Make a more comfortable home

January 1, 1

Upgrading insulation creates a better living environment and saves money

Save 70 percent of energy used

Many homes waste energy because they are not insulated to the latest standards. This means they can be uncomfortable to live in as well as cost more to heat in winter or to keep cool in summer. With energy efficient  technology that’s readily available today, householders who properly insulate their homes can save up to 70 percent of the energy used to heat or cool their homes, reducing their living costs, creating a space that’s more pleasant to live in and even increasing the value of their property .

Where to start

Because heat rises, the best place to start is with roof insulation. This is often the easiest space to insulate, as materials can be placed on the floor of an attic or loft space. The optimal thickness for insulation is between 300-500 mm, depending on the climate, and local building codes may also dictate a minimum level of insulation. If your house has a cellar or crawl space under the ground floor, it’s very beneficial to insulate here too, either on top of the flooring or beneath it.

Next, check your walls. Some houses will be built with cavity walls, which were originally designed to protect against damp. In new-build houses these are often insulated, but many cavity walls remain uninsulated and are an excellent opportunity to improve energy efficiency: insulation materials are simply blown in to the cavity. Alternatively, if you have solid walls, exterior or interior cladding will improve your home’s energy performance and can be very cost effective as part of a renovation or repair project.

Then, fill any gaps. This means making sure windows and doors are well sealed and any gaps in the building envelope (for example around pipes, wiring and light fixtures) are air-tight too. Even small gaps can increase heating and cooling costs and lead to moisture damage or discomfort.

Finally, as part of any insulation project it’s important to protect against condensation caused by ‘cold bridging’, which can happen when there are cooler surfaces within a newly insulated interior. It’s also essential to ensure good ventilation, either using windows and window frames or mechanical heat recovery systems, so that the interior is as comfortable as possible.

If you live in a property that could benefit from upgraded insulation, it’s a great opportunity to create a home that’s both more comfortable and more cost-effective.

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