How to insulate your home: Use rugs to trap heat and save money on energy bills

How to insulate your home: Use rugs to trap heat and save money on energy bills

Insulating walls, roof space, windows, and flooring can be an expensive investment, and while it may be effective, it’s not always possible for renters or homeowners with a tight budget. Though there are plenty of more affordable measures, like using rugs, to maximise  efficiency at home, it will make no difference at all if done incorrectly. So what’s the “right way” to use rugs to keep your home warm? And how can you make the most of these -trapping furnishings?

Heat loss through the roof and windows of a are often thought of as the most wasteful areas around the house, but it’s not always the case.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, UK homes actually lose around 10 percent of their heat through the floor.

They explained that insulating the floor can save you at least £50 a year on heating costs, and rugs are just one way to improve these savings.

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Speaking exclusively to, Winston Davis, director of Avenue Heating said: “Ideally if it’s your own property and you live there, you’re going to have underlay and carpet to insulate your floors as these have better floor coverage and better tog ratings to suppress the amount of cold air that can enter your home.

“However, if its a rented property, or you’re unable to pay for these home improvements, you’re still lumbered with high energy costs.

“That’s when rugs really come in – especially for older properties which tend to have poor insulation.”

Winston explained that dated properties built in the 1960s and 70s tend to have insufficient insulation unlike most modern homes, and will benefit from rugs even more so than modernised houses.

What type of rug is best for insulation?

According to Winston, the “most effective” rugs to use for heating purposes are those which cover a large area and have a high tog rating.

Ideally, your rug’s tog rating should sit between one and two, though it should not and should not exceed 2.5.

He said: “Always use a felt back rug rather than a hessian-back rug to maximise the amount of cold air being blocked.”

A felted rug pad anchors the rug in place and acts as a thermal layer for your floor, all the while providing a cushioned under-foot feel.

Do rugs work with underfloor heating?

While Winston advised rugs as “always a good option” for boosting insulation in any room of the house, he noted that underfloor heating isn’t always compatible with these soft floor coverings.

He said: “If you are in a property with underfloor heating, you would need to be wary of the type of rugs you choose.

“Although rugs are great at trapping heat in draughty areas, they are also known to suppress heat sources coming from the floor.”

Winston warned that placing rugs over this type of flooring may inadvertently end up blocking off the heat coming out, making the insulation itself ineffective.

In addition to wasting energy and money, rugs on heated flooring can lead to several other adverse effects including swollen wood.

While they are more expensive than felt or rubber back rugs, hessian-backed carpet is the best style to use with heated flooring, as it does not overly insulate the floor.

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Author: Shirley