Proper insulation plays a very important role in energy-saving and CO2 emissions especially when we see winters getting colder every year. A well-insulated home is also easier to sell because lower utility costs are an attractive selling point for buyers.
More air pockets between the outside and inside of your home translates into less money loss on heating and warmer homes . That is why materials that trap allot of air inside them like polystyrene or wool are good insulators. Against radiant heat loss, mostlly responsible for heat losses true windows and walls, an efficient barrier is aluminium foil which reflects most of the heat back into the room.
Where does the heat go? 35% is lost true walls, 25% through windows, 25% through the roof and 15% through the floor.
Eco-windows improve the environment through energy efficiency. Double or triple glazing windows and doors provide an outstanding barrier against heat and noise loss. Eco-windows and doors use natural paint and therefore don’t consume additional harmful materials or generate associated waste.
Adding another layer of air between the room and the window is always a good idea if you want to improve there efficiency during the winter. Bellow you can find two easy to follow examples on how to upgrade your windows with easy to find materials.
For the roof one of the best insulation is mineral wool. Because it’s composed of many fibers this is not only a good thermal insulation but is also a very good barrier against noise. Also an anti-water foil and an aluminium foil are a good addition to any roof insulation.
A green roof can also provide a very good insulation, additional to food and a posh gathering place inside a crowded city, and it is highly recommended for flat roofs.
Proper floor insulation is equally important. Rolls of insulation are an easy method to install insulation in floors. The rolls are made of fiberglass, mineral wool and natural fibers and are designed to fit the standard spacing between studs and joists. This method is suitable for do-it-yourself projects.
Another way is to use reflective systems made of aluminum foils with such materials as plastic film, cardboard or polyethylene bubbles as backing. Reflective systems are well-suited for floors because they are designed to reduce downward heat loss. Reflective systems are easy to install.
From the traditional materials, used for wall’s insulation, mineral wool, in my opinion, is better than polystyrene because in addition to thermal insulation it’s also a barrier for noise. Polystyrene which is the most popular wall insulation in Romania unfortunately losses up to 70 % of its insulation properties when its wet.
A few eco-friendly insulation materials for walls are:
1. Straws and clay (cheap, highly efficient and 100% recyclable)
2. Cellulose made from recycled paper (very good insulation because of it’s fiber structure and high resistance to humidity)
3. Sheep wool specially modified to be fireproof. ( wool was approved in UE as a building material in 2003). Shredded clothes can have a similar effect as wool for insulating your home.
4. Reflective systems made of aluminum foils also improve the efficiency of an insulation system by reducing the radiant heat loss.
A lot of people have been disappointed after insulating their building, having thought their house would suddenly become warmer, which it won’t. Basically, what insulation does is impede temperature change. So just bear in mind, insulating the building will help your house stay warm, but it won’t warm it.
Which insulation fits best to your house ? Your ideas and comments are always welcomed.