Thermal insulation – what is it and in what parts of a building is it used?MadMan101016
Lower heating bills and the desired thermal comfort in each room of the house – that’s what you can get by properly insulating your building. Even before the start of construction, it is therefore worth finding out what thermal insulation is and what elements of the building it should include.
Thermal insulation – what is it?
Thermal insulation is, in short, the thermal property of a building and the ability of its envelope (walls, windows, doors, roof, ceilings, etc.) to retain heat inside the house. It is determined by two parameters: thermal resistance (R) and heat transfer (U). A well-insulated building is one with high thermal resistance and low heat transfer.
Why is thermal insulation so important?
Heating a building that has not been properly insulated is like pouring water into a bathtub with an open drain – it doesn’t lead to good heating, but it does generate costs and wastes time. It is therefore worth taking care of thermal insulation for at least three reasons: to save money and time, and to make the building more comfortable to live in, both in terms of temperature and to reduce the risk of fungus or mould.
Did you know…? Starting in 2021, every newly built home must meet energy efficiency standards resulting from the European Union’s policies on efficient energy management and combating climate change.
Where does thermal insulation apply? What materials are worth going for?
- Exterior and interior walls. The most popular materials are sandwich panels made of mineral wool, polystyrene and extruded polystyrene. We wrote more about their types in this article. It is worth noting that the Kingspan offer includes modern wall sandwich panels with an IPN core – with better mechanical resistance and heat transfer coefficient.
- Foundations. As they are in constant contact with the ground, their thermal insulation must also be carried out in a competent and conscientious manner. Styrofoam and XPS panels are most commonly used in traditional construction. Modern foundations are increasingly being insulated with spray polyurethane encapsulated foam insulation.
- Flooring. For a good thermal insulation coefficient, it is worth lining it with expanded polystyrene boards, however they must be reinforced (due to the high pressure of the whole building) and resistant to moisture.
- The roof. Wool insulation (especially resilient wool mats) and styrofoam are mainly used on roofs. Remember that the roof is a large area. Therefore, it is a good idea to use roof panels with a high insulation coefficient(e.g. Kingspan sandwich roof panels).
- Ceilings. Styrofoam and mineral wool are used to insulate those. In case of concrete ceilings the whole surface is covered with a given material, and in case of wooden ceilings – only the space between beams.
- Windows. This is where thicker window frames and so-called brackets, which allow the window to be embedded in the insulation layer, come in handy.
- Doors. In addition to the fact that the door itself should have favorable energy efficiency, it’s a good idea to surround it with an appropriate layer of insulation. The most common materials – as with other elements – are mineral wool, styrofoam and polyurethane foam.
- Pipes. In most cases water and gas pipes are insulated with polyurethane PUR foam, and sewage pipes with PE foam. Well-made thermal insulation of pipes protects them from freezing and avoids failure.