Loft insulation is the perfect solution for those wanting to reduce heat loss in the home. Here, we talk you through how it works, the different types of insulation and even how you could get it for free.
How does loft insulation work?
Whilst it’s important that you’ve had a boiler service as we approach the winter months, the thought of 25% of your home’s heat escaping through your roof is enough to give anybody chills. But that’s exactly what could be happening in your property without adequate loft insulation.
Loft insulation comes in a variety of materials and works by trapping air molecules, which restricts their movement and slows down heat transfer through the roof. This means that your home stays warmer, without you having to increase the amount of energy you use.
What different types of loft insulation are available?
The most common material used is blanket loft insulation. This is foil backed felt, rock glass or mineral fibre, and is rolled out between the joists. Blanket loft insulation is also good for insulating exposed wall cavities.
An alternative way to insulate your loft is to fit the insulation between and over the rafters – these are the sloping timbers that make up the roof itself. You can use rigid insulation board, carefully cut to size, or you can opt to have foam insulation sprayed between the rafters.
Other forms of insulation include loose fill loft insulation, including cork granules and mineral wool, which can be installed between irregularly spaced joists and obstructions. This type of insulation can also be used to top up existing insulation in attics.
There is also the option of blown fibre loft insulation, which is blown into the gaps between the joists and is perfect for difficult to access areas.
Can you install loft insulation yourself?
The most common types, such as blanket loft insulation, are straightforward to install yourself and are easy to cut into the sizes and shapes you need. However, more specialised types, such as foam and blown fibre, are best left to a professional contractor.
In any case, it may be worth consulting a professional if you are unsure of the type you need. Additionally, this will also make sure that there aren’t any underlying issues present before installation, such as damp.
Can I get free loft insulation?
The good news is that there are a number of loft insulation grants available that can cover either the total or partial cost of the fitting. The main ones are the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant, and the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme.
What are ECO Grants?
The Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government-backed energy efficiency scheme that obligates the UK’s big energy companies to help customers on certain benefits afford energy-saving home improvements. As well as providing funding for a free boiler, it also covers a range of other energy-saving measures. This includes loft insulation.
What is the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme?
The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme (GHGVS) provides vouchers for energy efficiency measures, including funding for loft insulation. It is split between those on low incomes and certain benefits, who can apply for vouchers that cover the total cost up to £10,000, and a general scheme that is open to everybody and provides grants that cover two thirds of the cost, up to £5,000.