A well-insulated loft can make an enormous difference to the operational cost of a home or business. This protective material acts as a buffer between the interior of a building and the elements outside, and it allows a home or business to remain warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Installing insulation can also be an environmentally responsible choice as it helps reduce consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Finding and buying insulation to install in a loft can be a bit overwhelming if a consumer is not familiar with the process. Knowing something about the different types of loft insulation, as well as the different materials used in these products, can help clarify the process. It can also be advantageous to know where and how to find a wide array of loft insulation products, such as via the online retailer eBay. Understanding the purchasing process on this site can help simplify finding and buying the materials that are needed to accomplish an insulation project with ease.
Shopping for Loft Insulation on eBay
The online retail site eBay provides consumers with a straightforward way in which to search for and purchase virtually any products they need. When you first visit the site, look for the search bar on whichever page you are on. You can use this interface to run a search using a keyword term. For loft insulation, this keyword term can be as basic as 'insulation', or it can detail some specific characteristic of the product, such as the materials used. Before running a detailed search, however, it may help to have a more thorough idea of the insulation options available in the eBay marketplace.
Types of Loft Insulation on eBay
The loft insulation on eBay comes in three main types: blanket insulation, sheet insulation, and loose-fill insulation. Each of these design types requires a different installation method and delivers advantages and disadvantages.
Blanket or Matting Insulation
Blanket or matting insulation is sold in large rolls of padded material. These rolls are perhaps the most common insulation method used in lofts. The interior padding of this type of insulation can be made from a variety of materials. The exterior is typically lined with foil. This foil provides a smooth and seamless facade that also provides an extra level of insulation.
Sheet insulation comes in pre-fabricated rectangular sheets. This insulation can be useful on sloping roofs and in loft spaces that are going to be converted into bedrooms or offices. The materials used in sheet insulation can be fire-resistant and moisture-resistant. They can also include decorative finishes to give a wall or slanted roof a more polished look. Many manufacturers cut sheet insulation to order, although this often incurs an additional cost.
Loose-fill insulation works like the packing filler used in delivery packages. It consists of a variety of loose materials cut in a granular form. This loose material is simply scattered onto a loft surface, providing a no-installation alternative to other solutions. It is made from a variety of granular or lightweight materials, such as cork granules, mineral wool, or cellulose fibre. Greener types of loose-fill insulation include recycled newspaper.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Various Insulation Types
Different types of insulation give consumers a range of advantages, but some types also have certain drawbacks that may make consumers search for another alternative. The following table illustrates some of the main pros and cons that come with the different varieties of insulation.
Easy to install
Works well in large, open lofts
Some materials are irritants
Non-irritating alternatives can be expensive
Difficult in small or oddly-shaped spaces
Includes greener options
Good for conversions
Can be finished
Can feature customised attachments
High insulation factor per square metre
Can be less cost-efficient
Fits easily in irregular spaces
Can work as an extra layer on other insulation
Can eventually leave gaps
Safety equipment is required during installation
Consumers should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of insulation before making a purchase. Considerations such as the temperature extremes in their region of the country as well as the nature of their loft space should be taken into account. By weighing these factors, consumers can choose an option that works best for their needs.
Different Materials Used in Loft Insulation
Loft insulation comes in a variety of materials, each with its own advantages. Some materials work better for certain applications, while others might offer a greener solution for eco-conscious consumers.
Fibreglass is possibly the most common material used in insulation. It is comprised of extremely fine particles of glass fibres and is most often used in matting or loose-fill insulation. Medium and high-density fibreglass options are also available, and they provide a solution for smaller cavities.
Polystyrene insulation uses a synthetic foam much like the material used in some disposable cups. It is used in sheet insulation and sold in pre-fabricated blocks of polystyrene. It is often used to pad and insulate the floor of a loft under carpeting.
There are two types of wool insulation: rock wool and slag wool. Rock wool is made from natural minerals such as basalt. Slag wool is manufactured from the slag that results from the operation of blast furnaces. Most wool-based solutions contain at least 75 percent post-industrial, recycled materials. As such, it does not need to be treated with chemicals to make it fire-resistant. It is used in blanket and loose-fill insulation.
This type of insulation material is made from recycled paper material. The largest ingredient in this mix is usually newsprint, which makes this a very eco-conscious choice in some ways. This solution can be combined with borate or ammonium sulphate to make it more fire-resistant. It is a common loose-fill solution.
Plastic Fibre Insulation
This is another recycled option that consists of repurposed plastic. The largest source used for plastic fibre insulation is plastic milk bottles. It is often used in blanket insulation in lieu of fibreglass. While it is often treated for fire-resistance, it still melts easily in fires.
Natural Insulation Options
Many people prefer to consider organic materials for their insulation. These natural solutions may include cotton, sheep's wool, straw, or hemp. Cotton versions usually contain a certain percentage of plastic fibres in the mix that have been treated for fire-resistance. Some cotton varieties of insulation take very little energy to manufacture, and this makes them great green choices. Sheep's wool is another high-performing, low-consumption option, but it can lose its fire-resistance over time.
Insulation Values of Different Types of Insulation
Insulation can be sold with various ratings that indicate the performance grade of the insulation type. Knowing what these values mean can help in the selection of quality insulation on eBay.
A measure of heat lost through a structural element
Lower rating is better
The insulating capacity of a product at a given thickness
Lower rating is better
Thermal resistance measured as thickness
Higher rating is better
Different manufacturers use various methods for indicating the quality of their insulation materials. In addition to looking at U, R, and Lambda values, consumers should also vet sellers and look at insulation types as a whole.
The Purchasing Process on eBay
Once you have gained an understanding of the different types of loft insulation that are available and determined which might work best for you, you can begin the purchasing process on eBay. Look through listings in detail and be sure to pay special attention to product descriptions. You should also look out for details on shipping costs, payment methods, and other sales-related information. All of these factors can play into whether or not an item is right for you.
Evaluating Sellers on eBay
During this process, it is also beneficial if you take time to evaluate the sellers from whom you are interested in making a purchase. The feedback that a seller has received from other customers, for example, can give you some insight into whether or not that seller can provide you with the ideal product. You can access this information, along with past listings posted by a seller, on the seller's page. You can access this by clicking on the seller's highlighted name in a listing.
Looking into loft insulation is a great way to optimise the efficiency of your home. This useful product protects your home from the elements, saves on energy costs, and can make a home more comfortable for those who live in it. Options as diverse as eco-friendly hemp or traditional fibreglass insulation offer customers a wide array of items from which to select when shopping for insulation. Understanding the choices in the marketplace, as well as their applicability to certain spaces or weather demands, can help clarify a consumer's choice.
Once a consumer has learned about these factors and also learned how to rate the quality of loft insulation, he or she can begin shopping for insulation more effectively. Leveraging the wide catalogue of items on the online aggregator eBay can provide consumers with one of the easiest ways to find and purchase loft insulation. With the basic steps of running a search, reviewing listings, and vetting sellers, consumers can use this site to find the best insulation options for their lofts.