Your insulation could be killing your mobile signal

A few years ago we had cavity wall insulation put into the walls. It makes sense really – keeping the heat in during the winter and ensuring that your home is nice and cool during the summer months. I know lately, with the UK going through a prolonged heatwave, we’ve not felt as warm so it must be working. In more modern homes, there’s no need to worry about the insulation as energy efficient building materials are used. It’ll hopefully reduce the amount you need to pay to your utility company, keeping gas usage down and saving on the amount you have to spend each month.

However, research carried out with Aalborg University in Denmark and Queen’s University Belfast has now found that the foil-layered insulation can dampen your mobile phone reception at home. This, alongside the aluminium and PVC window frames, could further reduce mobile phone signal strength. Their study showed a reduction in radio signals of 20 to 60 decibels.

Now, as you’ll probably be aware from your own home WiFi, solid brick walls have long been known to cause problems. WiFi and other wireless signals will pass through stud walls and wood, but brick has always been an issue. But if you’ve got aluminium-backed insulation in those walls it can be even worse. The only solution, especially in a house where you’ve got a low mobile signal, is to either look at WiFi calling (which isn’t always available on all networks, on all plans or on all handsets) or get a mobile phone booster.

Vodafone do the “Sure Signal”, Three do a “Home Signal”, EE do a “Signal Box” and O2 do a “Boostbox”. However, if you want to boost the signal for multiple networks (say, if you have phones from various networks in the house), you’re going to either have to rip out the insulation, hang out of a window or get yourself a mobile phone signal booster.