‘Insulates home for years’: ‘Simple’ way to reduce your energy bills using flooring trick

How can you try to keep energy bills down?

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Flooring can be an expensive mistake when done wrong, leaving your home cold and inefficient through the colder months. More than 10 percent of the average home’s heat is lost through the floor, yet few people think to invest in better materials to trap precious warmth in their property. There are a number of improvements homeowners can consider when it comes to flooring that will ensure their properties are energy efficient and help to retain heat – starting with the choice of underlay.

Josh Barber, Buyer at Flooring Superstore explained that underlay is often “overlooked” yet it “unlocks many benefits”.

He said: “The recent energy price cap increase implemented has prompted households across the UK to consider ways to make their home more efficient. 

“One solution is to review the flooring in your home and consider whether some simple changes could improve the way your house retains heat, starting with your choice of underlay. 

“Its hidden nature means underlay is often overlooked, but the right choice could unlock many benefits, especially when it comes to making your home more efficient.”

He explained how underlay works and the benefits of installing it.

Josh said: “Underlay can be used beneath all kinds of flooring, from carpets to laminate and wood flooring. 

“It helps you get the best performance from your flooring and can extend the lifespan of carpet or laminate flooring by up to 50 percent. 

“It provides a soft cushioning and is made up of millions of tiny fibres that also act as natural insulators. 

“There are many types of underlay available, from ranges that are compatible with underfloor heating to moisture-resistant underlay that prevents rising damp. 

“From entry-level to premium ranges that give unrivalled cushioning, there is a wide selection to choose from. 

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“New underlay is especially recommended for areas of the home with high footfall, as it improves shock absorption and will keep new carpets bouncing back for longer.”

As cold air enters homes through windows, doors and walls, it can also rise through the floor.

The flooring pro noted that the “right underlay” can act as a “barrier”, stopping cold air in its tracks and preventing warm air from escaping.

He said: “It is the ideal insulator if you have draughty areas like floorboards, or if you are fitting new flooring that has a cold surface. 

“If you live in a period property where draught and heat loss is especially prevalent, underlay can provide an additional layer of thermal insulation.”

Much like duvets, underlay and carpets come with a tog rating. 

Starting from zero for lower insulation qualities, a higher tog rating indicates better heat retention properties. 

Josh advised those looking for maximum heat retention to “consider combining a high tog rating underlay with a dense pile carpet”. 

He added: “If you have underfloor heating, you should generally avoid exceeding a combined tog rating of 2.5, but it is wise to contact your heating manufacturer to find out the maximum compatible rating.”

If energy efficiency, warmth and comfort are your priority, solutions like vinyl and laminate are often more insulating than traditional alternatives like wooden floorboards.

They can replicate the look of on-trend styles such as stone, concrete, wood and tiles and often come at a fraction of the cost.

Josh continued: “Alternatively, carpet is a classic choice for a reason and it is hard to beat when it comes to heat retention. 

“When paired with a thick underlay, carpets bring unrivalled bounce and comfort to your home, trapping in warm air and insulating your home in style. 

“Whatever your choice of flooring, teaming it with the right underlay will maximise its performance and help to keep your home cosy and warm. 

“With energy bills set to rise to unprecedented levels this year, now could be the ideal time to invest in the right foundations to insulate your home for years to come.” 

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