Cavity wall insulation is a cheap and effective way to make your home more energy efficient. Around a third of your heating is lost through the walls and insulating them can save you money on energy bills as well as cutting carbon emissions. You may be able to get it for free under the government’s ECO scheme which helps low-income households to improve their homes. However, if you’re not eligible for this funding you can still afford to have it installed by paying for it yourself or using finance options.
Whether or not you can afford to have it installed depends on the type of property and how much heat it loses, but typically you should expect to see a return on investment in just three years. You can also use the money you save on your energy bills to pay for other improvements to your home, or put it towards a mortgage deposit.
A lot of people don’t know that their homes are likely to have cavity walls – they started being built in the 1920s and are a common feature of older properties. If your property has them, the outer brick skins are held together with metal wall ties and there is a gap in the middle of them, known as the cavity.
The cavity between the inner and outer wall can be filled with insulating cavity wall installers near me material to stop warmth escaping through the walls, and it can be blown in through the gaps between the bricks using specialist equipment. The installation only takes a couple of hours, and there is minimal disruption. Ideally, you should use a registered installer who is accredited by a professional body such as the National Insulation Association, the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) or the British Board of Agreement.
Once the work is completed your installer will leave you a guarantee that the insulation complies with building regulations and should also check to make sure that there are no damp patches on the internal face of the external wall. They will also drill holes at intervals of 1m and fill them with a damp proof course, and you should be able to see these marks on the outside of your house.
Before choosing a company to carry out the installation, you should find out what type of insulation they use – there are several different types available, including mineral fibre wool, polystyrene beads or granules (also known as ‘beads’) and polyurethane foam. If possible, you should go for PUR, which offers seamless insulation with no thermal bridges and is the most effective option.
You should also check what ventilation system they recommend to use, as if the property isn’t properly ventilated it can lead to problems such as condensation and mould. They might suggest natural ventilation, which involves opening windows and doors regularly, or mechanical ventilation with fans that force air through the property.