Solid walls are often found in homes built before the 1920’s and typically cavity walls are found in homes built after the 1920’s. The brick work on your property can give you an idea of the type of walls you have; if the bricks are all facing sideways, it is likely you have cavity walls. If you are not sure, a surveyor will be able to advise you.
Does my home have solid or cavity walls?
You may be able to tell if your home has had cavity wall insulation by looking for small holes that have been filled in where the insulation was injected through – these will often be just under the windows.
Solid wall insulation
Solid walls have no cavity, therefore, more heat is able to escape. Solid walls can be insulated both internally and externally to slow down the rate of heat loss. It should be noted that these measures can be costly and may cause disruption. This said, insulating solid walls can create big savings on your energy bills and keep your home much warmer.
External insulation involves fixing a layer of insulating material to the outside walls. For this reason, you may need to get planning permission to install the insulation. Depending on the size of your home, external wall insulation can cost between £8,000-£22,000, but could save you around £255 a year on your heating bills for a typical semi-detached house.
Internal insulation involves fixing insulation boards to the interior of the property, again, helping to reduce the amount of heat lost through your walls and therefore, reducing your bills. Internal wall insulation can be cheaper than external wall insulation; however, a lot of disruption may be experienced during the installation process. Typically, internally insulating your home will cost between £4,000 and £13,000, depending on the size of your home, but an average semi-detached house could save around £255 per year on heating costs. For more information on the savings you can make visit the Energy Saving Trust’s website.
Cavity wall insulation
You can find out more information about Cavity Wall Insulation on the Energy Saving Trust’s website. Furthermore, all government guidance regarding measures for your home, can be found on the Ofgem website
Roof and loft insulation
Loft insulation is one the most simple yet effective ways to reduce heat loss in the home. In an uninsulated home, a quarter of your heat can be lost through the roof. Depending on if you do the work yourself or get professional installers to do the work for you, loft insulation can cost between £300-£400 but can save you around £100-£200 a year on your heating bills. Furthermore, loft insulation can last around 40 years so will pay for itself several times over.
It is always worth asking your supplier if they are able to subsidise any of these insulation measures. Some energy companies are obligated to fund insulation and heating measures to help vulnerable and low income households.