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If you find your home unbearably cold or overly expensive to heat in the colder months, as well as excessively warm in summer, your property is probably thermally inefficient. Heat always moves towards colder spaces, making it flee your home to the cold outdoors in winter, and entering your home in the height of summer.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to stay that way forever. Installing effective thermal insulation can make your home more energy efficient, meaning it will require less energy to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Insulation works by reducing the movement of heat through your walls, roof, and floors by creating an extra barrier between your home’s interior and the world outside.
But with so many types of insulation on the market, finding the right choice of insulation for your property and deciding which parts of your home to insulate can be difficult. Luckily we’re here to help.
We’ve broken down the pros, cons, costs, and considerations of one of the most popular insulation materials – cellulose. Cellulose insulation is typically made from recycled newspaper and paper products and works especially well for homeowners wanting to add insulation into lofts, crawlspaces, and wall cavities.
Cellulose, sometimes known as blown-in insulation, is a type of insulation that’s perfect for use in homes and commercial spaces. This insulation is often made from recycled materials, such as wood, unmixed newspaper, office paper, and cardboard.
Cellulose insulation tends to come in clumps of thousands of small pieces of recycled cellulose, meaning it can fit or be blown into small spaces much better than many alternative insulation materials.
Cellulose is also a common form of loose-fill insulation, which means it comes in small pieces that can fit spaces of all shapes and sizes. This makes cellulose fibre insulation suitable for use in a range of situations, including loft insulation, roof insulation and floor insulation.
Sure, in a way all insulation is eco-friendly because it helps reduce the need for fossil fields in your home. But when it comes to eco credentials, cellulose absolutely leads the way.
More often than not, cellulose insulation is made entirely of recycled materials (such as recycled paper products), which have often been recycled once before, but can be used again if you ever decided to remove your cellulose insulation.
Additionally, unlike some other insulation types, modern cellulose insulation doesn’t contain an abundance of harmful chemicals. Since the majority of it (around 85%) is made from recycled materials, the remainder is additives such as ammonium sulphate and boric that give it its fire retardant qualities. Alternatives like fibreglass, on the other hand, are dangerous to health if fibres are inhaled.
Obviously there’s a cost associated with every type of insulation product, but cellulose is one of the cheapest, yet still offers low thermal conductivity. When coupled with just how effective cellulose is at reducing heat loss and increasing your home’s energy efficiency, it works out as excellent value for money in the long run to install this insulation material. Installing cellulose insulation doesn’t just benefit your pocket in the next few years through reduced energy costs either – it can actually add value to your property when you come to sell it.
Consider that spending a few hundred to a thousand pounds on cellulose insulation now will be paid back within a couple of years with the amount you save on your energy bills. If you choose to insulate your loft, for example, the Energy Saving Trust estimates you could enjoy annual energy bill savings of up to £415 (based on adding 270mm of loft insulation to a previously uninsulated loft).
While cellulose’s ability to settle and fit around any shape makes it easy to install, it can also make the insulation more likely to compact than many other common types of insulation materials, such as spray foam insulation.
When this happens, you end up with spaces or thermal bridges at the top of your insulation layer, which can make it less effective and allow heat or cold to transmit into yo
Unfortunately, cellulose is not the most water-resistant insulation material. In fact, you can expect cellulose insulation to soak up moisture when it’s installed in areas high in condensation or lacking adequate ventilation. If the insulation material gets wet due to a leak, it can take a while to dry out.
In the long term, excessive moisture in your insulation can lead to mould problems, which damage your home and potentially affect indoor air quality and your health. In some circumstances a vapour barrier may be required with this type of insulation.
How much you can expect to pay for cellulose insulation depends on the area of the country you’re in, which parts of your home you’re insulating, and how big your property is.
It’s one of the cheaper materials, coming in at between £10 and £12 per metre squared. You can work out how much the supply alone will cost by multiplying the cost per metre squared by the size of the space you’re insulating.
Labour costs will vary across the UK, but in general, insulation installers charge around £160-£250 for an installation project.
Unless you’re installing insulation across various parts of your home and it’s a particularly large property, the installation process shouldn’t last more than a couple of days.
It’s not advisable to save money on your cellulose insulation by installing it yourself, but there are a few ways you can make the process cheaper. Getting all the spaces in your home insulated at once can get you bulk discounts on supplies of materials.
Asking around for multiple quotes is another simple way of making sure you’re getting value for money. Instead of working with the first installer you speak to, collect quotes from at least three different businesses to ensure you’re not being ripped off.
As its alternative name, blown-in insulation suggests, cellulose insulation is blown into space in your home such as cavities, gaps, and loft areas.
You’ll need to drill holes into plaster or drywall via blower nozzles and fill the hole with the cellulose material. In the case of lofts, you can blow cellulose insulation into uninsulated joist cavities.
There are, however, potential problems that can occur if the cellulose insulation is incorrectly installed. Look out for these common mistakes to make sure your installation is effective.
One of the most common errors is failing to seal air leaks around wires or pipes before blowing the insulation into cavity walls or attics. If you leave any gaps in an insulated space, cellulose insulation can escape into areas you don’t want it to enter – especially with smaller insulation materials like cellulose.
As well as failing to cover wires and pipes, many installers fail to fill the entire area with insulation, either because they drill holes too low down on the wall or don’t blow the insulation far enough into the corner of a space.
If you don’t cover the entire area you’re insulating with cellulose, your layer of insulation will be uneven, and your results won’t be as effective.
There’s no hard and fast rule for checking which of the popular insulation types is best suited to your property, but there are some simple things that can help you decide.
If you’re looking to insulate tight, cramped, or hard-to-access areas, opting for loose-fill cellulose insulation is a no-brainer. This type of insulation is unique in its ability to be blown into small areas, so it’s the best option for spaces such as small lofts or cavity walls.
Its eco-friendly credentials count for something, too. If reducing your carbon footprint is a priority, you’ll benefit from using this type of insulation which is more often than not made from recycled and recyclable materials.
It’s not too costly, either. Before you go ahead with the installation, it’s worth checking whether the area in which the cellulose will be installed is prone to damp. If so, re-consider the type of material, as cellulose isn’t ideal for spaces that can become damp.
All things considered, cellulose is one of the most effective and planet-friendly insulation materials you can choose, so it’s well worth looking into for your insulation project.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your energy bills in check, insulation is
Insulating your home and making it heat efficient has become a necessity for property. Insulating
One of the most effective ways to boost your home’s thermal efficiency and improve indoor