To say anything is the best insulation for homes is clearly a subjective statement and I’ve no doubt there are people out there who may disagree with my choices.
However these are my opinions (if you disagree please feel free to comment or suggest your best insulation for homes at the bottom of the page).
For a more in-depth information on each type of insulation please feel free to follow the links below to each of the individual insulation articles.
An uninsulated home loses around:
The vast majority of that heat loss (around 58%) comes from two areas i.e. the roof and walls.
The ironic thing is these are areas which are fairly straight forward to insulate.
So it’s not hard to see why adding insulation to your walls and roof can reduce your heating costs significantly and it’s pretty affordable and easy to do.
It's really important to understand how insulation works, if you want to have any chance of choosing the best insulation type for your situation.
When building a new home the amount of insulation will be dictated by building control. You could always increase on what they suggest if you’d like to try to reduce your heat loss even further.
However modern standards are pretty high and you do get to a point where it’s no longer cost effective to just keep adding insulation.
The most important thing to ensure with a new build project is that the insulation is well installed with no gaps.
As mentioned above the two main areas where people retrofit insulation are the loft and the walls. But even in these areas there are lots of different wall and roof construction types out there and these all have different requirements when it comes to retrofitting the best insulation for homes.
And don’t forget that when you add or upgrade insulation you’ll need to consider whether you can add a vapour barrier. These prevent water vapour from entering the insulation or the structure of your home. Which would reduce the effectiveness of the insulation and can cause damage, but more about that later.
Traditionally, in a cavity wall, there would have been a layer of insulation against the inner leaf of the wall and an air void next to the outer leaf of the wall.
The principle of this was to avoid any moisture that may penetrate the outer leaf from being transported across the insulation to the inner leaf which could cause penetrating damp.
In recent years however firms have started retrofitting cavity insulation that fully fills the cavity. This can raise its own issues which are explained in my article of cavity wall insulation problems below.
If your house doesn't have cavity walls you can still insulate them, although it will cost more than cavity fill insulation.
There are two methods:
When choosing the best insulation for homes you need to consider the type of insulation suits your situation best. With ceilings it will depend on the roof type you have and how you want to use it.
if you have a chalet style property, where you effectively have habitable rooms in the roof space, your choice of insulation will be a little more restricted.
This is due to the fact that the space between the finished plaster on the sloping section of your ceiling and the exterior roof finish will only be the depth of your rafters (less a space for air flow).
This will restrict your choice of insulation and perhaps more importantly the amount of insulation that you’ll be able to fit into this space as you need to leave an air gap to allow the roof to breathe and avoid condensation.
Have a read through each of the articles above and you should be able to see which of my choices for the “best insulation for homes” is going to be right for your situation.
Provided your chosen option is installed correctly the best insulation for homes will be the one you go for after getting all the relevant information and making your own informed decision based on your unique circumstances.