FreeInsulation Blog - 29th May 2020
Home insulation has long been known to act as a thermal barrier, slowing down the escape of warmer air from heating systems and keeping out cold air from outside. Boilers and other heating systems don’t need to work as hard because the heating can be turned on less often and for shorter periods. This ultimately leads to savings on fuel bills and is particularly effective when the heating system is thermostatically controlled because it is only turned on when required. Having adequate loft insulation can prevent as much as 25% of the heat being lost from your home whilst wall insulation can stop up to 35% of heat from escaping. Installing both types of insulation can save you hundreds of pounds each year on your energy bills.
The lesser known fact is that a well insulated home also has the opposite effect in summer by keeping it cooler. Radiant heat from sunlight directly hitting walls and roof surfaces is the main way that heat will try to enter your home. The warmer air from outside will also try to find a way in through ventilation ducts or other gaps in the walls and roof. Without insulation, the temperature inside your home could become as high as the temperature outside, making you very uncomfortable.
The temperature inside a loft can easily reach in excess of 40 degrees celsius in hot weather. Darker roof surfaces such as grey or black tiles will absorb more heat than lighter ones, make the heat inside unbearable. If the loft is not insulated, this heat will easily make it’s way down through the ceilings and into the rooms below. If the loft is insulated and it has been disturbed by tradesmen or by stored items, you can also end up with hot spots below. In other words certain rooms may be much hotter than others. You should check regularly to make sure that the loft insulation is laid evenly and to the recommended depth of 270mm (11 inches).
An even lesser known fact is that a well insulated home can save you money on energy bills during the summer because there should be no need to run air conditioning units or fans. If you do need to use an air conditioner, you will be able to operate it in a similar way to your heating in winter. It can be turned on less often and for shorter periods. The same applies to fans, although they can be counter productive because they heat the air immediately around them. So if you have cooling costs, they will be greatly reduced as the insulation will slow down the escape of colder air through the walls and roof.
Having adequate insulation means a more comfortable temperature level inside the home but you should be aware that it will also retain some heat at night. It is therefore a good idea to open some windows at night during hot weather as the air outside will most likely be cooler. Windows and doors should ideally be closed during the day to help prevent warm air from getting in, just as the insulation helps to stop it getting in through the walls and roof.
The summer months are also a good time to have your home insulated by a professional as they are normally quieter than they are during the autumn and winter. You could also qualify for a grant to cover some or all of the cost. To find out more, complete our online form to see if you qualify and EnergyLink will arrange for an approved local insulation installer to contact you.