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5 Insulation Tips to Save Money at Home

5 Insulation Tips to Save Money at HomePhoto from Unsplash

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Insulating your home can save you hundreds of pounds in the long-run, but it can also be a very expensive process to undertake. In this guide, we’ll bypass the pricey options and share some lower-cost alternatives to help take the edge of cold winters and tackle rising energy bills.



With the huge hike in energy bills, now is the opportune time to invest in some insulation for your home. Insulating your home could save you hundreds of pounds in bills per year and quickly pay for itself many times over in its lifetime. We also have a guide on different types of insulation you can add to your home, such as how to insulate your roof, loft, floor and walls.

However, professionally draught-proofing your house could cost around £225*, which could be an unaffordable option for many households. In this guide, you’ll be taken through five cheaper (but effective!) ways to stop heat from escaping your home and help you cut down on those rising energy bills.

1. Expanding Foam


Expanding foam is an affordable way to give your home a little insulation boost. Expanding foam – also known as ‘expansion foam’ or ‘spray foam insulation’ – is a can-based polyurethane or isocyanate thermal insulation. When you first spray it, it will look like a thin liquid foam, however, after hardening, it can expand up to 60 times its original size.

The job of this product is to seal gaps and small wall cavities that are tricky to reach, such as basements and within a crawl space, however, it can also prevent air intrusion, making it a great insulator and perfect for use around doors and windows. Due to the unusual nature of expanding foams, here are some FAQs regarding the product:


Where Not to Use Expanding Foam:

  1. For areas that are close to electrical boxes.
  2. For areas that are close to ceiling light boxes..
  3. Near a spark or open flame.
  4. In closed-cavity spaces.

How to get Expanding Foam Off your Hands:

  1. Wipe the foam off whilst it’s still wet.
  2. Wipe the area with acetone.
  3. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  4. Rub away the dried foam with a pumice stone to get off as much of the foam as possible.
  5. Apply petroleum jelly generously to the affected area.

How to Remove Expanding Foam:

  1. Wipe away as much of the expanding foam residue as possible with a plastic putty knife and a dry, soft cloth.
  2. Moisten the cloth with acetone.
  3. Rub the acetone on the expanding foam residue, applying pressure as necessary, and rubbing in a circular motion. Re-apply the cloth with acetone as needed.
  4. Wipe the acetone residue away with a soft cloth moistened with water.


Expanding Foam

Expanding foam filler is used for gap filling, sound proofing and insulating. It can come in either hand held or gun grade depending on preference. It can come in either hand held or gun grade depending on preference.

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Fibreglass GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) is the perfect roof protectant for flat and inclined roofs. The installation of a GRP roofing system is highly regarded for its simplicity and safety. It is cold applied, creating a strong, maintenance-free, weatherproof finish that will resist water, heat, and frost across the whole surface of the roof.

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2. Thermal Curtains


With so much heat being lost through windows, making sure you’re using the right curtains or blinds can potentially help you save a large sum of money. There are heavier curtains and thermal blinds you can purchase which are specifically designed to keep both unwanted cold and unwanted heat out of your home. If you’re wondering whether to choose curtains or blinds, the University of Salford concluded that drawing the curtains at dusk will minimise heat loss by 15-17% and blinds will by 13-14%. With the difference being this negligible, the decision is mainly down to preference.

Thermal Curtains:

    Thermal curtains are a relatively inexpensive way to control drafts and can reduce heat loss by up to 25% in the winter and reduce solar gain by 33% in the summer. The key to their effectiveness is simple: they create a dead-air space between the window and the room, reducing air infiltration and heat transfer. Here are some tips to consider if you are thinking of going ahead and installing some thermal curtains:
  • Create a seal: Thermal curtains should be installed as close to the window as possible, ensuring to seal the sides, top and bottom. Creating a proper seal can reduce thermal transmittal by around 19%.
  • Ensure they are long enough: They should drop down to the windowsill or floor – installing a cornice or valance above the drape further reduces air infiltration.
  • Overlap them: Your curtains should overlap generously in the centre to prevent warm air from flowing out the gaps.
  • Layer them: Using two or more layers of curtains will help to enhance the thermal effectiveness of the dead-air space and give you more control over light and air.
  • During winter: Make use of the sun during the day, particularly on windows facing west and south. Opening the curtains would also reduce the buildup of moisture and reduce condensation. After sunset, close your curtains to benefit from their insulating properties.
  • During summer: Close the curtains on windows where a lot of sunshine comes through. This will help keep the air cooler inside and protect belongings from fading from sunshine


    Blinds make good insulators for windows, too. Regardless of what kind of blind you use, closed blinds form a barrier which helps to keep the cold out, heat in, and take the edge off draughts from rattly windows. However, different types are variable in terms of how effective they are at insulating and they all come with a different price tag attached.

3. Pipe Insulation


When you think of adding insulation to your home, you may not think of insulating your water pipes. However, most heat-loss calculators make an allowance of around 5% for the heat lost from pipes, so going ahead and insulating can help to save on energy costs, where every little helps. Pipe insulation works by keeping you from losing the heat from your hot water into the surrounding cold air, and, by doing this, saves you energy and money.

There are a few different types of pipe insulation to choose from, depending on the length of the pipe and your budget, though all options are very reasonably priced.

  • Pipe sleeves: These are specifically made for the job and are a great option for longer applications. At Builder Depot, we stock pipe insulation in various sizes to suit your needs, all supplied by high-quality brands such as Climaflex to ensure durability.
  • Flexible foam with rubber backing: Foam has great flexibility and ageing properties, meaning it will not deteriorate or go brittle with time.
  • Cotton with foil backing: Cotton is a great natural insulator and a cotton pipe wrap will often have a Class A fire rating. Although highly effective at insulating, the foam will not cope as well with water, damp or mould.
  • Bubble Film: Also known as bubble foil, this is another great insulation choice. Although a little pricier than other options, bubble film has some benefits the other materials don’t, e.g.:
    – Reduces risk of condensation
    – Practical for use all year round
    – Easy to handle, install, cut and seal

Simply wrap your chosen option around your hot water pipes and seal it with some self-sealing adhesive if necessary.

Climaflex Pipe Insulation

Protect water pipes and prevent them from being damaged during winter by insulating your central heating pipes with our range of pipe insulation and pipe lagging sleeve.

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Self Adhesive Flashing Tape

Protect water pipes and prevent them from being damaged during winter by insulating your central heating pipes with our range of pipe insulation and pipe lagging sleeve.

Shop Self Adhesive Flashing Tape

4. Window Insulation

With windows accounting for 10-30% of all heat loss in a building, investing in some double-glazed (or even triple-glazed) windows or some window film can help to make a dent in your energy bills.

Shop our range of double-glazed windows here! Shop our range of triple-glazed windows here!

What is Double Glazing?

Double glazing refers to a window that consists of two panes of glass set within the same frame. The insulation quality of the windows is due to the layer of air between them which creates a vacuum and acts as a barrier between the inside and the outside world. Almost always the air between is filled with an inert gas such as argon which is the industry standard for filling double glazing due to its ratio of cost to impact.

What is Triple Glazing?

Triple glazing is very similar to double glazing, however, instead of two panes of glass trapping a layer of air between them, three panes of glass are able to trap two layers of air, further improving the insulation abilities of the window. Triple glazing is about 50% more effective at helping reduce energy costs than its double-glazed counterpart.


According to the Energy Saving Trust, if all single-glazed windows were replaced with A++ double-glazed windows, it could save a detached house £115 to £120 a year, and £60 for a mid-terraced house. Which? have a helpful guide on the different ratings for double glazing and further advice on how glazed windows help with heat loss. Double glazing helps with more than just insulation, though:

  • Noise-pollution: Since the window panes have a space between them, the soundwaves are dampened, resulting in a much quieter home. In fact, double-glazed windows are capable of reducing sound levels by as much as 31 decibels.
  • Condensation: Double-glazed windows can drastically reduce condensation, even in rooms more prone to it, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Single-glazed windows can struggle with this, especially in winter.
  • Security: This is another added benefit; double-glazed windows heighten the security of your home because it is more difficult to break than single glazing

What is Window film?

How effective is window insulation film and how does it work? Window film is a less expensive alternative to double or triple glazing. Though less effective at insulation, it still helps to reduce heat loss by reflecting the internal heat back inside your room and slowing down the transfer of heat through your window. Window film often has other benefits, too, and professional window film can cut the solar heat gain by up to 82%, the sun’s glare by up to 95% and UV light by 99%.

However, there are also affordable products available that allow you to easily complete the job yourself; Exitex Secondary Insulation Glazing Film is one of these products. The glazing film is an easy-to-install choice for even the most amateur of DIY-ers, complete with tape to keep the film firmly in place and instructions to help guide you through the process. Don’t let its small price-tag and ease of installation fool you, though; Exitex can offer up to 35% less heat loss in your home by using their tape.

U-PVC Window, Side + Side 1200 x 12000mm U-PVC Window, Light Obscure Glass 1050 x 620mm U-PVC Window, Hung Obscure Glass 620 x 450mm

5. Draught Excluders


By sealing off the cracks beneath your door, you can help prevent that pesky air from seeping in during the cold winter months. Draught excluders are one of the most common – yet efficient – measures you can take in terms of the cost of fitting for the potential savings; draught-proofing around your windows and doors could save you around £45 a year (or £65** if you have a chimney you could insulate, too). There are a couple of methods for this task, though all are simply designed to go under the door or around windows and have an inexpensive price tag attached. Here are some different draught excluders you can use

  • Self-adhesive draught excluder: This is an affordable and effective way of sealing the gaps around your doors and windows to prevent the outside air from escaping and can reduce heat loss anywhere from 10% to 30%. A draught excluder is essentially a line of small bristles that form a line of brush on one side, with adhesive tape on the other so you can easily peel and stick it around your doors and windows. The sealed perimeter not only helps with heat retention but also helps to reduce condensation, damp, dust and insect visitors! Consider purchasing a 5m roll of the tape in either white or brown at a great price and assured easy application.
  • Buy a door snake: Buying a door snake is a great way to add some individuality to your home whilst helping to save you money. These guys are so good at their job that they’re often referred to as draft stoppers and can be placed under windows to hinder drafts, too. You can go as simple or extravagant as you’d like in terms of design – just make sure to wash your door snake every now and again as they can easily collect dirt and dust.
  • How to make a door snake: It may sound like a daunting task, but you would be surprised at how easy it is to make your own door snake using some scrap fabric. This option further helps you save pennies and gives you full control over the look of your door snake

You do not need much DIY knowledge, just some old fabric or clothing you can recycle, a few tins of rice or dried beans, and some rudimentary sewing skills:

  1. Cut your piece of material into a rectangle that is about 35 inches long and 8 inches wide.
  2. Sew the Fabric down one end to make a tube.
  3. Sew one end closed.
  4. Turn your tube instead out, so the seams are now inside.
  5. Fill your tube with rice or dried beans and voila! You’re all done.

Extra Tip: If you use an old pair of trousers or a long-sleeved top, you can eliminate a lot of the sewing aspect!

Using these tips, you can keep your home warmer and cosier during those harsh winter months and in the process take a chunk out of your energy bill!

The savings figures and information on this page have been provided by the Energy Saving Trust and are based on the April 2022 energy price cap.

* Based on a typical semi-detached property in England, Scotland or Wales.
** Savings based on a typical gas-fuelled semi-detached property in England, Scotland or Wales.

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