Forums DIY House insulation improvements?
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  • #192
    13 Posts

    What are the easy hitting insulation related improvements that can be done to a house to reduce heating bills/make the house warm up quicker? Single story terrace cottage, cavity walls. So far I’ve done:

    Added loft insulation, now about 300mm.

    Filled a lot of drought ridden gaps around skirting boards etc

    Sealed better around loft hatch.

    Put pipe lagging on all microbore pipes under the floor.

    Room thermostat fitted and boiler serviced.

    I don’t want cavity wall insulation, but is there anything else that would be beneficial to do? I can feel a drought being sucked up around the downlights in the ceilings, but can’t really seal those up – or can I?

  • #193
    14 Posts

    Look for downlight covers.
    Then you can cover the whole lot with insulation.
    I’d also replace any halogens with LEDs, if you haven’t already done so.

  • #194
    9 Posts

    Depending on what sort of house you’ve got you could add underfloor insulation, this would work on a suspended wooden floor, though probably only worth doing on the ground floor. Any reason why you don’t want Cavity Wall, we got it done for free in our last house and it worked wonders.

    Worth getting hold of a copy of the Haynes Manual on Insulation as it’s really informative and covers all of the possible scenarios.

  • #195
    10 Posts

    Good thick curtains.

  • #196
    15 Posts

    Lined floor length curtains on external doors.

  • #197
    5 Posts

    These things all depend on what you have already.

    Underfloor insulation is good ie. carpets and underlay but I wouldn’t go tearing up and replacing anything that isn’t due replacement. I have been surprised how much better my modern double glazing is relative to the older (15 ish years old) units. On a cold night I get serious condensation on the older units but on the new units in the kitchen there’s nothing at all.

  • #198
    10 Posts

    You could pay £50 quid for an EPC, that includes a list of recommendations from someone that has looked at your particular house. Fitting loft insulation is probably the easiest single hit.

  • #199
    23 Posts

    Keep attacking the draughts, you can hunt them with smoke or a candle, ideally in different wind directions. Check electrical fittings/outlets for draughts.

    Some ceiling lights will tolerate a metal hat then insulation over them or you can get fire rated sealed LED units that work under insulation, depends what you have and how attached to them you are.

    Rugs. Curtains. Draught stopper on the bog overflow.

  • #200
    9 Posts

    Yes, I would lay another 300 or 400 mm of glass wool in the opposite direction to the first layer. It will make a big difference. It should be cheap at this time of year if you shop around.

    If you’re bothered about the warm air going up past the ceiling lights, change the fittings for bathroom ceiling fttings, which seal better to the ceiling so as to prevent steam from entering the attic.

  • #201
    13 Posts

    Thanks everyone, some good suggestions there.

    The downlights are already LEDs. I’ll look at hoods to fit over them, thanks for the idea.

    Underfloor insulation will be a massive PITA. The boards are tongue and groove and the only way to lift them is to start at one end and take them all up, including some of the skirting boards. May do that in the future, but for now it’s not worth the effort for me at the moment.

    Better curtains is definitely a good shout, I’ll look into that for next winter.

    I’ll carry on hunting draughts – in the kitchen I’ve found the equivalent to a single hole of at least 5″x5″! Don’t want to fully seal the house though and run the risk of damp problems. There are trickle vents in the windows though so at least if I seal up all the unintentional draughts I can still use those vents under my control.

    I’m surprised at the suggestion to add another 300mm wool in the loft. Most places show diminishing returns after only 150mm. I would have thought 300mm would be sufficient but 300 + 300mm to be overkill.


  • #202
    23 Posts

    If there’s crawl space under your floor you don’t need to pull it all up but it’ll be a grim job that might involve a bit of tunnelling through walls/piers supporting the floors at mid span. Helpfully someone has already done this in mine, unhelpfully it’s below the local water table making for a difficult work environment!

  • #203
    3 Posts

    If your house is old I wouldn’t insulate under the suspended floor, only on top. Air circulation under the floor is essential to keep your joists from rotting.

  • #204
    22 Posts

    I would say board over the loft insulation – it adds another layer of thermal barrier. Use the stilt things (or other method) to stop compressing the insulation, obviously.

    My loft is all insulated with 300mm of wool, then the central bit that’s used for storage has boards and then a pile of stuff. The rest of it isn’t boarded, mainly due to avoiding the light fittings and lack of time to cut boards around them, but the insulation is covered in large sheets of polystyrene from flat-pack furniture and bubblewrap.

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