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23 Feb 2011 04:02:32

Cavity wall insulation could save you £s

Many people know the benefits of adequate loft insulation. There is even a current government scheme aimed at encouraging better loft insulation, including up to a 100% grant. A significant volume of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated roof; what is less well-known is that comparable heat loss is experienced through uninsulated cavity walls.

As much as a third of all heat loss in an uninsulated house escapes through the walls. In monetary terms this equates to fuel waste of £110 per year or more, depending on the size of your property.

It's fairly easy to determine if your house has cavity walls. Most homes built since the 1920s are constructed with an inner and an outer shell, with a small gap (or cavity) between the two layers of brickwork. Plugging the gap with insulation will not only retain heat within the home during the winter, it will keep excessive heat out during the summer. Cavity wall insulation is therefore an excellent way to avoid extremes of temperature as well as moderating your energy bills.

Using less fuel not only lowers your bills, it means your household is generating less carbon dioxide emissions, so lowering your carbon footprint. Over a very short period of time, usually as little as two years, the cost of installing cavity wall insulation is off-set by savings to your fuel bill.

Around £110
Around £250 (includes CERT)
Approximately 2 years
Around 560kg

The above costs are based on a gas-powered centrally-heated 3-bedroomed semi-detached house. The installation cost takes into account the government funded Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme. Without this funding, a typical installation would cost around £500.

It's worth noting that most homes built within the past 10 years are likely to have cavity wall insulation already installed. Properties without cavity wall insulation require a gap of at least 50mm between brickwork layers. Masonry needs to be sound and in good general condition.

To install cavity wall insulation you'll need to employ a recognised firm to do the work. When considering a firm, make sure they belong to either The National Insulation Association (NIA); The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA); or The British Board of Agrement (BBA). A suitable firm should be signed up to the NIA Code of Practice, and the work should be guaranteed by CIGA.

An experienced and competent firm should be able to undertake the work in around two hours, depending on the size of your property. There should be minimal mess.

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