Heating and Insulation

I know this has nothing to do with running but i'm looking for a bit of advice from any heating engineers, green deal assessors etc.

My home is a 4-bed detached which has never had any cavity wall insulation and is using a 20 year old boiler which, if the internet is to be believed, is rated G for energy efficiency.

I'm currently paying over £100 per month in fuel bills and thats just for using the bare minimum times my timer uses (1.5 hours per day for heating and water.)

Would it still be worthwhile going down the route of having cavity wall insulation installed and a new, more efficient boiler or would i end up paying more due to having to pay back the costs of these installations from my energy bills?

Any help and advice would be much appreciated.


  • I'm not a heating engineer but some things you need to ask as well imho

    how long do you plan to stay in the house?  if a long time then it becomes a no-brainer as it's likely that the investment will pay itself over the duration

    do you plan to sell in a few years?  if so, the investment will pay for itself with an increased asking price - the more work the property needs, the less you will get as people won't spend top money for something that they then have to spend more on.

    are there other things you can also do to improve energy efficiency?? draughtproofing, roof insulation,  better thermally insulated windows, etc


  • I agree with FB.

    I actually thought that form a certain date all boilers had to be switched for the new condensing ones anyway?

    You could check and see whether any of the suppliers are currently doing deals on boiler replacements.

  • In my area the council were paying for the installation of cavity insulation and serious roof insulation. So free to all - made sense to take them up.

    The house is a lot warmer than it used to be - but impossible to quantify the savings.

    Worth looking for any programmes from your area or energy provider ?
  • £100 a month in fuel bills? I pay more than that for a 2 bed semi and there's only me. (and I haven't got the heating on at the moment either).

    I don't have cavity wall insulation but I do have loft insulation. When we moved into our home there was no loft insulation over the back bedroom. We installed it and it made a very noticeable difference. We had a new boiler installed last year, don't know what rating it is but there has been no difference to fuel consumption.

    I'd check to see if you can't get it done for free. I've had lots of people knock at my door trying to get me to get a grant for the work to be done. 



  • Do check the amount of roof insulation you have.  I upgraded to the current govt approved amount (about twice the depth of the rafters) and it made a massive difference to how much heat was retained upstairs.

  • We did too FF - I have to say it wasn't too great in the summer though, I have to say - there was no way for the heat to escape! 

  • I find that, the house is way too hot in the summer, all doors and windows open and I lift the hatch to the loft as well. That's the trouble with having all walls facing south, lots of baking bricks in the sunshine and the sun comes in the windows and heats the place up.

  • We tried the loft hatch thing - it didn't seem to make much difference to be honest.


  • Thanks for the advice everyone, i've left my details with a few compnaies so just waiting to hear back from them.

    Doesn't look like there are any offers in my area but i'll just have to keep looking

  • Dont use the green deal, whatever you do. The rate you have to pay back, you would be better off getting a bank loan. GD interest rate is around 7-8%.

    Boilers are generally designed to last for around 25-30 years. If it is old it is of course more likely to break down as well as being energy inefficient, so depending on how you feel with yours in terms of how many callouts you are having to shell our for, this is another cost factor. If you were to replace, I would get a brand which is at least reasonably well known so your plumbers will find parts easier. I would also recommend a combi-boiler, but thats my preference.

    Some councils have schemes where you can get cavity wall insulation for free. I would check that in your borough/city. Cavity wall insulation is effective but dont forget it is always about the user. Insulation saves you nothing if you just leave your gas on overnight.

    Alternatively, the PM reckons just get a coat (actually a sensible idea for keeping yourself warm until November/beginning of December).

  • Look at the payback period for different forms of energy saving measures, and you might be surprised at which are worth it and which are not.

    For example, loft insulation costs £300 and saves £180 per year = bargain.

    But double glazing costs several thousands and also saves £180 per year = rip off.

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