Home Heat Loss: How Does Insulation Work?
Home heat loss is one of the biggest problems that many homes in the UK struggle with. When homes lose heat, it is usual to supplement it through artificial heating. This in turn drives energy bills up and reduces the efficiency of the home. So it is vital to look at what causes home heat loss and how insulation can help prevent it. Also, to what extent can draught excluders and double glazed windows help? Here is a guide on how insulation works and how to prevent heat loss in the home.
How Home Heat Loss Occurs
Around each house there is a protective shell made up of walls, roofs, floors, windows and doors. This shell is designed to separate the indoor environment from conditions outdoors. Heat loss occurs because air flows from hot areas to cold ones, resulting in heat loss in the home. If there is no control over airflow in the home then hot air will escape to the colder air outside. The best way to prevent this from happening is through proper insulation.
How Insulation Can Help
Insulation is a layer of material that wraps around the protective shell of the home. This material helps prevent hot air from escaping. Still air is a poor heat conductor and a good insulator, so insulation effectively creates small pockets of still air that stop home heat loss from occurring. An RSI rating measures the thermal resistance of the insulation: the higher the number, the slower the transfer of heat. You can use different materials to create effective insulation, so check to see which one will work best for your needs.
Other Ways to Insulate Your Home
In addition to hall and roof insulation, there are other ways to prevent home heat loss:
- Windows are the main source of draughts in the home. Using self-adhesive foam strips or plastic strips with brushes will help keep cold air from entering the home.
- Doors are also a major source of heat loss, particularly if they have any gaps. You can fix side gaps with foam or plastic strips, while a draught excluder will stop heat loss from gaps underneath the door.
- Modern double glazed windows and French doors can offer good quality insulation. Make sure these are recently fitted as the older form of French doors had very poor insulation.
- Pet doors and letterbox openings are common sources of heat loss. Try minimising heat loss by weatherproofing pet doors with foam edges or using a letterbox plate and keyhole cover to keep warm air in.
- Unless you have a fire going, chimneys are a common area for heat loss. It is best to have a chimney cap installed by a professional when the fireplace is not in use.
- Seal gaps around the loft hatch with foam strips to prevent heat escaping through the roof cavity.
- Use silicone filler to fill any gaps in your floorboards to prevent air escaping while still allowing the floorboards to expand and contract as normal.
The best way to insulate your loft and cavity walls at home is with a free heat survey with Installers UK. We cover the entire UK and can assess your home to see if you qualify for an insulation grant that will make your home much more comfortable and energy efficient. To find out more about our draught proofing services or to book your own home heat survey contact our friendly team today.