Insulating a house - a comprehensive procedure and its cost

2020-09-24
Insulating a house - a comprehensive procedure and its cost
Poor quality or no thermal insulation leads to huge energy losses and increased heating bills. To ensure proper living comfort, it is important to provide adequate insulation of the building. Which elements of the house should be insulated and how much does it cost?

Why is home insulation important?

Insulation of a house plays an essential role - it limits or totally eliminates heat loss from the interior, both in the case of new and old buildings. It is the properly selected thermal insulation that affects the comfort of living and minimises heating costs. The insulation of the house should be made of high quality thermal insulation material of appropriate thickness.

Inadequate or no thermal insulation of the house is the main reason for the loss of up to 40% of the energy required to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. The solution to the problem is to select an appropriate heat insulator, which almost entirely eliminates the losses. Insulating a house allows not only to retain heat in winter, but also to maintain a comfortable temperature during hot summer days.

What parts of the building should be insulated?

Insulating a house is profitable both for newly built and existing houses. In order to ensure that thermal insulation fulfils its purpose in an old house - it is worth carrying out an energy audit, which will indicate the critical points through which most heat escapes. Insulating a building will not bring spectacular results if heat escapes through leaky windows or doors.

Most heat - up to 40% - escapes through external walls. There are also many other spots which should be protected against energy losses. Thermal insulation of the house should include insulation of the building partitions, i.e. roof, basement, as well as insulation of the foundations. A comprehensive approach will prevent the necessity of carrying out additional upgrading works.

What is the best way to insulate a house?

Before choosing a thermally insulating material, it is advisable to familiarise with its properties. First of all, the heat conductivity coefficient should be taken into account - the lower it is, the more effectively it protects against the heat loss. Currently, mineral wool and expanded polystyrene are very popular. Every year, however, there is an increase in the application of polyurethane foam insulation, which has the lowest heat conductivity coefficient among all insulation materials.

Thermal insulation of a house with polyurethane foam should be carried out by properly trained workers who are familiar with the application method and machine operation. In this way the insulation work proceeds smoothly and quickly. After spraying, the foam instantly expands and solidifies, filling all gaps. The entire procedure lasts even twice as fast as insulating a house with mineral wool or expanded polystyrene. For example, a 160 m2, 20 cm thick attic can be insulated within 8-10 hours, whereas traditional insulation would take up to 3 days, depending on the complexity of the attic.

Advantages of PUR foam insulation

Insulating a house with polyurethane foam brings many benefits. Apart from its excellent thermal insulating properties, the foam enables almost complete elimination ofthermal bridgesthrough which mostheat escapes. This solution works also in summer - it maintains comfortable coolness inside, when the external temperature often exceeds 30oC.

Insulating a house with PUR foam saves both energy and money, as the bills for heating and air-conditioning will drop. Properly applied thermal insulation can reduce costs by up to 50%. In addition, it systematises the operation of devices used for heating and cooling the interior. By doing so, it indirectly reduces the emission of air-polluting substances into the atmosphere caused by burning coal in furnaces.

There are two types of PUR foam available such as open cell andclosed cell foams. Open-cell foam, e.g. Purios E, as its name suggests, contains open cells in its structure. It is lighter and more flexible than closed cell foam, less dense, but vapour permeable. It is perfect for insulating internal walls, ceilings and lofts.

Closed-cell foam, e.g. Purios H, with closed cell structure, has lower heat conductivity coefficient in comparison to open-cell foam. It has waterproofing properties and is resistant to mechanical damage. Properly protected, it perfectly prevents the adverse effects of atmospheric factors such as rain, low temperatures or wind. It is recommended to use it for insulation of external walls, structural elements, external parts of roofs and foundations.

How much is insulation of a house?

The cost of PUR foam insulation of a house depends on several factors. First of all - on the type of foam which should be applied in a given spot. Closed-cell foam is slightly more expensive than open-cell foam. However, the difference in price is not very significant. It is worth using the right kind of thermal insulation, as it will protect the house against heat escape more effectively.

The cost of insulating a house varies depending on the place of residence, so it is advisable to familiarise with the prices in individual provinces. You should not save on hiring qualified professionals. The final effect depends on their experience and diligence. The price is always quoted per square metre of the spray thickness - the bigger the area to be insulated, the higher the total cost of the project will be.

How much can be saved through insulating a house?

Insulating houses brings huge savings. In order to be able to determine these savings, the heating energy demand per m2 of floor area must be measured. The result is given in kilowatt hours (kWh/m2). According to new regulations, houses under construction nowadays consume 90% to 120 kWh/m2 per year. Older houses, on the other hand, consume more than 200 kWh/m2 per year. Thermomodernisation of such buildings can reduce energy consumption and heating costs by up to 50%.

In order to determine approximate savings and actual energy consumption for heating, it is necessary to know the exact floor area, fuel consumption, energy output, given in kilowatt hours, per unit of fuel including any fuel losses. However, due to frequent changes in building regulations, it is important to take into account the year of construction of your house.

You should also bear in mind that the amount of savings is related to the overall condition of the house. PUR foam insulation alone may not work if the rest of the house is not fully airtight. Have an energy audit done to help determine the condition of your building and refine each component.