Why Insulate Your House?

Heating account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average home in the UK. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:

•    saves money and our nation's limited energy resources
•    makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
•    makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer
•    It helps fight global warming and climate change. If every home in the UK had wall and loft insulation CO2 emission would be cut by 10.8 million tonnes

The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house / flat; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating systems; and the fuel you use. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved - and saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.

Thermal insulation in buildings is an important factor to achieving thermal comfort for its occupants. Insulation reduces unwanted heat loss or gain and can decrease the energy demands of heating and cooling systems. How much insulation a house should have depends on building design, climate, energy costs, budget, and personal preference. Regional climates make for different requirements.
The less natural airflow into a building, the more mechanical ventilation will be required to support human comfort. High humidity can be a significant issue associated with lack of airflow, causing condensation, rotting construction materials, and encouraging microbial growth such as mould and bacteria. Moisture can also drastically reduce the effectiveness of insulation by creating a thermal bridge (see below). Air exchange systems can be actively or passively incorporated to address these problems.

Thermal bridge

Thermal bridges are points in the building envelope that allow heat conduction to occur. Since heat flows through the path of least resistance, thermal bridges can contribute to poor energy performance. A thermal bridge is created when materials create a continuous path across a temperature difference, in which the heat flow is not interrupted by thermal insulation. Common building materials that are poor insulators include glass and metal.
A building design may have limited capacity for insulation in some areas of the structure. A common construction design is based on stud walls, in which thermal bridges are common in wood or steel studs and joists, which are typically fastened with metal. Notable areas that most commonly lack sufficient insulation are the corners of buildings, and areas where insulation has been removed or displaced to make room for system infrastructure, such as electrical boxes (outlets and light switches), plumbing, fire alarm equipment, etc.
Thermal bridges can also be created by uncoordinated construction, for example by closing off parts of external walls before they are fully insulated. The existence of inaccessible voids within the wall cavity which are devoid of insulation can be a source of thermal bridging.
Some forms of insulation transfer heat more readily when wet, and can therefore also form a thermal bridge in this state.
The heat conduction can be minimized by any of the following: reducing the cross sectional area of the bridges, increasing the bridge length, or decreasing the number of thermal bridges.
One method of reducing thermal bridge effects is the installation of an insulation board (e.g. foam board EPS XPS, wood fibre board etc.) over the exterior outside wall.

Condensation in building construction

Condensation in building construction is an unwanted phenomenon as it may cause dampness, mold health issues, wood rot, corrosion and energy loss due to increased heat transfer.
Interstructure condensation may be caused by thermal bridges, insufficient or lacking damp proofing or insulated glazing.

 

Home insulation installation and Benefits of EWI Systems