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Adding insulation to suspended timber ground floors commonly found in homes built before the Second World War can reduce heat-loss by up to 92 percent, according to research from UCL and the University of Sheffield.
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A simple job for the DIY enthusiast, the research team claim that this intervention has the potential to dramatically reduce heating bills and contribute to the UK's CO2 emissions reduction targets.
During the EPSRC-funded study, Dr Sofie Pelsmakers, a Lecturer in Environmental Design at the University of Sheffield and Dr Cliff Elwell (UCL Energy Institute) tested two different types of insulation in a Victorian house. In one room, EPS beads were injected into the floor gap, entirely filling it. In another, the floorboards were pulled up and insulation laid between the joists. Results were monitored in 27 locations in the floor.
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Dr Pelsmakers explains what they found: "When we analysed the results of the tests, it showed a 65 percent reduction in heat loss for the wood-fibre insulation, and a 92% reduction for bead insulation. Our research suggests that there could be massive potential for cost savings in the average property."
The results of the study titled Suspended timber ground floors: Heat loss reduction potential of insulation interventions is published this month in Energy and Buildings. The research is the first of its type conducted in the UK.
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