With winter fast approaching you may well be thinking about how you will keep your home warm. Insulation is a huge part of making homes more efficient and economically warm. With the UK government having opened applications for a number of green home energy grants, in particular the Green Homes Grant, accessing cavity wall insulation and all the benefits it brings, is easier than ever. There are various effective ways in which you can make a property more energy efficient and less wasteful when it comes to retaining heat in the cooler months. Cavity wall insulation however, is one of the most effective and well-established ways in which qualifying properties can acquire these benefits.

What is cavity wall insulation?

Many properties built in the UK in past decades were created with cavities in order to have a thermal layer between the bricks which would help retain heat in homes. However, this does in fact cause properties to lose heat through the same wall cavities. Therefore, filling the cavity with insulation, is a fantastic way in which to effectively insulate your property. Building policy recommends filling the cavity professionally with appropriate material so that it will keep a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The cavity will comprise the gap between the two separate thin brick walls of the property’s makeup (usually held together with metal wall ties.)

With the cavity between the two walls empty you will lose a great deal of heat through the property’s walls, in turn requiring your boiler to work harder and for longer to heat the property. This is inefficient and will lead to higher energy bills and a greater impact on your property’s energy consumption. Cavity wall insulation entails filling the gap between the two walls with an insulating material. The most common options are Mineral Wool (Glass or Rock Wool), EPS Bead (Polystyrene bead) and PU Foam (Polyurethane Foam).

Is cavity wall insulation right for me?

Cavity wall insulation can only be used in homes which have brick walls with unfilled cavities off at least 2 inches. If your home was built in the last 20 years it is very likely that the walls were insulated at the time. However, you can find out if your cavity is filled by asking a registered installer to drill a small hole in the wall to check and then let you know whether the wall is empty or in fact, insulated. This is known as a ‘borescope inspection.’ Another option is to check with the building control department of your local authority, as they should have records of whether your walls have already been insulated. Around one-third of all heat lost from houses is lost through the walls, so better insulating your walls could save you a lot of money on your heating bills.

What are the benefits of cavity wall insulation?

Better insulating your property, be it an apartment or a house, brings with it, many benefits; making your home more efficient, lowering your heating bills and cutting down wear and tear for your boiler. Plus, the lower your heating bills, the smaller your carbon footprint will be. Better insulating your house is good for your wallet and good for the planet – what’s not to love? The cost of insulating your property will vary depending on its size. Although it can seem expensive to insulate the wall cavities of your home (though it can be free with grants), you will be saving money on your heating bill year after year. Most cavity wall insulations are paid off in 5 years or less, meaning that after that first 5 years you will have saved more than you’ve spent.

Using Green Home Grants for cavity wall insulation

With Green Home Grants covering up to £10,000 of the costs associated with making your home more energy efficient, the great news is that you can have cavity wall insulation installed free of charge. This means that the financial benefits of this insulation and a more energy efficient and comfortable home will be felt immediately through savings on your bills and better boiler use.