5 Areas in Your Home to Insulate for Saving Energy Bills
By The Headlines, December 31, 2022 | 12:45 AM
What is insulation?
Insulation are materials designed to stop the transfer of heat or sound. They can either keep heat in or out and also restrict noise to certain rooms, such as your bedroom. There are various types of insulations; materials filled with air pockets are the most popular type. Normal air is an excellent insulator and the pockets of air it creates are what make it such a good form of insulation.
One of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in a house is through insulation. Insulating your home prevents heat from escaping and can reduce your energy bills by up to 20%.
Building insulation – For comfort and energy savings in buildings
Electrical insulation – To prevent electricity from flowing through a conductor.
Insulated glass – For power-saving and is a great way to reduce your energy usage.
Acoustic insulation – To decrease the intensity of sound.
Thermal insulation – To reduce heat transfer and save on energy bills.
Thermal and Acoustic insulation plays an important role:
Thermal insulation controls the flow of heat.
It is in walls, ceilings, and outside homes. This insulation helps to heat & cool properly.
It's all about creating a warmer side and a colder side of the insulation. Depending on the climate you live in, you may find that different levels of insulation are necessary at different times of the year. In winter, it's important to make sure your place is insulated properly. If it's always hot or cold where you live, then your insulation will be easy to install and incorporate into the design with that in mind.
Acoustic insulation to help control sound
Insulation doesn't just help to control the heat - it can also be used to limit the noise. Every type of insulation will contribute to this goal, but different types will provide better noise reduction than others.
Acoustic insulation is found in gaps between floors, walls and ceilings, but specialized soundproofing is generally only installed in certain areas. Home theatres are one example.
Similarly, if you live in a noisy area close to busy roads, airports or other sources of noise, the use of soundproofing is recommended. Adding acoustic insulation can have a dramatic impact on your work environment. It will both lower the noise levels in your office and help you focus on the task at hand.
Can insulation work for both thermal and acoustic?
While thermal insulation can dampen sound transmission to some extent (and vice versa), most insulation types will strongly lean to one side or the other. When people ask this question, they're normally asking whether thermal insulation will be sufficient as a sound insulator in a home.
The answer is that it really depends - on things like the volume and pitch of the noise that needs to be controlled, and how your house is constructed. In most homes that are only exposed to general low-level noise, thermal insulation will do the job well enough that you shouldn’t need any additional acoustic insulation. Acoustic insulation can be very useful in the internal walls of your home to stop noise transmission between bedrooms and living spaces.
What are the variety of options available when it comes to insulation?
Probably the first type of insulation people think of is some sort of batt - typically either in wall spaces or in your ceiling. They are light, fluffy-looking panels which are made out of a material like glasswool or rockwool. Batts are made of fibrous materials, which cause them to trap pockets of air.
One of the most common types of insulation is cellulose, which is blown into the walls while they're already built. Other types include foam, matting and reflective foil. Each type has different ways of trapping or repelling heat. This influences how efficient they are in saving energy costs.
Acoustic insulation requires more heavy-duty materials, such as fibreglass insulation or other man-made resin-like glue. For best results, install in combination with soundproofing materials such as acoustically transparent caulking between the internal wall and open stud cavities.
As autumn approaches, insulation is often a popular consideration as this helps to protect your home in the winter months. As summer draws to a close & energy prices rise, it’s never too late to prepare your home for winter.
On average, 45% of the energy lost in a house is due to uninsulated solid walls, 33% is through other walls and 25% from the roof or attic. An additional, 20% is lost through windows and doors means more money spend on electricity.
Installing insulation in your home is a great way to save money and the environment. You can do it all with hardly any hassle.
To save money on energy bills, you may need to insulate five different areas in your home:
1. Roof and Loft
Insulating the attic and loft will save you money. Not only does it help to keep your home warmer, but by reducing heat loss it also cuts down on your heating bills. If the roof is made of regular joists and floors, you can install rolls of insulation. This will keep your house warmer but make the space above the ceiling colder, so pipes or water tanks in this area may be at risk of freezing.
Insulated loft hatches are a really useful thing to install if you want to maintain a more constant temperature in your loft. They also help block cold draughts that might come into your home, so the insulation is definitely something worth having! If you install draught-excluder strips around the hatch, that's even better.
Not only will they keep drafts and dust out, but they will also reduce noise coming in. If your loft is easy to access, isn't damp and doesn't have a flat roof, you should be able to insulate it yourself. However, for dampness, it’s recommended to consult a professional installer.
2. Cavity walls
As it becomes colder outside your home, more and more heat is escaping. Houses built after 1990 usually have better insulation so they tend to lose less heat but homes built before then need an upgrade.
There are various different types of wall insulation which can be fitted to a house. The type of wall will determine the best type or method for insulating it. Buildings built after 1920 are likely to have cavity walls, but older houses are more likely to be solid.
To know whether a house has a cavity or solid walls, look at the exterior brickwork. If it displays regular bricks, this usually means that the interior is also a cavity wall. If there is an alternating pattern on the bricks, then it usually has solid walls on the inside.
3. Solid walls
Solid walls let through twice as much heat as cavity walls, but they can be insulated. Inside the wall, you can use rigid insulation boards or panels and outside insulation material like fiberglass or spray foam. If a self-build, then it's important to make sure that a layer of insulation has been fitted externally and then covered with the desired material.
If you want to fill any gaps between floors & skirting boards in your home, it can be done easily with DIY store sealant. Older homes are more likely to have timber footers, which can be insulated by lifting the floorboards & insulating them with mineral wool insulation. Many newer homes will use concrete as a ground floor, which can offer more insulation when the time comes.
One option to insulate this floor is by either replacing the slabs with a new set or layering rigid insulation on top of it. Rooms above living rooms don't require insulation because they stay warm, but it's worth insulating those in other spaces such as the garage.
5. Tanks, pipes and radiators
Lagging water tanks and pipes, and insulating behind radiators will reduce the amount of heat lost. Also you'll have to spend less money heating your water and it will stay at its preferred temperature for longer.
Installing a hot water cylinder jacket is surprisingly straightforward. Pipe insulation is a foam tube that covers the exposed pipes between the hot water cylinder and the boiler.
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