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Looking to save money on your energy bills? Whether your company is located in your own home or a business premise, then insulating the loft is one of the most effective ways of reducing the cost of your heating bills and becoming more energy efficient. In fact, a quarter of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated building. When installed correctly, loft insulation should enable you to make a profit over its 40-year lifetime.
Want to know more about loft insulation? In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know on how to insulate a loft. From the purpose of insulation to how to fit it, we’ll make sure you have the knowledge and know-how to insulate your property. Plus, we’ll provide some handy tips on how else you can bring those energy bills down.
Why do I need loft insulation?
Loft insulation is like a woolly hat for a building. It keeps the warm air inside, rather than escaping up through the roof. This is because hot air rises and pushes colder air down. With loft insulation, the building will feel much cosier and you won’t need to put the heating on as frequently, meaning cheaper energy bills.
According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, there are 24.5 million properties that have a loft, but only 16.2 million have loft insulation. That’s 34% of UK properties that are missing out on savings. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that with loft insulation, a large property can save around £380. Plus, there’s an average saving of 806kg of carbon dioxide every year too.
How does loft insulation work?
So how does loft insulation work? Usually, lofts are insulated with rolls of foil-backed felt or mineral fibre. Lofts with hatches that are too small for an adult to fit through are sprayed with polyurethane foam or mineral wool. Loft insulation acts as stuffing or blankets that keep the warmer air inside the property, rather than it escaping through the roof.
For those who use their loft for storage, you will use cold loft insulation. However, for those who have converted their lofts into living or office spaces and need to keep the loft heated, then you’ll need to have warm loft insulation. Since this is more difficult, we advise getting a professional in to install it.
There are some things you need to consider when insulating your loft.
- Storage space: if you’re storing more than just leftover boxes or paperwork in the loft of your business property, then laying down the rolls won’t provide enough insulation. This is because the items will press down and squash the spongey material, reducing its effectiveness. To prevent this, you’ll need to fit loft insulation between the joists, then fit rigid insulation boards across them, with floorboards on top. For a faster and easier job, you can even buy insulation and floorboards bonded together.
- Ventilation: air needs to flow in and out of your property to stay fresh, healthy, and dry. If you’re doing a DIY installation, then you need to ensure that you’re not covering any grilles, airbricks, or vents.
- Flat roofs: if you have a flat roof, then it should be preferably insulated from above. A layer of insulation can be added to the top of the roof’s weatherproof layer or timber roof surface, then a new weatherproof layer added on top.
- Damp lofts: since insulation stops heat escaping from the building, it can make your loft significantly cooler, which will worsen existing damp or condensation problems. If you experience damp issues, then it’s best to seek a professional’s advice first before completing a DIY loft insulation job.
How much loft insulation do I need?
To achieve the best loft insulation, the recommended depth is between 250 to 270mm. If you’ve had loft insulation in the past, then it’s best to check its depth, because if the material becomes squashed over time with the weight of your paperwork and unused office funiture, then its effectiveness will wear off. This would lead to increasing energy bills.
Make sure you check the hatch too as a lot of heat can escape between the cracks. Ensure it fits snugly, and if you notice that the fit is a lot tighter in the winter than in the summer, then you may have a damp problem. As for insulation, another way to save money on your energy bills would be to insulate your walls too. With cavity wall insulation, you can further save on your heating bills by wrapping your property up in a warm, insulating blanket.
How much does loft insulation cost?
The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that for a large domestic or commercial property, loft insulation will cost around £395. Though it may seem deer at the time, using the best loft insulation will ensure that, not only will you make significant savings on your gas and electricity bills, but you will also help to reduce carbon emissions. If you’d like to improve your carbon footprint even more, then why not switch to green utility providers? We can help with that.
How to lay loft insulation
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to insulate your property and see the benefits of better energy bills. But now you’re maybe wondering how to lay loft insulation? Don’t worry, we’ve laid out a plan below. You’ll need to clear out your loft first and purchase the best loft insulation that you can afford, we recommend rolls of blanket loft insulation made of mineral wool or recycled materials.
- Measure your loft and purchase the best loft insulation in the form of rolls with a depth of at least 270mm.
- Lag any pipes or water tanks in the roof space. This is to prevent them from freezing because the air will become significantly cooler once you’ve insulated the loft, as it will prevent the warm air from rising.
- Then check if there’s any electrical wiring. If there is, then it will have to be located above the insulation, however, do not stretch the wiring to achieve this. When in doubt, consult with an electrician.
- Unroll the insulation and lay it between the joists. Most joists are around 100mm high, so you need 100mm thick wool loft insulation for the first layer. When cutting to fit, make sure you use scissors as cutting or tearing will reduce its effectiveness.
- Create a second layer with 200mm of wool loft insulation.
And that’s how to insulate a loft for businesses. We hope this has helped you decide if insulating your loft is right for you. If you’d like further ways of lowering your energy bills, then why not speak to one of our friendly expert team who will negotiate better prices on your utility bills.
Frequently asked questions
The energy regulator, Ofgem, will implement a SoLR or “supplier of last resort” if your supplier ceased business.
No, if your supplier ceased business, your supply will not be cut off. This is because you will be given a SoLR or “supplier of last resort” to ensure you have a continuous supply of gas and electricity. Other suppliers will bid to replace the contracts of businesses that have ceased trading and Ofgem will try to get the best possible deal for the customer in these circumstances.
Ofgem will be working on finding your new supplier as quickly as possible. This will be announced on their website within a few days.
Your business contract will now be void and you will immediately be put on an “out of contract” rate which may result in your bills increasing. This will only be the case until a new tariff is agreed.
In regards to domestic customers, the protection of funds paid by non-domestic customers into their accounts “cannot be guaranteed”. Find out more information here.
Depending on your new supplier, you will still need to pay the debt to your new supplier if they have agreed to take on customer debts owed to your old supplier. If this is not the case, you will need to set up a payment plan with your old supplier’s administrators that will get in touch with you.
Businesses that use a smart meter will be appointed a SoLR and will still have access to a continuous supply. Similarly, to traditional meters, Ofgem will quickly find a suitable supplier for the circumstances. If a supplier is appointed but they can’t operate your smart meter in smart mode, it will work as a traditional meter for that time.
Ofgem advises that you should not cancel your direct debit as your new supplier will get in touch to provide further information on direct debit arrangements.
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