Wall Insulation: Saving Energy At Home
A house with well-insulated walls can save a third of its heat energy, compared to a house with no insulation*. That means a third less greenhouse gasses produced, and a third off your heating bills. Wall insulation can be quite inexpensive, especially when installed into cavity walls, and can pay for itself in energy savings in a short period of time.
Well-insulated walls will help keep your home much warmer during the cold winter months and keep the heat out in the summer, helping to cool your home when it is hot outside. The walls on the inside of your house will be warmer, and possibly drier to the touch, with less condensation building up inside your house.
Save Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Installing or improving the insulation of your walls is an excellent way to lower your own greenhouse gas emissions and save money. It is often quick and easy (cavity wall insulation can usually be installed in a few hours for a typical house) and one of the cheapest ways to help the planet.
There are two main wall types used in houses in the UK. Cavity walls are very common in modern buildings. Cavity walls are effectively two brick walls, with an air gap in between. Solid walls are common in older buildings. Solid walls consist of only one brick wall.
Another type of wall gaining popularity with new-build homes is the sandwich panel wall. In this type of wall, a thick piece of insulation is sandwiched between two panels, which are usually made of wood. These offer excellent insulation, built in, and are very cheap and light.
Cavity Wall Insulation
Cavity wall insulation is when the air gap between the two brick walls in a cavity wall is filled with insulating material. The insulating material is usually in the form of liquid foam, and is pumped into the cavity via a hose or pipeline. The insulating material then solidifies into a highly effective, solid insulation barrier.
The process is quick, easy and inexpensive and can be installed by a cavity wall insulation engineer.
Solid Wall Insulation
Solid walls are especially poor at keeping your home warm. As there is no air gap in a solid wall, the insulating material has to be fixed to the inside or the outside of the wall. This is more expensive than cavity wall insulation, but should still pay for itself in a relatively short period of time.
As solid walls are not as good at insulating as cavity walls, insulating them well can have an even larger impact on lowering your energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
Installing solid wall insulation on the inside of the wall is cheaper than installing it on the outside of the wall. However, as thick insulation panels have to be fixed to the inside of the wall, each room will become slightly smaller. Installing the insulation on the outside can be more practical in this respect, but it will cost more.
* Source: The Energy Saving Trust - www.energysavingtrust.org.uk