Nearly half the warmth in solid wall properties escapes through
the walls. Solid wall insulation works by adding a layer of
material to the inside or outside of the walls. This slows down the
rate of escape, keeping the warmth inside your house for
Many solid walled homes are not connected to the national gas network and heated by more expensive fuels such as oil or electricity, making insulation even more of a priority for these householders.
Is my home suitable?
If your home was built before the 1920s it is likely that the walls are solid rather than built with a cavity. Solid walls can be insulated. You can identify whether your home has solid walls from the pattern of the bricks on the outside. Solid wall homes tend to have bricks placed lengthways and head-on in an alternating pattern while cavity walls tend to have a regular pattern where you can only see the long edge of the brick.
How much could I save?
Solid wall insulation could cut your heating costs by up to 40%.
The actual monetary and carbon dioxide savings may vary depending
on a number of factors, such as your preferred household
temperature during winter, which fuel you use and how long you have
your heating on for, but the saving could be as much as £400
The cost of the insulation varies depending on the size of the property and whether you opt for internal or external insulation. The Energy Saving Trust has estimated the following figures based on wholly insulating a three-bedroom, gas centrally heated, semi-detached home:
Internal or external insulation?
Internal insulation works by fitting a rigid insulation board to the existing wall or building a stud wall filled with mineral wool fibre. Internal insulation is generally cheaper than external insulation, however you may lose some floor space. It requires skirting board, door frames and external fittings to be moved, however the work can be done room by room to minimise inconvenience.
External insulation is a more expensive option but generally
provides a greater degree of insulation. It involves
adding a layer of insulation to the outside walls which
is then covered in cladding or render. External insulation
can be applied without causing
internal disruption or reducing floor
space. Additional benefits include improved weather-proofing
and sound-proofing, improved external appearance and
removing cracks and gaps in the brickwork that could be the
source of draughts.
External insulation also protects the brickwork, increasing the lifespan of your walls, and can help prevent damp and reduce condensation inside the home. However it does require good access to the outside walls, it is not recommended if the outside walls are structurally unsound and may require planning permission before progressing.