Save costs with the right insulation |

Can home insulation save energy and money?

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23.05.2022 | 3 minutes

The loss of heat – and thus of energy – is often a major issue for homes in need of renovation. If a building’s outer shell, including the roof and basement ceiling, is not properly insulated, warm air escapes much more easily. This means the indoor spaces require more heating, resulting in higher overall energy consumption. The right energy-efficient renovation can improve the energy efficiency of a property. But what about the financial aspect? Many critics do not believe that this investment pays off. Let us get to the bottom of it: can the right insulation save energy as well as costs?

Claim: the right insulation not only saves energy, but also money. 

Homes are equipped with different kinds of insulation to minimize heat loss. For buildings in need of renovation, the question arises whether façade, roof or basement insulation should be tackled first, or whether new windows take priority. This decision will always depend on the condition of each building component. It is therefore a good idea to examine them closely to evaluate their condition. To do so, it is important to understand which parts of the building can be insulated and how. The following will briefly explain what these are and what you can expect to pay. If you want to find out for yourself how much you could potentially save by optimizing the energy efficiency of your home, we recommend the Energy Calculator from our partner Houzy. In four simple steps, learn which measures are recommended for your property and receive a non-binding offer.

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Façade insulations offer the greatest energy and cost saving potential

In poorly insulated buildings, up to 30 percent of heat generated can be lost through the façade. Façade insulation thus provides the greatest energy saving potential. It also saves you money: a good façade insulation will lower your annual heating costs by around 20 percent. The outer façade is usually fitted with a suitable insulating material to minimize temperature loss through the walls. Depending on your preference and budget, this can be done using wood or rock wool, though hemp is an especially sustainable alternative. All in all, façade insulation will cost at least CHF 70 per square meter.

Roof insulation can prevent up to a quarter of temperature loss

A poorly insulated roof is responsible for about 20 percent of a building’s total heat and cooling loss – almost a quarter. Roof insulation can lower your annual heating costs by up to 15 percent, making it worthwhile in terms of cost and energy-efficiency. The type of roof itself will determine the costs and materials necessary to renovate it – a flat roof needs to be insulated differently than, for example, a pitched roof. You also have several options when it comes to construction materials: organic insulation materials such as hemp or wood fiber are, of course, more environmentally friendly. However, if you have a more limited budget, artificial materials such as polyurethane or polystyrene are also suitable. Expect costs of at least CHF 150 per square meter for a roof insulation.

Basement insulation – the least important type of insulation

At 11 percent, basements account for only around half of the heat lost through façades and roofs (about 20 percent each). Nevertheless, you can also make savings here, allowing you to be kind to the environment – and to your wallet. Responsible for about 8 percent of overall heating costs, basements are often insulated using mineral materials such as rock or glass wool, though synthetic materials can also be used. The cost of a basement insulation starts at around CHF 90 per square meter.

Windows – the right frames and glass panes matter

Windows are responsible for up to 12 percent of a property’s total temperature loss. This can be due to the size of the window, though poorly installed glass panes and the materials of the window frames also play a role. Most modern windows are triple glazed. For the material costs alone, you can expect to pay at least CHF 500 per each new window. Fitting new windows can save up to 8 percent of heating costs.
Curious to discover your home’s energy savings potential? We recommend using the Houzy Energy Calculator. Find out in four simple steps which measures are suitable for your property and receive a non-binding offer.

UBS Switzerland AG («UBS») ist an Houzy AG («Houzy») beteiligt. Durch ihre strategische Partnerschaft mit Houzy will UBS ihr Angebot im Bereich Home & Living ausbauen. UBS hat keinen Einfluss auf die Datenbearbeitung der Website, auf die Sie weitergeleitet werden und übernimmt keine Haftung dafür.

Summary: worthwhile – but don't expect results straight away. 

Is insulation a worthwhile investment? Yes. Energy-efficient renovations are financially worthwhile, though not in the first year. If you decide to insulate your property’s façade, roof or basement, or fit new windows, you should be aware that a high initial investment will be necessary. However, you will save on annual heating costs in the long term. For a single-family house of about 150 square meters, a façade insulation alone can cost between CHF 20,000 and 30,000. Renovation work will thus not pay off overnight. By taking on these expenses for your home, you will benefit in the future and save energy and heating costs. In a best-case, your new insulation will be so effective that the next step will be to install a low-capacity heating system to further reduce your home’s energy costs and CO2 emissions.
Bear in mind that any measures to renovate your home sustainably may enable you to benefit from tax savings. You can also apply for a subsidy from your canton to fund a portion of the costs.

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