Saw your own breath this morning? Yep, it's nippy out, which is why I headed over to B&Q last weekend to pile up on insulation bric-a-brac for the house. The Heater Wars have already begun at Chez Vaughan, with my wife and I alternately turning it on and off, so I've decided to try and trap as much heat as possible. I'll extrapolate on the radiator foil, thermostatic valves, foam stuff and other such scintillating hot products soon, but for now I want to talk loft insulation. Specifically, the eight bags I bought of B&Q's new cheapo green option, Eco Wool.
The big deal here is the cost. It's much cheaper than the other eco insulation options such as recycled newspaper, sheeps' wool and the recycled denim options (sad geek that I am, I got costings for all those at my old flat and they're all pricey). The Eco Wool costs £15 a roll - only a quid more than your standard but slightly longer glass mineral wool - and enjoys none of the the itchy cough-inducing joys of glass mineral. It's also made from 85 per cent recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel smug at a double eco hit. You're encouraging recycling and there's less 'embodied energy' - the carbon required to make it in the first place - than you'll find in glass mineral.
I've laid out 4 rolls so far and it's dead easy to use and doesn't require full duty goggles and mask, though I'd recommend using those if you're laying it over old glass mineral layers. The rolls I bought are 200mm thick, which I'm cross-laying over old 100mm insulation, which should take me just over the government's recommended thickness in total. For some reason, the Eco Wool's not on B&Q's website, but it was stocked in bulk at the tiny Norwood store near me, so you're almost guaranteed to find it at bigger stores. As they say, phone ahead to avoid disappointment.
Update: from the packaging - the thermal conductivity of the 200mm stuff is 0.0425 W/mk. Thermal resistance is 4.706 M2K/W. There's no explainer of what the remaining 15 per cent is - I suspect, judging from the feel of the material, possibly glass mineral wool. Reading the small print, I see that the stuff is made by ThermaWrap, though it bizarrely has no mention of Eco Wool on its site.