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Storage can reduce loft insulation effectiveness

23rd March 2012

Storage can reduce loft insulation effectiveness

Just one in ten homes are fully benefiting from loft insulation, research shows. Consequently, households are not saving the money they assume they are.

Although many homes do contain the required amount of loft insulation, 82% of homeowners use lofts for storage – not realising that if items compress insulation, its effectiveness is significantly reduced.

Approximately 14m of the 23m homes in the UK have been insulated according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Of the homes that have been insulated, around 11.5m households use their loft for storage.

The Carbon Trust’s head of entrepreneurs fast track Dave Raval said: "The research highlights the practicality issues with lofts in the UK. To board-out a loft, the insulation is reduced to the height of the joists, which is either 75mm or 100mm, or the insulation is compressed below 270mm by placing items on it – both of these reduce thermal capabilities of the insulation and undermine its effectiveness."

One solution to this problem would be to construct a raised platform which protects insulation while allowing storage.

The research referred to was commissioned by LoftZone, a UK start-up company supported by The Carbon Trust.