Loft insulation acts as a blanket trapping any heat rising from the house below and not allowing the heat get through your roof in the hot summer days keeping your house cooler.If your loft is already insulated, it's worth checking that you've got enough insulation to get the maximum saving. |
The UK Energy Saving Trust says that if everyone installed 270mm loft insulation, we could save nearly £500 million - and 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 100,000 cars off the road.
Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years, and it will pay for itself over and over again in that time. But if you live in the UK, you can get the insulation done free of charge through the government grant scheme.
Now let's have a look at the materials used for loft insulation, recommended by the Energy Saving Trust.
Matting - sometimes called blanket or quilt insulation - is sold as flexible rolls of different thicknesses. The most common type is mineral wool, made from glass or rock fibre. This is the standard material for insulating an empty loft, and is also commonly used in insulating stud walls and under suspended timber floors. Other materials such as sheep's wool are also available. You should wear a protective mask and gloves when working with mineral wool.
Loose - fill material, made of cork granules, vermiculite, mineral wool or cellulose fibre, is sold in bags. It is usually poured between the joists to insulate lofts. As it is so flexible, it is ideal for loft spaces with awkward corners or obstructions, or if the joist spacings are irregular or not the same size as the matting available.
Blown insulation is made of fire-resistant cellulose fibre, made from recycled newspapers, or mineral wool. It should only be installed by professionals, who will use specialist equipment to blow the loose material into a specific, sectioned-off area to the required depth. The material may remain loose if used for loft insulation, but can also bond to a surface (and itself) for insulating stud walls etc.
Rigid insulation boards can be used to insulate walls, floors and ceilings. They are mostly made from foamed plastic such as polystyrene, polyurethane (PUR) or polyisocyanurate (PIR). PUR and PIR board are amongst the best insulation materials commonly used, and so are useful where space is limited. Rigid board has to be cut to size, so fitting is often a skilled job.You can put as much insulation you want as long as there is space in your loft. The thicker the insulation is the less heat you will lose and the more money you will save.
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