October 16, 2012

Insulation Tips For Your Home

A great way to save on energy bills and to have a more eco-friendly home is to make sure that said home is well insulated. The better the insulation, the less energy you will waste resulting in lower heating and cooling bills. This article discusses some handy tips with which you can improve your home’s insulation.

The majority of heat and energy is lost through a home’s windows, but you can also use windows to your advantage by making the most out of your access to natural light. To improve your windows’ insulation, check what kind of glazing you have. Double or triple glazings are two of the most energy-efficient glazings out there. With double glazing there are two glass sheets which are separated by an approximately 16 mm gap. Triple simply means that there are three sheets of glass.                     The extra sheet of glass ensures an extra barrier for insulation. As installing these types of glazing can be expensive, there is also the option of secondary glazing, where an extra sheet of glass is added to the existing one. The seal is not as strong as with a double glazed window, but it is still better for your insulation than just a single sheet of glass.

You should also check your window frames for draughts or damages. If heat is escaping through a damaged window frame, then this can be easily fixed with some wood filler. Another great way to add some improved insulation is through your window treatment. Thick curtains can do a good job, but wooden blinds do a better one. Their close proximity to the glass and sturdy material prevents heat from escaping, and as they have adjustable slates you can make the most out of natural light, too.

Your walls are probably the second most important part of your home, which need better insulation, and here again you have several options. If you have a cavity wall, then there are two layers of brick with a gap or cavity between them. This gap can be filled, but unfortunately you cannot do this yourself and will need to employ a registered installer. Once the gap has been filled, you can expect a carbon dioxide saving of around 550kg per year.

If you have a solid wall, meaning that you have two slayers of bricks that have been slotted together in an alternating pattern so that there is no gap, then you need to use a different type of insulation. With solid walls you can opt for internal or external insulation. Internal insulation entails fitting rigid insulation boards to the wall. Alternatively you can build a stud wall filled with mineral wood fibre. The external walls are fitted with insulation material, which is then covered with a special type of render/ plasterwork or cladding. With internal wall insulation you can save 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, while external provides you with 1.9 tonnes saved. The main difference between the two is their cost. External is a lot more expensive then internal, but on the other hand it is less disruptive to the household. Both options have different pros and cons.

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