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To insulate or not to insulate, that is the question.

To insulate or not to insulate, that is the question.

Today we will talk about the benefits and pitfalls of cavity wall insulation.

There are many contradicting arguments for and against the use of cavity wall insulation floating around on the internet, so it is always hard to find a straight answer to the question “will it make my home warmer?” Well the answer is… maybe!

The problem with cavity wall insulation is that there are too many variables in the properties it is proposed to be installed in, these range from ‘snots’ or rouge mortar drops, connecting the external skin to the internal skin causing permeated damp spots, to existing damp either from the ties or at the base of the wall rising up. If not inspected properly and thoroughly (usually with a probe camera) the insulation could end up costing you far more to remove or fix than any savings that could have been achieved via energy bill reduction.

So there is always a risk when installing this kind of insulation no matter what the type of material used to insulate, from fiberglass to Warmfill bead and everything in-between.

Many people who have undertaken cavity wall insulation in the UK have not noticed an increase in warmth after their investment, nor enjoyed a reduction in heating costs, so what does this say?

What must be noted, however, is that there are many routes homeowners can take to make their homes more energy efficient and noticeably warmer that offer much less cost and risk, such as removing the letterbox, sealing the old chimney (which will suck out a comparable amount of heat from a room as an open door) if it is no longer used, and plugging/sealing any gaps in floorboards and anywhere else there may be a draught. Other options include plugging some of the holes in the air bricks (not all however) to slow down the air flow, insulating suspended floors and of course, increasing the loft insulation thickness (if necessary).

Be careful of what a cavity wall insulation installer may say to get the sale, and ensure they do a thorough and detailed inspection of the cavity they are aiming to fill before you commission them for the job. If in any doubt, the options to use external (more expensive still) or internal wall insulation are always available.

Our recommendation is that you should exhaust all other methods to keep your home warm before you invest in this solution, as the cost and risk is high if undertaken incorrectly. However, in a right property, under the right conditions, this method can be a fantastic means of reducing your energy bills and attaining a warmer, greener home - just be aware of the risks associated with it.

If you want any advice or are looking for a local professional please visit the main site here.


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Richard is a seasoned director and a respected authority in the field of renewable energy, leveraging his extensive experience working with and for large PLC's in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) industry.

He has worked on hundreds of projects across the United Kingdom like HS2 and other major critical highways and infrastructure projects, both for the public and private sectors.

He is one of the chief driving forces behind the creation, development, and management of The Renewable Energy Hub, your premier online destination for sustainable energy knowledge and resources.


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