our first jobs to do so I have been doing a little research.
Blanket insulation is available in rolls of foil-backed felt, rock, glass or mineral fibre. This is used a lot for loft insulation but is also great for insulating accessible spaces such as exposed wall cavities.
Loose fill insulation
This is made from a variety of granular or lightweight materials such as cork granules, mineral wool or cellulose fibre. Greener types of loose-fill insulation include recycled newspaper.
Sheet insulation is designed for insulating the sloping sides of the roof and comes in the form of firm boards. Some sheet insulation boards are available with a fire-resistant, moisture-resistant or decorative covering. Greener sheet loft insulation options include cork, straw and wood board.
Sprayed in foam insulation
Sprayed in foam insulation needs to be done by a professional. Sprayed in foam is installed using a foaming agent and will expand and become solid as the mixture cures. Slow curing foams are available which will flow around any obstructions inside the wall cavity before hardening.
Blown in insulation
This involves mineral fibres being blown into a void in the space that needs insulating. It is quick to install and can be effective for spaces with limited access, such as gaps between roof joists or cavity walls. The most common materials that are used include cellulose, fibre glass and mineral rock wool. Greener insulation options include recycled paper or wool.
Blue Jean insulation
This is one of the newer ways to insulate and comes from people looking for more eco friendly ways to insulate. It is literally using old jeans as insulation. Denim is made from cotton which is a natural material which provides very good thermal efficiency once it’s been deconstructed and remanufactured. The jeans are shredded by industrial equipment and finally deconstructed until they are returned to their base material cotton fibres.