Maintaining a warm and comfortable home during the colder, less hospitable months of winter is a major preoccupation for most homeowners, particularly with respect to the costs involved. Over two-thirds of household expenditure on energy is spent on heating and cooling.
Much of this money spent on heating is wasted when one considers that approximately 60% of heat is lost through walls and the roof. This is a vast amount of energy that could be better used heating the home but much of this contributes to an unnecessary expense that has an even greater impact on the environment. The solution to this on-going crisis is to invest in insulation.
Insulating the home assists in creating a stable ambient temperature throughout the house, since the heat remains trapped indoors. During the summer months insulation also provides benefits by keeping houses relatively cooler. Insulation has wider benefits, for instance, it aids as an efficient sound absorber by blocking a significant amount of unwanted noise it also provides a level of protection from the rain in the attic/loft space.
Insulation can be applied to all household types, be it a semi-detached, detached, or an apartment, the advantages that insulation brings to the home is important enough to consider. Insulation can be installed in the loft/attic space, for instance, or it can be inserted between floor joists. What is important is that insertion must be undertaken correctly in order to achieve high domestic energy efficiency savings and provide wider environmental benefits.
Fundamentally, three forms of insulation exist in the market; these are flexible insulation, reflective insulation and loose-fill insulation. Types of insulation vary widely, choosing a suitable kind of insulation largely depends on climate, often associated with a region. In other instances, the structural composition of a house would determine the best approach.
In many temperate regions, external walls are constructed using the cavity wall method. This comprises two skins or layers of brick, an outer and inner wall, with an air gap between to prevent damp seeping into the house. Cavity wall insulation involves the process of filling the gap with insulation often by way of injecting foam insulation into the cavity or inserting mineral fibre. Although both methods prove effective in reducing the loss of energy through the walls it is wise to ensure that a gap is maintained to avoid the problem of water seepage into the house causing costly repairs. With that in mind, it is better to consider foam insulation for the roof rather than the walls. Other types of insulation include.
In conclusion, choosing to insulate the home is an effective way of reducing domestic costs and can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Choosing the right type of insulation can depend on several factors including location and the structure of a house. Whichever type of insulation is chosen, ensure that is inserted correctly to maximise efficiency.