Insulation is a key component to harnessing the potential of your home.
A well insulated home reduces the amount of energy consumption and cuts down on carbon emissions linked to global climate change. There are two main areas: insulation with the minimum amount of thermal bridging, and improved air tightness by reducing lost heat caused by draughts. Insulation slows down the movement of heat and the higher the conductivity of a material the quicker heat can move through it. Materials have different thermal conductivities and heat will flow at different rates e.g. through a wall, or a loft hatch. Poorly insulated areas are known as thermal bridges. The first layer of insulation is regarded as the most effective. Thus thermal bridges and draughts need to be made airtight to improve a home's infrastructure. Recycled materials such as: newspapers, plastic bottles, denim and sheep's coarse wool can be turned into a very efficient DIY insulation. Timber frame homes require wall insulation in the form of batts (pre-cut sections that are designed to fit between stud walls), rolls or boards. It can be easier and cheaper to install insulation in the walls and floors of a new build than to retrofit an existing home. Solid wall structures cannot be insulated, however they can have a good thermal mass to compensate.