With October not far off now is definitely a good time to be pondering your home’s insulation. Keeping heat from escaping is especially important considering how much utility costs have gone up in recent years. So what can you do to maximise your energy usage and minimise how much you spend?
Well, you can use energy efficient appliances of course. You could also switch from incandescent and halogen bulbs to LED versions (these not only use up less electricity but can last up to 10 times longer). If you don’t have double or triple glazing in your home then consider ways of sealing the windows – including putting up heavy, lined curtains.
Here at Chadwicks we supply a number of insulation products. But we’ll also give you a quick run-down on how you can insulate properly and leave yourself with more money to spend on fun stuff at Christmas and the holiday season. Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) reckon a family with an average sized property can save as much as 20 per cent on by putting in effective attic insulation. Super-effective insulation (ie adding another layer) can save as much as 30 per cent.
It’s important to get the correct type of insulation for your attic. You can always ask us our staff what we believe is best for your home but pitched roofs tend to fare better with a glass or mineral fibre roll quilt between the joists in layers.
Alternatively you could arrange to get a contractor to blow mineral, glass or cellulose fibre between the ceiling joints in your attic. It’s important once the joists have been insulated to then put lagging on pipes and the water tank since the attic will be colder.
Flat roofs benefit from an insulated lining board made of either polyurethene or mineral fibre. On the outside it’s possible to fit foamed glass or extruded polystyrene.
Incidentally it’s essential to cover up when using the above materials. That means gloves, goggles and a mask. The reason for this is not because the materials are toxic, but can cause skin irritation.
More than half of the heat of your average home is lost through the walls. If you don’t already have cavity wall insulation and the property was built prior to 1980 then it then it’s certainly worth thinking about. Today, under Building Regulations, cavity wall insulation must be put into all new homes.
Wall insulation can be external, internal or in the wall cavity itself. Provided the property has a cavity in the walls then the obvious – and least expensive – choice of insulation is that which is specifically for this pupose ie cavity wall insulation. The type of materials used for this include mineral wool produced from either glass or rock, polystyrene beads/granules and cellulose fibre. It’s then made waterproof with a cement render.
Internal insulation consists of double or triple glazing and floor insulation. With regard to the latter, a detached property which has been built on soil prone to dampness is likely to lose most heat. Underlay and foam-backed carpets are good at retaining heat from escaping through the floor. Skirtings and pipework entry areas should be sealed.
Find out more about home insulation by querying our staff or referring to our downloadable brochures on the Chadwick’s website.