With the arrival of the first cold, the heating bill rises uncontrollably. A well-insulated house saves a lot of money and discomfort and stays warm in winter and cool in summer. Installing a good insulation system means significant savings on invoices.
To get an idea, in a house of 100 m2 of construction, you can save from € 200 a year with a medium-level insulation up to € 1,000 with a higher level.
Energy consumption in relation to heating and air conditioning accounts for between one third and a half of all households, although it is expected to go more. The improvement in terms of isolation could reverse this trend. An average house with good thermal insulation would go from a consumption of 15,000 kWh to 9,500 kWh (it would be reduced by 40%); if we already speak of particular cases, the possibility is in a reduction of between 15% and 60%.
1- Weather-stripping in doors and windows to seal frames
Sometimes, it is enough to take measures as simple as sealing weak points through which the heat escapes to considerably improve the insulation.
Weather-strip-under-door-aluminum-105. We have to look at the door frames and windows if they are poorly adjusted. During winter, there will be hot air leaks and the environment will be cold even if the heating is at maximum. In DIY centers and hardware stores, you can find lots of weather strips and plinths that fill the gaps between the leaves and frames.
For windows, the best weather-strips are rubber, although it is more expensive than foam. To get the maximum protection, you have to stick the opposite strips. Those in the frame should look out and those in the leaves, inwards. In summer, join the reflective blinds (which reflect the heat out). They are especially suitable for roof windows facing the sun.
2- Double Glass and Break of Thermal Bridge against Condensation
The effect of condensation inside the crystals is due to the temperature difference between the outside and the inside. This difference causes the water to condense on the inner part of the surfaces in the form of gules. It happens even in double-glazed windows.
The most effective way to avoid this unpleasant effect is to install windows with double glazing and frames with thermal bridge breakage (they contain an insulating material between the internal and external frames). Although, they are more expensive than normal, these windows guarantee the disappearance of condensations and considerably improve the insulation of the house. If it is happening to you in your windows and you do not want to change them, you can always place a dehumidifying device in the room to eliminate humidity.
3- Walls with Built-in Air Chamber and Insulator
In principle, it is efficient to build walls with an air chamber, as long as they are built with insulating and quality materials, otherwise it does not help.
The air chamber (about 10 cm) is established between two walls of brick or concrete and serves as a “brake” to prevent heat from escaping from houses through the pores of building materials and also to prevent the cold air penetrating the house. If the walls of your house are of a single layer, you can contribute to their isolation by lifting a double wall inside based on profiles and laminated plasterboard.
This solution will take some space, but it is usually perfect to alleviate thermal and acoustic insulation problems. If you insert some type of insulation (rock wool, porexpán and others) between both walls, the result will be much more effective.
4- Steam Barriers against Humidity
These are materials that act as barriers to prevent water vapor (coming from outside) from entering the rooms through the capillaries of the walls. If this happens, it will probably end up condensing due to the difference in temperature between the outside and the inside of the house, which will lead to moisture stains on the walls. Many insulating materials, such as laminated gypsum or mineral wools are also presented with a built-in vapor barrier. This consists of an aluminum film (or similar material) stuck to one side of the insulator. It is very important to always put the vapor barrier facing into the interior of the room and not towards the wall that faces the exterior façade.
5- Thermal Behavior, Value it Before Buying a House
The so-called “thermal behavior” is the ability of a building to conserve heat in winter and cool in summer. It can be evaluated in many ways. The first thing that must be done, if we want to acquire a home is to ask the developer or the builder on the building’s quality report, to check the type of insulation the house has. Penthouses tend to be cold in winter and hot in summer.
If the house has large glazed areas, these will provide light and heat during the winter, but in summer they will raise the temperature a lot (this can be solved by solar panels or awnings). The presence of windows with double glazing and break of thermal bridge guarantees a thermal and acoustic insulation noticeable in the house, although they suppose a slight increase in the price of the property.
6- Well Insulated Ceilings Using Absorbent Products
The best way to insulate a roof is to place one or more layers of dough (rigid elements: laminated plaster or wood) and spring (soft absorbent elements: cork or expanded polystyrene sheets) fixed to the existing roof. The insulating element or spring can be glued to the ceiling with contact glue and the plaster or wood plates are usually placed as a false ceiling, with metal profiles and braces.
Always keep in mind that isolating only the ceiling will not solve the noise problems, since the sounds expand through any crack and also spread through the walls, even if they come from a place immediately higher. The integral isolation of the room is what comes. It is also very effective to isolate the pavement in the area from which the sounds come.
7- More Ecological Materials
These are state-of-the-art products made from natural and non-polluting raw materials such as wood or paper. They are entering the market with strength due to their high insulation power, good durability and no toxicity. The best known are the following: Derived from cork: Cork is a material that has been used as an insulator always. Today, the most interesting product is the agglomerated cork, which clumps and granulate this material with its own natural resin.
It can be used to cover walls, floors, ceilings or baseboards with the advantage that aesthetically has an attractive finish and can be left in view.
Panels of wood chips: They can be bound with magnesite or with white cement, depending on the brands that commercialize them. They come in many finishes to be able to leave them in sight and are very suitable for covering ceilings.
Wood fiber boards: They are excellent insulators and very economical and ecological. The porous structure of its fibers favors diffusion of the steam and allows the boards to breathe.
Recycled paper insulation: It is made with paper from old newspapers and boric salts. To apply it, it must be blown in hollow spaces in the house (air chambers, non-transitable attics) until a compact layer is obtained. It can also be mixed with water and make a dough that gets into areas within reach.
8- Suitable Pavements to Absorb Noise
The best way to isolate a hearth effectively is to place a suitable pavement on it. In general, one of the best insulators at our disposal are wooden pallets. These floors are warm and dampen noise, especially if placed on sheets of materials specially designed for it such as polyurethane or expanded polystyrene.
Cork is once again, an effective and ecological option, although nowadays, it is not usual to use it as pavement and it is increasingly difficult to find. A well-insulated floor avoids noise problems (prevents those from other rooms from being heard) and creates a pleasant sensation of warmth. Ceramic floors are also effective insulators and do not require additional materials, but can be somewhat cold in winter (a solution for this problem may be to install a floor heating, the most suitable flooring for this system is precisely ceramics).
9- Trasdosados with Lana de Roca (Good acoustic protection)
Trasdosados (gypsum or plaster walls that rise about 10 cm from the walls) with rock wool in the chamber are an effective method to insulate walls, although in many cases it is also important to intervene in the ceiling and the floor. The most effective way to stop noise is to isolate the room from which it comes (if it is from another house), so sometimes it is better to try to agree with the neighbors.
10- The Best Insulators Used in Construction
The isolation of a house always begins in its construction. Before choosing the material should take into account the temperature that prevails throughout the year in the area where the house is located, the size of the building and future heating, cooling and humidification equipment, which may be impaired if incorrect insulator is chosen.
The Most Common Materials are:
Hollow bricks: For many architects, it is the best material. Cold or hot air takes longer to penetrate the walls than when it comes to compact construction. Through the gaps or cells, very effective insulation is achieved.
Concrete: Its main properties are the ability to concentrate and absorb heat, then release it inside the homes. The buildings built with it must have insulators such as perlite and expanded polystyrene.
Synthetic Stucco: It is a novel system according to which the walls are raised on the basis of two layers: an insulating board reinforced with metal mesh or fiberglass that is coated with a water-resistant acrylic substance. This system is gaining many followers because of its easy adaptability to insulators inside the home and its effectiveness in minimizing air leaks.
Plastic Canvas: This product is highly recommended when it comes to protecting the walls against moisture, although to place it you have to resort to a professional, who will proceed to introduce it into the wall already built.