Thermal Insulation – Answers You Should Know

Whether you have decided to air-condition your home with aerothermal or geothermal energy, whether it is new construction or you are thinking of renovating it.

It is essential to think about good thermal insulation that will help to improve the use of the energy consumed by your already efficient installation and reduce its energy demand.

What Is The Purpose of Insulation?

To thermally insulate a house is to increase its resistance to cold or heat losses, which is achieved by incorporating insulating materials as a good installation of the same.

During the summer, and once the heat is extracted from the air entering the supply ducts, they must be properly insulated so that the air circulating through them is kept cool until it reaches the supply ducts.

The thermal insulation of the ducts performs the same function in winter, but in this season of the year prevents the heat of the air introduced into the house through the exchanger, is transmitted to the environment and the blown air is kept at 19 ° C to reach the outlets.

The energy and heating costs of a house can be significantly reduced by good thermal insulation.

An old building loses up to 35 percent of the heat it generates through uninsulated exterior walls, and up to 20 percent through an uninsulated roof.

These heat losses cannot be completely avoided – but they can be significantly reduced. Insulating the facade, for example, can reduce annual heating costs by 260 dollars.

The older the house, the greater the savings.

The relatively expensive facade insulation makes sense especially when facade work such as plastering or painting is pending.

The additional costs for insulation are reduced accordingly if scaffolding has to be erected anyway. The payback period for facade insulation is difficult to state in general terms.

One thing is certain, however: professionally installed facade insulation will last for many decades and will generate more in saved heating costs than it costs during this period.

Less costly than insulating the facade is insulating the top floor ceiling and insulating the basement ceiling.

Nevertheless, these measures are very effective and thus correspondingly financially lucrative. In the case of roof insulation, it should be noted that this is particularly worthwhile if the attic is to be converted, i.e. living space is to be gained.

Why Is Insulation So Important?

If you’re thinking of installing solar panels, solar water heating, heat pumps, or some other renewable energy source for your house, the first step is to upgrade your home’s insulation.

This will ensure that you make the most of natural resources while avoiding energy waste.

If you miss this phase, you’ll end up spending a lot of money to cover the energy needs of a poorly insulated house with a powerful device.

Thermal insulation tends to be more important as the climate gets colder (in fact, as we approach the polar regions, good insulation is vital).

On the other hand, in climates with extended warm periods, insulation tends to become less important, and can even be counterproductive if used to excess.

It is important to clarify that, although facade insulation is the most common way to improve the building envelope.

It is also necessary to properly insulate roofs and floors, as well as to choose windows and doors with an adequate level of insulation, although thermal bridges must be avoided in the areas where construction elements meet.

Here are some of the many advantages of good insulation:

  • Reduce the energy bill of the user/owner and the country.
  • Improve the performance of thermal installations, since insulation avoids energy losses in the distribution networks, improving the performance of the equipment with the consequent savings.
  • Improve comfort and well-being for the user: comfort is expressed in a sensation with respect to the environment. A thermally insulated house contributes to the user’s well-being by helping to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house, both in winter and in summer.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2): gas, oil, and coal boilers emit gases in their combustion (CO2 and others). Also, the production of electrical energy is associated with CO2 emissions.
  • Eliminate condensation and improve acoustic insulation: on the one hand, interior humidity is eliminated, which usually leads to the appearance of mold, and on the other hand, noise from the outside or from the neighbors is reduced.
  • It adds value to your building.
  • Insulation is maintenance-free for the life of the building.

What Happens If There Is No Insulation?

Insulation aids in the regulation of your home’s temperature. There’s nothing to hold the warm or cooled air inside where it belongs when you don’t have enough or no insulation.

As a consequence, you and your family are constantly uneasy, whether it’s because it’s too cold in the winter or too humid in the summer.

In times of housing shortage, houses are being converted into living space from the basement to the roof. Especially in the area of insulation, you should pay attention to a few things.

With the insulation it behaves similarly, as with my winter jacket. If the seams are not properly processed, the zipper is stuck or the filling has holes, my winter jacket can not keep me warm properly and the body has to heat more.

If your home’s insulation is poor or non-existent, it will lose the heat it produces through the poorly insulated components.

Poor insulation can be read from your roof after snow falls. Snow tells you about poor roof insulation.

Especially after a snowfall, it’s easy to tell from roofs which one has good insulation and which one doesn’t.

Contrary to what you might suspect, the roofs with a closed snow cover have better insulation.

If the snow on the other roof evaporates, even though both have the same roof pitch, or if the roof is dappled with snow patches like the cow in the pasture, this is a clear sign of inadequate insulation.

The snow melts on the roof because the heated air penetrates the roof tiles through the poor insulation.

  • Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) is often ignored

The Energy Saving Ordinance combines the thermal insulation of buildings and the energy efficiency of systems engineering.

The higher energy efficiency requirements mainly affect new buildings. With the new standards, minimum thermal insulation is mandatory for attic insulation.

So when taking steps to insulate properly, pay attention not only to the roof itself but also to the ceilings of the rooms directly below your unheated attic.

My conclusion: if my winter jacket no longer keeps me warm properly, I either buy a new one or take it to a tailor to have it professionally repaired by a professional.

Before I start to do-it-yourself measures to get my house tight again, I get advice and help from a professional. To be careful, I had the heating system inspected as well.

What Type Of Insulation Goes On Exterior Walls?

The most commonly used insulation method for exterior walls is insulation with a composite thermal insulation system.

In many cases, however, this is not possible or not desired, for example, because the pretty facade should not be pasted over.

In this case, the insulation can also be done from the inside.

However, in the case of such interior wall insulation – or more precisely: insulation of the exterior walls from the inside – a number of important points must be taken into account.

This is especially true if you want to insulate the inside wall yourself.

When insulation from the outside is not possible, interior insulation helps to reduce heating costs. However, the system is prone to errors.

Anyone who wants to insulate an interior wall themselves should therefore pay attention to the right choice of insulating materials and correct execution.

If done incorrectly, interior insulation can do more harm than good.

The core problem: Unlike facade insulation, the exterior wall is shielded from the warm air in the room and remains cold.

If moisture penetrates the insulation layer, it can condense on the cooler wall. Then it may begin to mold under the insulation.

Both the right choice of the insulation system, insulation material, and insulation thickness, and correct workmanship are crucial to preventing such damage.

For this reason, even experienced DIYers should never insulate an interior wall themselves without first consulting an architect or energy consultant. Interior wall insulation is not recommended for DIY beginners.


by Richard Kelly

Having experienced significant success as a house flipper, I am often approached with questions about all things home improvement. That’s why I decided to start this site. My objective is to share all of the insights I have accumulated over the years so other people can design the homes of their dreams.