How and Why To Insulate Your Home Or Business Premises!
October 3, 2016
The cold weather is fast approaching – Autumn is officially here, the nights are drawing in and the weather is changing. Get ahead of the season this Autumn and Winter proof your home.
Can you believe that on average uninsulated houses lose around 35% of its heat through the walls, 25% through the roof, 25% through draughty doors and windows and 15% through the floor.
Fixes such as draught proofing your windows and doors are simple, cheap and quick. Others, like insulating your walls, are more expensive – but well worth it in the long run. You can also use acoustic insulation to soundproof your home if you’re bothered by noise from traffic or neighbours.
Secondary, Double and Triple Glazing
By adding a second sheet of glass or plastic to a window, it traps a layer of air – which acts as an insulator and reduces draughts, condensation and noise. It doesn’t have a huge effect on overall heat loss (about 5%), it does make rooms warmer and quieter near the windows.
With secondary glazing, a frame containing a pane of glass (or plastic) is fixed over the existing window frame, leaving an air gap between. You can get simple secondary glazing kits in a range of sizes.
Sealed double and triple glazing comprises two or three panes separated by spacing strips, bonded together and heretically sealed at the factory before being fitted in the window frame. Inert gases that give extra sound and heat insulation can also be sealed inside the gap.
Lagging Your Cylinders, Tanks and Pipes
It is worth lagging your hot-water cylinder by fitting it with a jacket made from mineral-fibre insulation. If you decide to buy a new cylinder, choose one with foam insulation already fitted. Also, make sure you lag your cold water pipes in your loft and any exposed hot-water pipes running through unheated areas of your home with split foam tubes.
You should also consider setting up your cold-water cistern and the small feed and expansion tank (if you have one). You can wrap the cistern in a purpose-made jacket or a glass-fibre blanket. But don’t insulate the area underneath it. Any heat rising from the room below will prevent the tank from freezing.
Insulating Your Walls and Floors
Deciding to insulate your walls to cut heat loss is a massive job and more expensive than insulating your roof. If you live in a new build, it is more than likely it will have has insulating panels inserted between its cavity walls when it was built. But this is less likely in older properties.
Cavity walls can be insulated – the insulating material is blown through holes drilled in the outside wall. However, this is really a job for professional. You can insulate solid walls by dry-lining them – in other words, by adding an extra layer of plasterboard to their inner faces. Plasterboard with thermal and acoustic properties is ideal for this.
Plasterboard is up to 50mm thick so bear in mind this will also reduce your room size by up to this amount. Fitting it isn’t too difficult: you simply cut it to size, and then glue or screw it to the existing wall. But when you do this, you may have to move and reinstall electrical wiring, sockets and switches, radiators, doors and windows.
Floors in new builds have to be insulated. But in existing uninsulated floors, a good-quality carpet combined with underlay is often enough to minimise downward heat loss.
You can fill any gaps below your skirtings’ with flexible sealant, or cover them with wooden beading pinned to the skirting. Another option is to lift the floorboards of a suspended floor and lay blanket or sheet insulation between the joists. If you have a concrete floor, you can build an insulated suspended floor on top of it.
Don’t forget to pop into our branches to get all your insulation to keep your home warm this winter!
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