More and more people are conscious of their environmental impact and want to make their homes more sustainable. While this has benefits from an environmental perspective, it can also save them money by reducing their energy usage.
Homeowners who want to make improvements to their property with a view to improving its energy efficiency could soon benefit from new green mortgages that the government is hoping to roll out.
The aim is to encourage more people to spend money making their properties more sustainable, by making financing such alterations more affordable. At the beginning of the month, the government launched its Green Finance Strategy.
Under this scheme, it has set up a £5 million fund to help the financial sector to develop green home finance products.
So, if you have customers who want to know about how they can improve the energy efficiency of their home by replacing their flooring, what should you tell them?
As you’re no doubt aware, some types of flooring don’t offer any insulating properties at all. The likes of stone or ceramic tiles and vinyl flooring typically don’t keep a home warmer. Home Flooring Pros noted that tiles can hold heat in the summer, when it may not be such a welcome thing.
Carpet, however, particularly when combined with thick underlay, can make a significant difference and will make the floor of the room pleasant to walk on in any temperatures.
If someone is exploring engineered wood floors, it’s worth pointing out to them that some such flooring comes with a foam base on the underside. This acts as a vapour barrier and does add insulation value to the floor.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, it’s only really necessary to insulate your ground floor. If you’re on an upper floor, such as in a block of flats, there’s no need for floor insulation as it will have little effect.
The only exception to this is if it’s a room over an unheated space, like a garage, in which case floor insulation will make a difference to the temperature of the room.
If you’re dealing with a newer property, it’s likely to have solid concrete floors at ground floor level, which means the best option is to lay rigid insulation on top, unless you’re replacing the whole floor in which case you can look at how to insulate it then.
Many older homes, however, have suspended timber floorboards. There are several options in this instance, although the Energy Saving Trust stressed the importance of leaving any air bricks your walls have unblocked, as these help ventilate the space under your floorboards and prevent them from rotting.
You can lay mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the joists, the organisation suggested. Or you can spray foam insulation to the underside of the floorboards.
Depending on the type and size of property you have, insulating your floors could save you between £70 and £25 per year on your energy bills. The biggest savings are for detached houses, while the smallest are for mid-terrace houses.
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