Insulation is always the first improvement you should make to your home if you want to improve how energy efficient it is. Cavity wall or loft insulation will allow you to save a few hundred pounds a year on your energy bills and it is the easiest and cheapest home improvement you can make.
The government agrees that home insulation should be a priority and they have joined together with energy providers, home improvement retailers and councils to offer discounted and even free insulation services. But how do you know if you are getting a good deal and what questions should you be asking before you let someone in your home to install the insulation for you?
Cavity wall insulation
An investigation into wall cavity insulation carried out by Which? last year discovered that the industry does have some rogues. It seems that many do not have the knowledge required to carry out this work and they fail to ask important questions of homeowners to ensure they get the best possible service.
It is important that your cavity wall insulation company asks you about problems with damp in your walls, because this must be sorted out before insulation is added. If not you could be left with even worse problems and a huge bill to rectify it. The research also discovered that there was a huge discrepancy between the quotes given by each assessor. It is therefore wise to get several quotes.
When it comes to loft insulation there are many pitfalls to watch out for. Clearly if your loft is to be insulated you will need to clear it before the work can be carried out. Some insulation companies will offer this as a service, but they may charge you for doing the work. Others may also offer to board up your loft after the insulation has been installed and will charge you for doing this also.
You should always look carefully at what the competition is offering. Some energy companies will not only give you free insulation they will agree to clearing the loft and re-boarding as part of the package. Others will clear part of the loft, but not all and some may decide not to do any clearance at all and will not quote until the loft has been cleared. It is therefore important to know exactly what you are paying for.
You should always check that the insulation installer you choose is member of an industry regulation or accreditation scheme. If the work is being carried out under the Green Deal the installer must have accreditation to carry out the work.
Finally, some insulation companies are using scare tactics to frighten homeowners into getting wall and loft insulation even if it may not be best for them. They may suggest that the methods used by other companies may be dangerous or that there service is superior in some way. Remember to do your homework and check carefully the claims made by each company.