The Best Flooring to Help Reduce Energy Bills

The Best Flooring to Help Reduce Energy Bills

With energy prices set to increase from April, leading carpet and flooring retailer has revealed the best flooring to invest in to help reduce your energy bills.

With energy prices increasing from April this year and forecasted to increase by £830 in October, many Brits will no doubt be worrying about the increasing prices and what they can do to help keep costs low.

With this in mind, leading carpet and flooring specialist, Tapi, has teamed up with Gary Cowley, Sales Director at Interfloor, to reveal the best flooring to help keep insulation in – reducing your energy bills in the process.

What is the best flooring type to retain heat?

What many people may not know is that 10-20% of heat loss in the home occurs through the floor. So, from carpet to vinyl, which flooring should you choose?

  • Carpet is an excellent, natural source of insulation, which can save money on your energy bill by increasing your home’s ability to retain warmth.
  • Laminate with underlay is also a great option as both the laminate and the underlay offer thermal insulation helping to keep the cold out and heat in.
  • Some Vinyl has a thicker cushioned back or a felt backing which offers additional insulation to your home.

How does carpet retain heat?

Carpet fibres help trap cold air, which stop it from making your space seem cool. This in return helps reduce energy bills by stopping you reaching for the heating! The thicker the carpet, the more fibres it has and therefore the greater the thermal insulation.

And wool carpet is the best choice. Wool is the most effective thermal insulator because wool fibres not only retain their pile height for longer (which is a key factor in retaining insulation) but also feel much warmer and softer underfoot, helping to make you feel cosier. And as carpets trap air just above their surface, this reduces draughts. This in turn helps to reduce energy bills as you may be swayed to turn off the heating!

In fact, in a recent study, carpet was found to have an R-value of 0.18 (a measure of insulation; the higher the rating, the higher the insulation level) whereas plywood has a rating of 0.08, and concrete 0.07. In terms of flooring to avoid, as Gary confirms: “concrete and plywood floors draw heat out of a room, so we recommend to avoid these if you wish to reduce your energy bills and keep heating costs low.”

What about Laminates and Cushioned Vinyl Floors?

As carpet isn’t practical in all rooms in the home, there are ways to increase insulation in rooms where you have laminate or vinyl.

A tog is a unit of measurement for the thermal resistance of a material, and depending upon the quality, laminate underlays can offer thermal insulation of 0.32 TOG, laminates can be up to 1.5 TOG.

Vinyl can offer thermal resistance properties of 0.25 to 0.7 TOG, depending upon the construction and thickness.

What about underlay?

As well as considering your flooring, you should also look at the underlay too. As Gary says: “quality, underlay will provide a protective barrier against draughts. High Tog rated underlay will stop the heat escaping through a floor, as well as providing exceptional comfort under the carpet.”

And for those rooms where you cannot carpet, or you prefer wood or laminate flooring, you can still add an underlay to help keep the heat in. (Vinyl floors won’t need an underlay as they already have a base layer, so are something to consider for your bathrooms or kitchens). For floors without underfloor heating, opt for high tog rated underlay, but with rooms with underfloor heating, you need a low tog rated underlay to ensure that as much heat as possible makes it into the room.

How much can you be expected to save?

As Gary says, “it’s difficult to put a figure on the saving, but we estimate that carpet and underlay could reduce energy costs by as much as 15%.”

Another study found that the temperature of rooms with textile floor coverings is approximately 1-2 degrees higher than in room with hard floor coverings, with estimated savings of between 8-13%. So, it’s definitely worth considering for a long-term financial saving.

Commenting, Johanna Constantinou, brand and communications director at Tapi, says: “with energy bills increasing, many Brits will no doubt be worrying about what this means for them and may be looking for options to help keep costs down. Choosing the right flooring is one of the best ways to help reduce your energy bills, as an insulated floor will make you feel so much warmer in your home and will help reduce draughts too, which is important especially with the uncertainty of energy prices as we look to the future.”

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