By Julie Thornton | December 21, 2021
Irish Home Improvements for Energy Efficiency
An Irish home can lose 20-30% of its heat through its roof, if it is not properly insulated. An under-insulated house is more vulnerable to outside temperature as heat naturally flows from hot to cold. Just like us wearing a hat in winter to stay warm or in summer to help keep us cooler. Attic insulation does not insure that it’s deep enough to be sufficient and you also need to make sure it is not damaged.
Losing heat through the attic harms the environment by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, it also costs you money with higher heating bills.
Insulating your attic the right way will:
- Make your home feel more comfortable. You’ll feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer,
- Lower your energy bills,
- Help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
- Improve your home’s energy rating.
Energy rating is important when it comes to selling or buying a new home. In the Republic of Ireland this is called your Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER). By law, all new houses and all houses for sale or rent must have a BER. The more energy efficient your home is, the easier it is to sell or rent so you can expect the higher your BER cert is to positively impact the value of your property. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a similar measure which is used for homes in Northern Ireland (NI).
Attic Insulation Costs & Savings
The SEAI (The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) estimate, that for a four bed detached house of 150sqm using fibreglass insulation, it would cost between €700 and €1,000 (excluding grants*) to upgrade to the recommended 300m depth of insulation.
Attic insulation is generally the most cost effective of any energy efficiency upgrade made to a house.
In Northern Ireland the recommended depth of insulation is 270mm. The cost of upgrading the insulation from an existing insulation depth of 120mm to the recommended depth of 270mm is estimated at £290, resulting in energy bill savings of £25 per annum.
The best type of insulation for your attic depends on the structure and build of your house, the types of insulation are:
Ceiling Level Insulation
Pitched roofs houses with an empty attic space can be insulated with special quilted blankets layered in opposite directions. But you should ask your supplier or contractor to demonstrate what other options available and how and why the product meets the requirements of the relevant grant programme if applicable, and to ensure that it complies with all relevant building regulations.
Rafter Level Insulation
Fitted between the rafters of the roof this type of insulation is used where the attic has been converted to a living space. Is usually more expensive to install. A specialist insulation contractor would be best to seek advice from as to the best solution for you.
Flat Roof Insulation
Many choose an internal plaster board with insulation and a vapour control although it reduces your ceiling height, there is an option to add an external layer on the roof.
Attic Insulation for Irish homes Top Tips
- Bedrooms located on upper floors are especially vulnerable to outside temperatures. Insulation to your attic space is a great way to ensure these rooms stay temperate at night and in the early morning, when temperatures are at their lowest.
- Insulate your water tank and pipes. Properly insulated ceilings affect the temperature in the attic, so insulating the water tank and pipes will protect them from lower temperatures and ensure they don’t freeze during cold snaps. This will minimise heating costs associated with heating water.
- Ventilation is important to help prevent damp or mould from occurring. Ensuring ventilation openings at the eaves of the house after installation of your insulation its important.
- Recessed lighting/downlighters should be provided with sufficient space to allow heat to dissipate, this prevents the lights from overheating and creating a fire hazard.
- A permanent walkway in your attic ensures you have easy access to water tanks and storage areas, without compromising the effectiveness of the insulation.
- Remember the attic hatch and make sure that it too is insulated!
Grants for Wall Insulation
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offer a range of grants for wall insulation. Homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built prior to 2006 can apply. A grant of €400 is available for cavity wall insulation. Grants for internal dry lining range from €1,600 to €2,400, with grants for external wall insulation (wrap) starting at €2,750 for an apartment or mid-terrace house to €6,000 for a detached house.
If you need additional information on wall insulation, you can download the SEAI’s guide to Wall Insulation by clicking here.
Get a Quick Insulation Quote Today
Life CU , in partnership with Energia and House 2 Home, have launched CU Greener Homes, a one-stop-solution for all your home energy upgrades. Using the Home Energy Efficiency Calculator on the CU Greener Homes website, you can find out:
The cost of insulation for your home
The grant support which you may be eligible for
The cost of credit union finance to help you fund the project
The impact of the work on the energy efficiency of your home
GET A QUOTE NOW for your Irish Home according to your Wall Insulation Needs
A Green Home Improvement Loan with Life CU
If you need any help to fund a warmer, greener home, talk to us about a green home improvement loan today, or submit an online loan enquiry by clicking here.