The recent unprecedented heatwaves here in the UK served as a vivid reminder of the dangerous effects of a warming climate, and worse is still yet to come if, as a collective, we don’t work even harder to reduce the activities that contribute to climate change.
Many of us are already doing our bit. Reducing how often we eat meat, switching to electric vehicles and being more conscious about waste and recycling are conscious decisions to help the environment. And a lot of these tweaks to our lifestyles have additional benefits too, such as saving on fuel bills.
But if you want to do more, there is one big area that any homeowner can look to make a big difference – both for the environment, and their energy bills… home insulation!
England’s leaky housing stock
The UK has some of the oldest and leakiest homes in western Europe. The heat we pump into our homes to keep us warm dissipates quickly through our windows, around doors, up through the roof and even straight out of the walls. This is thrown into sharp focus when looking at gas usage throughout the EU – the UK uses around double the continental average each year, driven by over 90% of UK homes relying on gas boilers that are near-constantly helping to keep our homes comfortable during cooler months.
Lack of proper insulation is causing UK homes to lose a lot of that heat which is pumped in far faster too, with one study reported here found that they lose around on average 3°C after five hours
This has a huge impact on energy bills – an impact that all of us are more keenly feeling as prices skyrocket. It’s also having a big impact on the climate as we require more fossil fuels to keep our homes comfortable.
If improving your home’s insulation to support the climate, and your energy bills, then there are several areas you can look to.
Where to focus home insulation efforts
Data shows that around 25% of the heat you generate for your home is lost through the roof, so loft insulation would be a great place to start in better insulating your home.
You also lose around 35% through the gaps in and around windows and doors. These can be as simple to fix as getting a draft excluder, especially for the depths of winter. It’s also worth inspecting for any gaps between windows and the surrounds, especially in older homes.
Harder, more costly and time-consuming to fix though is the heat you lose through the walls and floor, which account for 45%.
An additional point of note here is to consider your boiler. Most modern boilers are extremely efficient and around 90% of the heat generated will be pumped back into the home, with just 10% lost. If you have an older boiler, then this may be lower and will be contributing to both your energy bills and to the amount of fossil fuels your home requires to heat.
Start with conservatory roof insulation
Around 2 in 10 UK homes have a conservatory, and if you’re one of them, you’ll know just how much it takes to keep them comfortably cosy during the winter!
Conservatories with traditional glass or PVC roofing are notoriously poor at trapping in heat. And, conversely, in the summer months, they’re also poor at keeping the heat out as well.
Around 80% of the heat in your conservatory during the winter will be lost through the roof and marks this one room (if your home has one) as likely the worst contributor to heat loss and increased fuel consumption.
If you’ve noticed that your conservatory is too cold in the winter and too hot to enjoy in the summer, then it’s a good sign that it’s time to consider conservatory roof insulation – to help both your energy bills and the climate!
At Sagars, our tried-and-tested foil quilt insulation technique helps homeowners save about £744 on average in energy bills per year by trapping that warm air in. And what’s more, an insulated conservatory roof helps to block the sun’s rays in the summer too, creating a space that you can enjoy all year around.