What are the alternatives to solid wall insulation?

Is solid wall insulation still an option?

As you may now know, the grants for solid wall insulation have disappeared, since the government closed the GDHIF scheme very abruptly a few weeks back. The GDHIF grant was extremely generous – providing up to £6,000 towards the cost of solid wall insulation – which for an average solid wall home, where the total cost of the insulation works was £8,000, made the payback very quick. If you imagine only having to pay back £2,000 on insulation that potentially could knock 30% plus off your energy bill, in some cases this would pay back in as little as 3 or 4 years.

Now if you weren’t lucky enough to take advantage of the GDHIF scheme what else is open to you? Well for one – you could simply pay for the works to be done – at a cost of approximately £90 / m2. For most that is going to be cost prohibitive unfortunately, so you could take advantage of Green Deal finance to fund the works or even extend a mortgage.

There are other, somewhat cheaper ways to insulate your solid walls though, and we are going to take a look at these solid wall alternatives below – now we are not going to sit here and pretend that these insulate your walls to the same standard as 10cm of solid wall insulation, however they will make a difference and you should see your energy bills fall as a result.

Thermal liner

Wallrock thermal liner is effectively ultra thick insulating wallpaper. It comes in a couple of thicknesses – the standard product at 3.2mm and the more popular KV600 Wallrock thermal liner is around 4mm thick. You stick it to the wall in the same manner as wall paper and can then paint it or paper over.

What is the cost difference?

15m2 of KV600 will cost you £93.97 from our shop – you can buy it by clicking the link below.

To cover a property with 90m2 of heat loss wall, you would be looking at a cost of around £600. Solid Wall Insulation would be around £9,000 for the same area. As mentioned previously, the thermal liner will not have the same insulating properties as the external wall insulation, but with such a large difference in price, it is quite an attractive option.

A roll of standard thermal liner will cost you £41.99, and that covers 7.5m of wall. The KV600 covers 15m and costs £99.99, so the extra thick liner will be a little more expensive but provides better insulation. I should also note that the KV600 is slightly wider, so you will have less joins to make – always a pain with papering!

The Advantages of Thermal Liner

Thermal liner is a fantastic product – it is just a fraction of the cost of solid wall insulation, it does not lose you much space inside the property, and it gives you a cheaper insulation option for difficult to treat solid wall properties. It is perfect for flats where space is at a premium and internal wall insulation would be space prohibitive. It is also really versatile in that you can use it on flat and sloping ceilings, such as in a roof room for example – it is key to use their adhesive though as opposed to normal wallpaper adhesive, since it needs to be strong enough to take the weight of the thicker liner.

AerogelInsulating paste

An alternative to thermal liner that you might wish to look at is Aerotherm – a type of insulating paste. Paste is almost like putting on plaster, but it works by trapping and reflecting heat back into the room.

The paste takes advantage of Aerogel – this is a super insulating material – developed by NASA for their space program). This paste works by reflecting the heat back into the room. The picture on the right shows the insulating capability of Aerogel (part of the Aerotherm paste) – the gel can be seen here protecting the flower from a bunsen burner.

What is the cost difference?

1 Litre of Aerotherm insulating paste works out at £27.00 in the EcoStore, it is available in 3 litre, 12 litre and 30 litre tubs – so will cover 3m2. 12m2 or 30m2 respectively.

With 1m2 costing approximately £27, it makes it about a quarter of the price of external wall insulation, but more expensive than the thermal liner.

Advantages of Aerotherm Insulating Paste

Why would you use Aerotherm over thermal liner? If you have awkwardly shaped walls that would be a pain to paper, then this paste is a great option. It is also much easier to touch up the paste if you ever damage it, whereas the liner would be somewhat tricky to cover up.

You can of course use both in combination if you like, with thermal liner on the big open walls and paste in those difficult to reach areas.

So there you have it, two cheaper alternatives to external wall insulation – albeit with smaller energy savings, but with energy companies no doubt about to announce their Autumn energy price rises, any action you can take now to lower heat demand can only be a good thing!

If you have other ideas of how to insulate a property if you decide against insulating with internal or external wall insulation boards – let us know in the comments below!

Installing solid wall insulation

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