Insulating your loft can prevent large amounts of heat escaping through your roof-space. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that insulating the loft of an average house can save between £150 and £250 on your energy bills — and, of course, this reduces your carbon footprint, too.
There are many kinds of insulating material on the market, though. So which is best?
A loft that hasn’t been touched for decades will probably have blanket insulation in between the joists — though a very inadequate amount. This is the most standard form of loft insulation, and not only because it’s cheap.
Blanket insulation is typically made of rock, glass or mineral fibre and comes in rolls. It’s very easy to fit, especially between the joists, which is all you should need if the temperature of the loft itself doesn’t need to be regulated.
However, if you’re going to either spend time up there or store temperature-sensitive items, you’ll also need to insulate the underside of the roof. Blanket insulation isn’t ideal for that.
If you already have insulation between the joists but need to top it up, you can go for extra layers of blanket insulation, or else use loose-fill. This is loose, lightweight material that can be packed on top to reach the desired depth.
The big advantage of loose-fill insulation is that it’s very cheap, especially if you use recycled materials — this can even be a shredded newspaper. On the other hand, it can only really be used to top up and isn’t very effective used as the primary insulation.
If you need to get insulation into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, blown-fibre insulation is the ideal solution. This can be loose materials of various kinds which are blown into the gaps.
This is only a partial solution, though, and isn’t adequate for insulating the whole loft, especially if it’s draughty. It’s also expensive since the machinery used has to be operated by a professional.
If you need a temperature-controlled loft, you’ll also need to insulate the underside of your roof. While blanket insulation isn’t generally suitable, you can buy insulating sheets for the purpose.
The sheets can be made of various materials, natural or synthetic. The insulation quality tends to be excellent, and the boards can be decorated over, but this is the most expensive type of loft insulation.
Essentially, all these can be the “best” type of insulation, depending on your needs. To discuss your options further, feel free to get in touch with us for a chat.