Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba

A typical hospitality building loses about two-thirds of heat through the walls, ceilings and floors.

Stop losing heat and money today.

Good insulation will also decrease the risk of mouldy walls and ceilings as there's less condensation on a warmer surface.

1. How to keep the heat in?

Insulating walls, floors and roof spaces and improving the performance of windows can result not only in money saving. You'll also have a better temperature control and you'll reduce your carbon emissions. It will also increase the comfort for guests.

  • Make sure that windows and external doors are closed as much as possible when the heating is on.
  • Close curtains and blinds at the end of the day, especially during winter months, to reduce draughts and keep more heat overnight. In summer the same process can help reduce heat in rooms that receive early evening direct sunlight.
  • Curtains should be thermal lined and adequately cover the window to effectively insulate.
  • Shutters are also effective at reducing heat losses, especially in historic properties.

2. Draught proofing

When your building is draught-free, your heating system doesn’t have to work so hard. Draught proofing can be a cheap and effective way of saving some energy and improving comfort. Cold air gets in:

  • around doors and window frames
  • through keyholes and letter boxes
  • around loft hatches, floorboards and skirting boards
  • through damaged or rotten door and window frames

Many draught proofing solutions are relatively low cost and easy to install.


Draught exclusion measure

Letter box / door base

Brush strips

Doors / windows

Rubber or foam seals

Damaged windows

Silicone sealants


Keyhole covers

  • Do the one pence test

    If a one pence coin can slide between a window and its frame, draught proofing will be cost effective and improve comfort.

    Myth - Small gaps around doors don't let in much cold air.

    Reality - A door with a 3mm gap will let in as much cold air as a hole in the wall the size of a brick.

3. Energy efficient windows

Double-glazing is an easy win when you're replacing windows. Triple glazing can be even better.

Types of energy efficient windows

  • High performance glass

    High performance glass is coated to redirect heat back into a room or prevents heat / cold from entering from the outside.

  • Energy efficient windows

    These can be classified using an A to G rating, with A being the best. The rating takes into account coatings, triple-glazing and evacuated cavities. Higher performing glass is more expensive. So, please check energy saving properties against installations coast to get the best value.

4. Insulation

  • Floor insulation

    Floors are often overlooked as an area for energy saving, but nearly 10% of heat lost from a building occurs via the ground floor.

  • Wall insulation

    Around 9% of heat lost in a building is through the walls. Walls can be insulated through cavity wall insulation, external or internal wall insulation. The most appropriate insulation for your business will depend on the building fabric. Improving insulation is particularly cost-effective in cavity walls.

    For solid walls, insulation behind plasterboard is very effective if there are no gaps. Ideally you should use 200mm of mineral wool or 100mm of urethane board. You can even buy urethane already bonded onto plasterboard. This is particularly suitable on ceilings below flat roofs too. Always ensure that the moisture removal system in your walls is not altered.

    There can be opposition to insulating old properties, as this can cause moisture problems. These problems are normally associated with a lack of roof and gutter maintenance, which causes water ingress that is not picked up. Water ingress will always cause higher energy consumption as the water must evaporate off. Regularly maintain the roof and guttering, whatever the weather to avoid this.

  • Loft insulation

    Over 20% of heat in a building is lost through the roof. Adding insulation to your roof is one of the most effective energy saving measures you can take – particularly with pitched roofs. In fact, insulating loft spaces in a building could reduce heat loss by 25%, providing a payback in 1-4 years. You can also upgrade existing insulation in most lofts by adding to what is already there (providing it is in good condition and not damp). If there is less than 15cm of insulation, it is worth adding more.

    There are several types of insulation which may be suitable for different methods of insulation. These include mineral wool, sheep’s wool, blown insulation, and rigid insulation board.

    For loft insulation, we'd recommend 350mm thickness, ideally in two layers at 90 degrees to each other. Make sure the loft space above can still breathe to avoid moisture build up.

5. Further advice

Related links