Does Insulation Help with Heating Costs?

The cost of living in the UK is rising, in no small part due to soaring gas prices. Millions of homeowners across the country are looking for new ways to keep their heating bills down, and today we’re asking the question: can insulation do that? This begs another question – what part does electric heating play in helping with heating costs, and which method is more effective? Read on to find out.


List of contents

How insulation helps with heating costs

Insulation: the verdict

How electric helps with heating costs

Electric heating: how does it save you money?

Electric heating: the verdict

How insulation helps with heating costs

A poorly insulated home not only leaves you with cold, patchy indoor temperatures but also an extremely high heating bill. As you’re cranking up the heat to stay warm, a massive amount of it is getting lost to every facet of the house: the walls, roof, floors, and windows. You’re essentially paying for waste, and the higher you set your heating the more you’re losing. Good quality professional insulation is a must in keeping costs down, and even quick fixes you can do yourself help. But where to start, and is it really as simple as insulation = cheaper heating?

What kind of insulation do you have?

Your first port of call is determining when your property was built. Obviously, 21st century building regulations differ greatly from those a hundred years ago, so we can assume the older the house, the less insulation it’s going to have.

  • Solid wall insulation – Homes built before the 1920s have solid walls and can have internal insulation (cheaper option) or external insulation (more expensive but more efficient).
  • Cavity wall insulation – Homes built after the 1920s have cavity walls: insulation material can be injected in the gap between the two cavities.
  • Loft insulation – Homes built before the 1970s don’t tend to have loft insulation: quilt or mineral wool should be lined between the joists, with another layer on top to add depth.
  • Window insulation – Homes built after 2002 should have double glazing which will need replacing every 20-30 years. Triple glazing adds even more protection against heat loss.

Let’s say you live in a semi-detached house in England, Scotland or Wales. The Energy Savings Trust has estimated that cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and A-rated double glazing could cost you around £8,770 to install and save you £660 a year on heating costs. That’s an immense saving, but you’ll need to have the means to afford the insulation first.

Draught-proofing your home

If professional insulation isn’t an option, or you have a newer build that’s already had the work done, there are still things you can do yourself that are inexpensive and don’t take too much maintenance.

  • Thermal insulated curtains – Thicker, heavier curtains trap cold air between them and the window, keeping room temperatures cosy.
  • Draught excluders – You can buy draught excluder tape for windows, cushions to place under doors, and even inflatable ones for chimneys.
  • Foil behind radiators – Traditional central heating radiators work at only about 50-70% efficiency. Placing silver foil behind them will reflect heat back into a room rather than letting it escape through the walls.

Again, let’s assume you live in a semi-detached house. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that draught-proofing windows, doors and chimneys could save you £65 a year on heating costs. Every little helps – but for many of us, that’s just not enough of a saving to improve quality of life.

Insulation: the verdict

Insulation is key in reducing heating costs in older houses (pre-1980), but you’ll need the means to install them before reaping the benefits. Draught-proofing your home is an inexpensive approach to insulation but won’t significantly decrease bills.

Pros Cons
Greatly decreases heating costs in older houses Not much can be added to newer builds
Professional insulation will last decades before needing to be replaced Very expensive to install
Several cheap and DIY-friendly insulation options Installation can be time-consuming and disruptive to daily life
  You'll have to pay more for environmentally friendly materials

How electric helps with heating costs

You’re not limited to what type of electric heating you can have due to the type and age of your house. Electric heaters can be mixed and matched to suit the needs of your property, and because they don’t require connecting to the mains unless you’re planning a full refit, you can install most yourself. Electric heaters are built with efficiency at the forefront: with a range of energy-saving features included as standard. With electric, you can discover a whole new way of managing your heating and keep running costs down.

Infrared heaters

Infrared heaters are an incredibly versatile heating solution boasting absolute efficiency. Instead of heating the air, heat travels in a direct line, absorbed by everything in its path. So even if your walls and floors are poorly insulated, the radiant heat from your infrared heater will provide natural, long-lasting comfort throughout the room. With many of our infrared panels compatible with voice and app control, managing your heating – and your bills – has never been easier.

Electric radiators

The highly efficient, zero maintenance electric equivalent to central heating, electric radiators are the ultimate heating solution. Fitted with precision digital thermostats, electric radiators accurately gauge temperatures within 0.5°C. There’s no micromanaging necessary: simply adjust your heating using the in-built thermostat or from an app on your smartphone for next level convenience. To help you work out the running costs of your electric radiators, check out one of our previous blogs for an easy-to-follow guide.

Electric heating: how does it save you money?

Intuitive control

  • WiFi app control – Pair your smart heaters and radiators to a sophisticated heating app like the Ecostrad Ecosystem, and have access to innovative heat management at your fingertips.
  • 24/7 programming – Take greater control of your heating and set up a personalised schedule to match your routine. Adjust it any time on the heater’s thermostat, smartphone app, or even with just your voice if you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home assistant.
  • Zoned heating – Electric heaters don’t use heat generated from a central point in the home like gas heating. Streamlining energy usage to individual units ensure lesser-used rooms aren’t heated unnecessarily.

Energy-saving features

  • 100% efficiency – As heat is delivered straight from the heater rather than through pipework, every watt of energy is converted into usable warmth.
  • Energy usage statistics – Smart control allows you to identify excess consumption viewable on your heating app. By having a clear and convenient way to view exact heating expenses, immediate action can be taken to reduce waste and lower bills.

Green energy pairing

  • Renewable energy source – Although costly, by installing solar panels or wind turbines you can make your heating self-sufficient and enjoy cheap (in some cases free) heating all year round.
  • Green energy supplier – A much more accessible option: switch your electricity tariff to a green energy supplier for cleaner electricity at a more competitive rate.

Electric heating: the verdict

By utilising your electric heaters’ energy-saving features and pairing with a renewable energy source, you’ll see a dramatic decrease in heating costs.

Pros Cons
Works at 100% efficiency - no waste Electric is more expensive than gas
Energy-saving & eco-friendly features come as standard Electric heaters will need to be replaced sooner than professional insulation
Smart programming allows for greater control  
Carbon neutral when paired with a renewable energy source  
Inexpensive and DIY-friendly installation  
Can be uninstalled and taken with you if you move  
Adaptable: mix and match your heating no matter the age/needs of your house  

Cut costs with electric

Whether you’re looking for a solution to the rising costs of living or need to economically revamp a poorly insulated home, electric utilises the most advanced heating technology on the market. Overhaul colder areas with our extensive collection of electric radiators, tackle those draughty rooms with infrared panels, or top up the temperature with a portable heater. Whatever you’re looking for, we have the most diverse range at the best price. So, shop with us today and discover how much you can save with Electric Radiators Direct.


Key takeaways

  • Insulation is key for reducing heating costs in older houses (pre-1980), whereas new builds come with insulation as standard.
  • Professional insulation will decease bills but will be expensive and sometimes time-consuming to install.
  • Draught-proofing tends to only be a quick fix and won’t dramatically decrease bills.
  • Electric heaters can be installed yourself or hardwired to the mains by an electrician, which isn’t too costly. They’re 100% efficient at point of use so you’re not wasting any energy.
  • Electric heaters such as infrared panels and radiators have energy-saving features built in and can be accessed quickly with precision digital thermostats and WiFi app control.
  • Electric heaters can be paired with a renewable energy source and green energy supplier for even cheaper bills.