A few years ago, whenever the winter was upon us, it seemed that my family and I were always uncomfortable. No matter how high the temperature was inside, we simply couldn’t get warm enough. Then somebody told me about applying for an EPC, or energy performance certificate, so an assessor could visit my home and find out how energy efficient it really was.
Needless to say, the assessor came and went, and we received the certificate. It gave us specific information about our home’s energy use and consumption, as well as the current energy bills we were paying. But more than this, it presented us with a forecast of what we could save if we made our home more energy efficient. There were recommendations as well, and what caught my eye was the note about floor insulation.
Floor insulation facts
For instance: did you know that insulating underneath your floorboards can save you as much as £75 to £120 in one year? If you have an older home, you may have timber floors which are suspended. You can insulate these types of floors by lifting up the boards and laying down mineral wool insulating material in between your joists. Insulated timber floors can save from £100 to £120 for a detached home, £60 to £75 for a semi detached home, and £75 to £95 for a bungalow per year.
If you have a newer building, your ground flooring may be made of concrete – this is called a solid floor. You can insulate this by having a rigid board insulation placed on top. If you insulate your solid floor, you can save from £75 to £95 for a detached dwelling, £45 to £60 for semi detached property, and £70 to £85 a year for a bungalow. Of course, the amount you save will also depend on what type of heating system you have, but floor insulation does count for a lot.
The good news about floor insulation is that not all your floors need insulation, especially if the upper floors are already above a heated room such as the living or dining area. But for upper floors which are not above a heated space (rooms above the garage, for example), you may need to have floor insulation as well.
Finding out what type of floor you have
You can determine what type of floor you have by going into your cellar (if you have one) and checking it. You have a timber floor if you have joists made from wood and you can also see the floor boards’ undersides. Another way to determine if you have a timber floor is by checking the ventilation or air bricks around your home’s exterior. If they are below the level of the floor, then you have timber flooring. However, if you do not have a cellar which can be accessed, you can lift one corner of your carpeting and its underlay, and check the floor.
More good news
One other piece of good news about floor insulation is that you can do smaller tasks yourself. You can augment your floor insulation and enhance it by filling gaps in between the floor boards and skirting with a sealant tube or gun. You can also do the insulation yourself, but if you would like a more thorough job, you can always call a professional.
With the right floor insulation, your energy performance certificate rating will improve, as specialists like epcuk.org/ know full well. But the greatest benefit? Increased comfort for you and yours, and a reduced energy bill to boot.
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