In an ideal world, how to properly insulate a house without wasting money? We have a plot of land, eyes sparkling with excitement, and grandiose plans to build the warmest, brightest, energy-efficient house in the world. And only some lucky ones get a winning lottery ticket and the opportunity to fulfill their dreams without regard to circumstances.
In the real world, you must consider many facts, including the existing private house: purchased, inherited, and built on a limited budget. As a rule, our housing is far from the ideals of energy efficiency:
- Heat loss is off the charts.
- The house is heated with expensive energy resources.
- The heating equipment used could be more economical.
Sometimes, it seems easier to raze everything to the ground and rebuild the house than to deal with drafts, cold floors, wall fungus, and unaffordable heating bills.
Where to start: Insulate a houses
The first place to start insulate a house or building is to identify the heat loss of the building. Since we are discussing modern technologies and striving to create high-quality, energy-efficient housing, we will also use innovative methods for detecting heat loss. We are talking about using a thermal imager.
Just five years ago, the services of a specialized company or a specialist conducting an audit of the energy efficiency of a building were quite expensive. Now, insulation Sydney is an entirely affordable service, and such a check pays off very quickly.
So, the specialist moved the thermal imager screen around your house, walked around it from all sides, and announced that the primary sources of heat loss are:
- Enclosing structures (roof, walls, foundation).
- Ventilation system.
He won’t say anything new here. These are the three primary sources of heat loss in any home. Another important thing is to find out the total volume of these heat losses and, by reducing them, achieve a balance between the three sources listed above. Those. After insulating the house, heat loss will not only be reduced but also equally distributed between windows, ventilation, and enclosing structures, where each category will account for 30% of their total volume.
Insulating the façade of a house begins with the windows.
It is better to start direct insulation of facades with windows because… This is the most complex and time-consuming stage of the project.
First, forget about “breathing” old wooden windows. They don’t “breathe”; they heat the street. We replace all the old wooden windows in the house with PVC windows or wooden window profiles with double-glazed windows made of Euro timber.
Secondly, don’t skimp on windows. You will start saving later when the amounts on receipts creep down. The window profile must have at least five (!) closed air chambers. The profile thickness must be at least 70 mm. Depending on the climatic conditions, choose a two- or three-chamber double-glazed window, i.e., 3 or 4 glasses.
Many people advise reducing the glass area. Floor-to-ceiling display windows are not a source of heat loss but, on the contrary, they are condensers of solar heat. The main thing is to follow the recommendations for choosing a profile and double-glazed windows.
Also Read: Tips for home improvements
Effective insulation of the external walls of the house, roof, and foundation
It’s time to insulate the walls, roof, and, of course, the foundation. What is the best way to insulate a house from the outside? Mineral wool, foam glass, polystyrene foam, polystyrene foam – all these are excellent heat insulators. These materials are most often used for insulation of enclosing structures. In our experience, it is better to insulate the walls of a house with slabs with a total thickness of 200 mm – this is the most profitable in terms of costs and the results obtained.
Insulate the ceiling with a layer of 250-300 mm. To insulate the foundation, it must be dug to a depth of 1-1.2 m and thoroughly cleaned of soil and other contaminants. Then, you must create a waterproofing layer using polymer-based mastic, special impregnation, or rolling waterproofing.
The foundation is insulated using the same insulation for walls 100-200 mm thick. Protect the foam from rodents with a reinforcing mesh and cover it with a layer of sand after laying it. Additionally, secure the top layer of insulation with special dowels with a broad head.
The final but no less critical stage in creating an energy-efficient home is upgrading the ventilation system. Combine your ventilation system with a low-temperature heat pump heating system to avoid unnecessary costs. The efficiency of heat recovery in this case will increase to 95%. The efficiency of conventional ventilation with a recuperator does not exceed 50-70%.
Now you know how to insulate a house and turn it into an energy-efficient cottage, where there will be a lot of heat, light, and fresh air with economical energy consumption. Your costs will decrease by 1.5-2 times.