Published: June 20, 2014 - by Abbie Clarke

Categories: Steam, Hot Water, Geothermal, Warm Air

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Keeping your home heated is about more than just having a source of heating, as it also has a lot to do with preventing heat from escaping the interior of your house. This will not only go a long way toward making sure that you get the most out of your heat source, but it will also help you to save money on energy bills and keep your home at a warm temperature. Let’s take a look at how cavity-wall insulation can help to keep your home toasty.

Did you know?

  • Heat is most often lost from houses through the walls.
  • Around 40 percent of the heat in your home is being needlessly lost.
  • Cavity-wall insulation needs to be undertaken by a registered expert, as the process requires specialist equipment and a DIY job may leave your home with damp issues if performed incorrectly.
  • This form of insulation isn’t necessarily the right option for your home.

How does cavity-wall insulation keep homes heated?

The majority of people have heard of loft insulation and understand the benefits that this can have for preventing heat from escaping their home. However, the same cannot always be said for cavity-wall insulation; though this will also help to prevent heat from escaping your home and ultimately provide savings on energy bills.

Many houses have external walls made of two layers in which there is a gap. This is to create airflow between the outer brick and inner brick, which prevents dry rot and other issues related to damp from arising. However, a side-effect of this gap can be that heat is lost through the walls. One solution to this problem is cavity-wall insulation, which is inserted into the wall to act as a blanket against escaping heat.

What materials are used for this process?

The material used for the cavity-wall insulation process will differ according to what you can afford and the option deemed most suitable for your home. Materials include:

  • Mineral wool: Made from spun volcanic rock or glass, it is widely used and will be treated with water repellent during the engineering procedure.
  • Expanded polystyrene beads: Seen as a more premium system, it is bonded in the cavity space between the interior- and external wall by a bonding agent.
  • Polyurethane injected foam: This is often used for homes that have non-standard cavities and incorporate a closed-cell, water-repellent structure.

How is cavity-wall insulation installed?

This is not a simple DIY job and will require the services of a registered installer. The time it takes to complete the work will vary according to the size of your house; it generally takes two- to three hours for the walls of an average sized, two- to three-bedroom house. Installation requires that small holes of approximately 25mm (about one inch) are drilled into the external wall of the house and the insulation pumped through. The insulation consists of tiny pockets of air that will prevent the passage of cooler air. Once the process is complete the holes are filled and will be hardly noticeable.

What are the benefits?

  • Insulating the walls of your home will prevent heat from escaping.
  • Cavity-wall insulation can ultimately increase the value of your property.
  • The initial costs of installation will generally be offset within one- to two years.
  • You will be able to make marked savings on your energy bills.

Is cavity-wall insulation right for my home?

Older homes tend not to include a gap between their interior and external walls, as previously standard building methods generally incorporated thicker brick walls or single brick walls. This makes the process of cavity-wall insulation unfeasible. It is best to call upon a specialist to find out if your home is suitable. Other issues to consider include being able to access the walls, though a specialist will often find ways to work around this. Any existing damp will need to be corrected before the process can begin, as airflow within the walls is affected and could make existing damp issues worse. It should also be noted that cavity-wall insulation is already in many new homes, as this would have been included in the original construction.

(This article is provided by Abbie Clarke from Find Energy Savings where you can learn more about cavity-wall insulation.)