Experts estimate around 35% of heat loss from most homes occurs through walls which are not insulated. Installing cavity wall insulation is a reliable way to improve the energy performance of your home, keeping it warm and saving you money on heating bills.
What is cavity wall insulation?
Home building practices in use in the past have double walls, an inner wall, and an outer wall, with a cavity between them. The thinking behind the cavity is to prevent rain penetrating from the outside through the wall. However, unfilled cavities will let heat travel from the inside to the outside placing increased demand on your heating system.
Cavity wall insulation is the process of filling the cavity with an insulating material, commonly a foam, which is pumped into the cavity through holes drilled in the external wall. Other insulating materials include mineral wool and polystyrene beads. Your home is suitable for cavity wall insulation if:
- Its walls are empty cavity walls.
- Your cavity is, at least, 50mm wide.
- The masonry or brickwork of your home is in good condition and not crumbling.
- It is more than 10 years old (most newer houses will have insulation already).
- The walls are not exposed to driving rain, and you are not experiencing damp problems.
How much does cavity wall insulation cost?
Not all walls are suitable for cavity wall insulation. It is crucial that you have a survey conducted first before having cavity wall insulation installed. Walls which are exposed to the elements, especially wind-driven rain, may not be suitable. Filling the walls persistently exposed to driving rain may result in damp problems, especially if mineral wool is used and it gets wet. See the potential problems section for more details.
The costs for cavity wall insulation will vary depending on the size of your house, and the insulating material the contractor deems appropriate. Below are typical costs for installing cavity wall insulation in different types of houses:
- Detached bungalow – £430.
- Flat – £330.
- Mid-terrace house – £370.
- Semi-detached house – £475.
- Detached house – £720.
The figures above will vary depending on where you live in the UK. There may be grants available which may cover the entire cost of the insulation or a significant portion of it. The next section provides you with an estimate of the savings you can make off your heating bills, as well as the payback you are likely to get if you invest in cavity wall insulation.
How much can I save per year with cavity wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation has the potential to save you money on your energy bills, but how much? Is the investment worth it and how long will it be before you get your investment back? This part of the article gives you some projected savings over a year and the payback period for the different types of houses typical in the UK. Below you will find the details:
- For a detached house which costs £720 to insulate, you can potentially see a saving of £275 per year giving a payback period of between 2 and 3 years.
- For your £475 investment in insulating your semi, you will see around £160 in savings to give payback of roughly 3 years.
- Spending £370 on insulating your mid-terrace house will see you getting your money back in 3 to 4 years with savings of £105 per year.
- For a bungalow and mid-floor flat, you will enjoy savings of £110 and £90, respectively, with both having a payback of under 4 years.
Given the payback figures above and the savings you can get from just this simple energy efficiency measure, cavity wall insulation is well worth the investment. You should just be careful to use certified contractors and ensure they perform a survey to determine whether your walls are suitable or not.
Potential problems with cavity wall insulation
Some homeowners report damp problems soon after they have had cavity wall insulation. In the majority of cases, damp problems are missed during the pre-installation inspection or the insulation has been poorly installed, or installed in unsuitable walls. Things to watch out for and help to prevent damp problems include:
- Any pre-existing moisture problems should be resolved before cavity wall insulation.
- During an inspection, the integrity of the outer walls should be checked to ensure there are no cracks in the render or poorly laid brickwork.
- Ensuring any walls prone to driving rain do not get filled as they are likely to get wet.
A professional cavity insulation contractor should advise you on whether your walls are suitable or not. Taking the steps above should help prevent damp issues arising after cavity wall insulation.
Where to go for competitive quotes from reliable companies
Choosing an installer who is a member of a recognised trade body is critical in obtaining a good and guaranteed cavity wall insulation service. The top three trade organisations for the insulation industry are:
- National Insulation Association (NIA).
- Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA).
- British Board of Agrément (BBA).
For reliable quotes from trusted and professional contractors who will meet the requirements above, going to a website like Quotatis will ensure you receive competitive quotes from local installers. You will get the opportunity to not only review the prices quoted, but the history of the tradesmen who provided them.
Quotatis gives you the confidence that you have the best people looking after your interests. To get quotes and be on your way to saving hundreds of pounds on heating bills, go to Quotatis and submit your job.