Efficiency. It seems to be the buzzword of the moment. Everything has to be energy efficient, from cars to light bulbs. Opinions are divided on whether this is a good thing, for example some say modern energy efficient bulbs are dimmer. But one thing that isn’t disputed is the benefit of having a more energy efficient home, more warmth and lower bills are a win win situation!
Building regulations mean modern homes are exceptionally well insulated, but homes that haven’t been built in the past decade or so lack this insulation, resulting in higher energy bills. Studies show that up to 25% of a home’s heat loss can be through the roof, which equates to around £250 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust. Luckily there is a relatively cheap and DIY friendly answer to this problem.
Installing or uprating loft insulation is a simple and inexpensive job. Rolls of loft insulation are often made to fit perfectly between the joists in an average loft, meaning they just need to be unrolled into place. Of course there are a few things to bear in mind, but adhere to these and you’re on to a winner!
- The recommended total thickness for loft insulation is 270 – 300mm. To achieve this thickness, the layers of insulation will likely rise above the joists. This can potentially restrict the usage of the loft as the joists will be hidden from view.
- If you do need to use your loft, there are 2 further options, either lay the insulation until it is flush with the top of the joists, or affix chipboard sheets to the joists and lay some additional insulation on top of those.
Lights & Cables
- It is commonly stated that loft insulation can be placed over general wiring, if the wiring is recent and in good condition, this should be fine, but if you’re in any doubt, consult an electrician.
- Shower cables can run hot, so laying insulation over these should be avoided.
- If you’ve got halogen bulbs installed in the ceiling below, consider adding a capping between them and the insulation. This helps dissipate the heat produced by these bulbs.
- While you’re at it, don’t forget to insulate any pipes or water tanks within the loft that are above the insulation layer. During the winter, loft temperatures can dip below freezing, especially if a thick layer of loft insulation has been installed.
Health & Safety
- Wear gloves and a dust mask, loft insulation can be an irritant.
- Make sure the loft is tidy, and you have an assistant nearby.
- Stand on the joists only, or place a board over the joists to spread your weight, we’ve all seen you’ve been framed to know what can happen if you don’t!
Some other Handy Tips
- Start from the far end of the loft and work your way back.
- Don’t forget to insulate the loft hatch when you’re done!
Here at Richards, we can supply whatever you need to insulate your loft, from the insulation to dust masks. CLICK HERE to learn more!.