Carpet and underlay can reduce energy bills by around £500 over 10 years, research shows.
The typical British home loses 10% of its heat through uninsulated floors, according to the National Energy Foundation.
Good quality carpet combined with the latest underlay technology can improve the thermal resistance of a floor by 15 times as much as the same thickness of fiberglass insulation, leading to annual savings of at least £50.
Richard Sim, Digital Manager at United Carpets and Beds, said: “People often assume that carpets are an expensive flooring choice; however, in reality carpets can offer such significant energy saving benefits they almost pay for themselves in the long run.”
Carpets create natural insulation when air becomes trapped within the fibres. Carpet alone offers an ‘R-value’ — the measure of resistance to heat flow through a material — of 0.18.
This R-value can be increased significantly when combined with other insulation materials. Bonded urethane underlay provides an additional 2.09 per cm, compared with the 0.22 per cm offered by standard underfloor fibreglass insulation.
Richard confirms: “The trick to ensuring that a carpet provides as much insulation as possible is to invest in a good quality underlay. Not only will this increase the overall ‘R-value’ of the flooring, it will also help prolong the life of the carpet itself.”
An independent survey conducted by United Carpets and Beds revealed that many householders are largely unconcerned about the thermal benefits of carpeting in the home, despite the clear savings that can result.
When asked what they desired the most from a carpet, 34.8% of respondents cited softness, with just one in five suggesting ‘warmth’.
Richard concludes: “Carpet is generally associated with softness and comfort, but people don’t always realise that the underfoot warmth that carpet offers is also contributing to the overall thermal efficiency of the home.”