Choosing insulation for your home?
Where to start with insulation?
Beforeinstall a heat pump It is interesting to think about insulating your house, it must be kept in mind that the major part of heat loss comes proportionally from the roof. It is therefore logical to start with the insulation of the attic. Insulating the lost attic by blowing wool for example, or by installing mineral wool panels, is very profitable. The thermal comfort increases a lot in proportion to the investment made. Insulation work is one of the simplest and most profitable measures.
Roof insulation: what is the principle?
The idea is to increase the thermal performance by increasing the thermal resistance and overall thermal inertia of the layer that makes up the roof. Often mineral wool, glass wool or rock wool panels are installed because it is quick and generally affordable. There is an infinite number of thermal insulation materials with various performances. It is necessary to look at their thermal conductivity or their thermal resistance to differentiate them. R value or λ value.
Exterior or interior insulation?
Insulating from the outside avoids the thermal bridges usually created by the rafters. However, the budget is more important than from the inside because it implies to dismantle the existing roof. While the interior insulation consists of the installation of mineral wool panels between rafters with or without covering the rafters. Thin insulation, expanded polystyrene or other expanded foam is also sometimes used. Covering the rafters reduces thermal bridges.
What to look out for to avoid condensation?
Generally, the installer calculates the coefficient of the new structure including the insulating materials with the help of specialized software. He determines if it is necessary to install a vapour barrier, or vapour brake, in order to avoid condensation and moulds in the structure.
Most of the time, a vapour barrier must be installed.
Then which insulation should be my second priority?
The second major source of heat loss is the walls. Indeed, their surface is large. The gain of their insulation will be important but the budget will also be consequent.
Walls can be insulated from the inside, but this means a loss of surface area for the dwelling.
They can be insulated from the outside, and this is the best option. The cost is about Fr. 200 per m2 of wall.
Insulate the floor?
In third place comes the floor. Many solutions with high performance insulation exist. With 4cm it is already possible to obtain very good performances. That said, in terms of work, it involves more work. Breaking the tiles, removing the parquet, etc.
What is the best insulation?
The best insulation is the one that is economical, efficient, and ecological. But it depends on the project. In some projects the thickness is important because the space is limited. In others, the notion of fireproof or non-flammable material is important because the building is public. In others, aesthetics is important, or coolness in summer and a natural green solution such as vegetal insulation is relevant. So you have to combine all the factors. Several software programs, which you will find in our list of tools, allow you to make the right decision.
Juliena mechanical engineering graduate and specialist in climate engineering since 2009, has become a writer specializing in renewable energies, with expertise in heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels for individual housing.
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