Insulating your home is key to keeping your property warm and cosy, but also to ensuring the money you do spend on heating and cooling is used efficiently, and does the job it should.
There are, of course, many different types of insulation available, and each performs in a different way. So how much does insulation save you on energy bills? Well, it all depends on the insulating properties of the material – so it’s well worth investigating the different types on offer. Here’s the latest lowdown…
Fibreglass Insulation Panels
Panels made up of tightly wound fibreglass strands can be stuffed into wall or floor cavities, or fitted between joists, studs or beams. It’s normally a do-it-yourself job, but can’t be touched, and you shouldn’t breathe the air around it without a mask, making it terribly tricky to install.
Fibreglass insulation panels are the most popular traditional insulation product, as they’re comparatively inexpensive. However, they really do encapsulate the adage ‘you get what you pay for’; in terms of efficacy, they leave a lot left to be desired.
They deteriorate and break down over time, and discolour with dust as they allow air to pass through. Fibreglass doesn’t completely absorb water and moisture completely, and can therefore be particularly difficult to dry out.
Whilst it is wet, fibreglass insulation is almost completely ineffective. This renders fibreglass’s effect on energy bill savings significantly lower during cold and wet weather.
Concrete Block Insulation
Concrete blocks built directly in between walls are intended to block thermal conductivity, as part of the original building infrastructure.
Concrete blocks are extremely difficult to retrofit and so any reduction in energy usage, and therefore bills, will likely not be noticed.
Cellulose Blown-In Insulation
Blown or poured into cavities, cellulose acts as a barrier to air flow and looks like scrunched up newspaper. Cellulose is made up of recycled paper fibres and fire-retardant materials.
It is more effective than fibreglass insulation, so energy savings are higher, but it does permit moisture transfer, and so isn’t approved for usage worldwide.