What is the best thermal insulation for a house?

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Properly insulate a home is the best way to avoid temperature loss and therefore save energy. Installing a good thermal insulation in walls, even in ceilings and floors, can mean energy savings of up to 35% in heating costs. Let’s see how you can insulate your house and what is the best thermal insulator for your work.

The best thermal insulation will meet the following benefits:thermal insulation

  • Low conductivity and high thermal resistance: to protect you from the cold and heat.
  • Acoustic insulation: if it has fibers, it absorbs and absorbs noise.
  • A high resistance to the passage of heat (R): to delay the entry of heat in summer. (R between 2 and 2.5 is a good insulator)
  • Good behavior against fire, to improve security in your home.
  • Due to their high insulating power, some types of porous or fibrous materials such as mineral wool (rock or glass), expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, polyurethane foam, cork, etc. are generally used as insulating materials.

Depending on the type of action you perform in your home -reinforce the envelope of the building, eliminate thermal bridges, insulate walls, ceilings and floors- but above all depending on where you are going to undertake the reform -from the exterior or from the interior- the type of insulating material to choose will vary.

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External thermal insulationthermal insulation

Normally, rigid sheets of insulating material are used, usually made of extruded polystyrene or mineral wools and foams that are fixed to the wall of the building.

Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) is the only thermal insulator able to get wet without losing its properties. It is, therefore, a durable insulation, with high mechanical performance and does not rot. Placed on the waterproofing (inverted cover) in addition to isolating protects the waterproof sheet, improves the durability of this.

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Expanded polystyrene (EPS): these are sheets commonly known as white cork or poliespán. Due to its versatility and ease of forming, expanded polystyrene is used as a lightening material and thermal insulation.

Due to its characteristics and properties, extruded polystyrene is the best insulator for use on roofs and floors while the expanded one (poliespán sheets) is used for partitions and not for facades.

Among the advantages of external insulation is that thermal bridges are easily corrected and the thermal inertia of the support is used. However, a performance at the exterior façade level will require joint action at the community level and the approval of all the neighbors as it will affect the entire building.

Rehabilitation and facade cleaning works are expensive but are amortized over a period of 5 to 7 years. Therefore, in the medium term, improving thermal insulation in this way will result in greater energy savings and, therefore, economic savings for the entire community.

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Interior thermal insulationthermal insulation

This is a cheaper option than insulation from the outside and a great advantage is that it can be carried out individually, floor by floor at the owner’s will, although it has the disadvantage that some interior space is lost, between 4 and 5 cm per wall.

For asilamientos executed from the interior of the house, rigid plates of extruded polystyrene (poliespan), laminated plasterboard (plasterboard) and mineral wool panels, among other insulation systems for the interior can be used.

Mineral wool: mineral wool is made with natural materials (siliceous sand for wool or fiberglass, and with basalt rock for rock wool) and is one of the best acoustic insulators and terms that exist. It is widely used to isolate construction elements such as roofs, floors, facades, floors, false ceilings, dividing walls, air conditioning ducts, protection of structures, doors, screens and external enclosures.

The insulators of both rock and glass wool do not retain water and are completely safe against fire.

Other types of reinforcement for thermal insulation that can be done from the outside or inside of the facade is done by filling air chambers with foams or blown mineral wool. The thermal conductivity of the blown mineral wool is the lowest of the existing Mineral Wool, which ensures greater comfort in the future. This product is injected into the facades and ceilings through small holes that are then covered leaving it intact and without losing useful space.

Reflective thermal insulation: composed of several layers of reflective material, has a minimum thickness and are easy to install and lightweight and are ideal for under ceilings, buardillas, and walls.

Replace frames and windows with PVC and double glazing and improve the insulation of the floors are other actions with which we can strengthen the thermal and acoustic insulation of our house and thus reduce the bill and energy consumption derived from heating or air conditioning.

Regardless of the insulating material you choose, from Caloryfrio.com we recommend you to get in touch with an isolation specialist or an Energy Services Company that identifies what energy losses your house has and recommends which is the most recommended insulation performance.

Currently, the trend in flats and homes in Spain is the change from centralized air conditioning systems, such as typical central heating, to individualized systems (heating boiler in each neighbor’s house), or else, the adaptation of centralized systems so that each neighbor pays for what he consumes in air conditioning (either heating or air conditioning). In either case, everyone will pay for what they consume and many will realize that, as we have talked in previous posts, if our house is poorly insulated or has windows that are too old, we will have colder or heat and, therefore, we will consume more energy in the  air conditioning of our home.

Conclusion

Now that we have the opportunity to pay exclusively for that energy we consume, why not try to consume the least? If we were thinking of building a single-family home from scratch, this would be a simple task. It would be enough to give the architect notice in order to take it into account in the project and thus have a new house with high energy efficiency. But, when we live in flats or dwellings of a certain age, the most decisive factor for consuming less energy in air conditioning, whether it is cold or heat, is to opt for improving the thermal insulation of our house and renovating the windows. Since we’ve already talked about the windows in previous posts, in this post we will focus on different methods available to improve the thermal insulation of our homes.

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