A Guide for Insulation
Without adequate insulation, your home has no thermal barrier from the environment. This means it will lose heat to a cold environment and draw heat from a hot environment much faster than a home with appropriate insulation. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it’s also wasteful, and expensive. Insulation is a vital aspect of passively maintaining a comfortable living environment in your home, without breaking the bank.
How it works
When insulation is not present, your home will eventually all its residual heat to the environment. 15-25% is lost through walls, 10-20% through windows, 25-35% through the ceiling, 10-20% through the floor, and 15-25% through air seeping through gaps in windows and doors. In summer, roughly the same percentages of heat will radiate into the home without insulation. Heat can be gained and lost in a variety of ways, and good insulation will help to protect you against many or all of these. On top of simply providing a dense bulk in the cavities of walls, rooves and floors to prevent heat movement, some insulators can reflect heat away inwards or outwards as needed. While it may appear to be a simple foil coating, it can drastically change the insulation of a property.
Where it works
Broadly speaking, insulation is placed in the walls, ceiling and sometimes below the floor of a home. However, judicious placement of insulation can have major effects on your heating/cooling bill, so it is worth thinking carefully about where to invest in insulation.
Above: By placing a layer of insulation directly above the ceiling, and a layer immediately beneath the pitches of a roof, it is possible to protect the home both from heat from the sun, and to maintain a more consistent temperature in the main space of the house. The two layers of insulation create virtually a sealed air space that protects the home from large swings in temperature, so the home does not rapidly warm up in the heat of the day. The roof is an ideal location for reflective insulation, where direct contact with the sun is a major contributor to temperature changes.
Around: Insulation is placed in every cavity of stud walls, but also on the external aspects of exterior walls and in any possible cavity. The aim is to provide bulk in these spaces that resist the movement of heat in unwanted ways. Any cavity is a location where heat may be lost, so it is useful to insulate any conceivable gap in the walls. Some walls may also be particularly prone to sun exposure, which makes these walls ideal candidates for reflective insulation.
If you don’t have insulation, your heater will be on all winter, and your air conditioner will be on all summer. Not only does this get extremely expensive, but it is also highly inefficient, and a huge waste of power and resources. Insulation is a passive way to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, without constant input. While it requires more financial outlay in the short term, the financial saving in the long term is extraordinary. That’s why we strongly recommend insulation in all new constructions.
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