The importance of Loft Insulation
In total, approximately 25% of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost out through the roof. Insulating it makes sense; it is relatively cheap to do and the energy savings on your gas bills are substantial – normally covering the cost of install in just 2 or 3 years.
Building regulations dictate that a new loft has to achieve a U-value of approximately 0.16 k/m2. This 0.16 k/m2 can be achieved by installing 270mm of wool insulation or 175mm of PIR board (which includes things like Celotex and Kingspan). We really recommend going for loft insulation as one of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your gas heating bill, and the savings will be even larger if you heat your home using electricity / heating oil or LPG which are all more expensive than mains gas.
Most people will opt for mineral wool insulation when insulating the loft, which is by far the cheapest, working out at about £5.50 per m2 of loft to be covered.
Insulating your loft with Sustainable materials
There are however more sustainable methods of insulating your loft, which includes things like hemp insulation, sheep wool insulation or even recycled newspaper.
More and more people are opting to go down a more Eco route, since the products offer very similar insulating capabilities but at no environmental cost. Take for example sheep wool – sheep have been using it for millennia to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions. The natural crimps in the sheep wool fibres creates millions of tiny air pockets that help slow the movement of heat across it, making it an ideal insulating material.
Better still, sheep wool insulation has superb breathability features. Many homes suffer from condensation problems where an area sweats and the moisture can’t escape the house because it lacks adequate ventilation. Sheep wool can absorb this excess moisture and still retain its insulating properties.
Finally, and I think the reason that sheep wool is really gaining in popularity, is that it is so easy to work with. Traditional mineral wool insulation is very easy to lay in the roof, but it is so itchy if it touches your skin. With the more sustainable forms of insulation, and sheep wool in particular, there are no issues at all handling the product. You could roll around in the stuff and there would be no reaction to it.
As a final point, it is worth mentioning that Sheepwool (and the other more sustainable forms of insulation) is not as cheap as the traditional mineral wool insulation, but with all the advantages that come with using 100% natural sheep wool we are finding people are more than willing to pay that little bit more!The GreenAge is an energy consultancy firm based in London, helping households and business customers become more energy efficient and save money. Their goal is to help their customers achieve this in the most sustainable manner possible.