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Insulating a loft hatch is one of the “simplest ways” to cut heating bills by hundreds of pounds a year, according to a home energy expert.
While many Britons lay down thick insulation in their roof space to prevent the escape of expensively generated heat, they often overlook the trap door.
Ryan Harrison from energyadvicehelpline.org said this can cause a problem which renders the expense of lining the loft “almost negligible”.
Mr Harrison explained: “If your loft hatch is left as just a thin wooden board, without insulation, it can create a ‘chimney effect’.
“This means it will draw up warm air from the house, created by your radiators and heaters, and send it upwards and out of the roof – exactly like a chimney does with smoke from a fire.
“This is a weak point in your home’s insulation as it is the barrier between the warm rooms below and the unheated loft space.”
Mr Harrison said heat can also escape through any spotlight recesses, but the “main culprit” is the hatch.
However, the energy expert noted: “The astonishing thing is it’s very cheap and easy to rectify, so it’s vital that more people know about how it’s costing them so much money.”
According to the Energy Saving Trust, carrying out a full upgrade of loft insulation could save homeowners around £410 a year.
When considering how much a bare loft hatch adversely affects this layer of protection, Mr Harrison noted: “It’s clear that carrying out this simple DIY task could put hundreds of pounds back in your pocket.”
Loft hatch insulation
There are a few options when it comes to insulating a loft hatch.
Mr Harrison said: “You can buy specific covers or even use some of the leftover material from when the rest of the loft was lined, carefully stuff it in a thick plastic bag and staple or glue to the hatch.
“One of the best ways is to buy some aluminium foil reflective material, which is available on Amazon for as little as £9, and stick it on the top side of the trap door.
“It’s also worth making the seals of the hatch as airtight as possible. This is another easy task with specialist tape you can also pick up cheaply online or at DIY shops.”
Energyadvicehelpline.org is also helping people discover any grants they can apply for to cut the cost of making their homes more energy efficient.
These include the Government’s ECO4 Scheme, which is designed to help tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions in Great Britain. Through the scheme, people can get help with insulation, air source heat pump systems and the installation of solar panels for renewable energy.
The scheme is open to households where any resident receives a means-tested benefit – such as Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, or other financial support.
Those with an annual household income below £31,000 can also apply in many areas of the UK. For more information about how to apply, people can visit Ofgem’s website here.