Home insulation can dramatically reduce the cost of heating in the home by preventing warm air from escaping. It is a quick, cost-effective method of reducing energy bills by up to 40% every year. Types of home insulation include loft insulation and external wall insulation, but the type that we are going to take a closer look at today is cavity wall insulation. This has the potential to increase your home’s energy performance certificate rating and the value of your property. So, let’s begin by looking at what you first need to ask yourself…
Is cavity wall insulation right for your home?
Properties with solid walls are unable to have cavity wall insulation; properties built before the 1920’s tend to have solid walls. This means there are no cavity walls (space between the outer and inner brick) for the insulation to be inserted between. However, properties built after 2005 may already have cavity wall insulation included as part of their original construction, and you may just be none the wiser. Also, damp issues will need to be corrected and access to exterior walls ensured before the process can begin.
Understanding the installation process
The majority of homes have a space between the inner and outer brick, which is left empty to prevent damp issues. It is now possible to make use of this space by adding cavity wall insulation, the process being relatively simple and taking a professional installer around 2-3 hours. To begin with, a series of small holes will be drilled into the outer wall or your property and then the insulation will be inserted. The insulation material used will either be foam, beads or wool, but the aim remains the same; to stop heat from escaping and cooler air from passing through.
Don’t DIY cavity wall insulation
People are looking to save on costly house improvements and this is the same for home insulation. However, although it is possible to carry out DIY loft insulation, cavity wall insulation is a different matter and should only be carried out by an expert. This is because the job requires special equipment, and doing it the DIY way can lead to damp problems. Yes, doing DIY is a good idea and can result in some great home improvements, but choose wisely and make sure to consider the options available.
Getting the best quote
If you are considering an investment in cavity wall insulation, then the following consumer tips to getting the best quote will be helpful:
- It is often best to avoid door-stepping companies or those who spam your phone with text messages. These methods of marketing are not only considered poor practice, but this is the most typical way of hiring a rogue trader.
- When considering local installers, get more than one quote in order to make proper comparisons.
- Be specific about the type of insulation you want, make sure the quote lists all of the essential information and double check the price.
- Take the time to find out if you meet the criteria for a cavity wall insulation grant, which we are going to learn more about now.
In the UK, it is possible to qualify for free or cheaper cavity wall insulation, but free insulation is mainly offered to people who claim state benefits such as disability living allowance, pension credits and income support. In addition to this, if you get child or working tax credits and your income is under £15,860 then you will be eligible for free cavity wall insulation. If this is not applicable for your particular case, discounts may still be possible as many energy companies are obliged to offer them due to the Carbon Emission Reduction Target scheme. Check your grant eligibility here or speak to an energy supplier to learn more.
Image credit: chaim zvi