Home Insulation: The Essentials

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Not all homes obtain the same amount of energy and heat and not all are equally warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The thing with temperature regulation is that it does not depend only on your heat provider, but also on the state of your home. An insulated home is the best way to avoid these problems, and knowing that about a fourth of the heat is lost through the roof, this is the area you need to focus on. Therefore, here are a couple of ideas how you can install roof insulation which will reflect not only on the quality of your life, but on your energy bill as well.

The Options

With several kinds of roofs and lofts, talking about one type of insulation that will work for all people is impossible – almost every home should be individually assessed and an individual solution made. There are different roof types and shapes, but, in general, most are either pitched, flat or dormer, i.e. have some sloping, absolutely no sloping or other elements (dormers) integrated into them, respectively. The roofs’ insulation depends on this and you should know that pitched roofs are the most easily insulated, while the other two types are more challenging.

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Another choice you have to make if you have a sloping roof – and most houses today do – is whether you want a so-called warm or cold loft. With the former option, you insulate directly under the roof, while with the latter, you insulate above the top floor’s ceiling. The difference is, of course, in the fact that your loft will, or will not, be insulated.

The Materials and Installation

With cold roof insulation, things are really easy and simple – you can even do the job yourself. All you need is the proper material and some free time. You should know that the place to put insulation is between the wooden joints above the ceiling and also, and this is where most people make mistake and skip this, between them to ensure extra insulation.

Regarding materials, the list is vast and depends on your budget and will to experiment, but you can never go wrong with some of the most often used materials: polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene, Styrofoam, fiberglass, mineral wool, expanded perlite and cork. All of these ensure good density and thermal conductivity and all will do the job just fine – it is your choice which you will use.

The Cost and Funding

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Yes, home insulation does cost quite a lot, especially if done properly. You have to pay a significant sum of money at once and thus may think that you will not see benefits for some time. However, this is a once-in-a-lifetime investment and you do not need to do it for decades and decades to come.

Moreover, the benefits will be seen almost immediately – people with good insulation often compare their current energy bills with older ones and notice a major difference right away. The temperature rises several degrees and you get a much cozier and more pleasant feeling in the entire home. Finally, insulation lowers the use of electricity thus raising the level of eco-friendliness, which is why it is supported by many local governments, so you can even get free insulation grants in a number of places.

Other Types

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For people with flat or dormer roofs, traditional insulation is sometimes not an option, so they must be extra careful when thinking about this and consider the shape of their roof first. There are, however, a couple of good options they can choose: for example, placing insulation above or below the roof deck or on top of the weather membrane has been proven effective with flat roofs. For dormers, apply the same method as with sloping roofs, just be aware that going around these additional spaces will take more time as you have to fill the voids and hidden spaces. Ultimately, the result is the same: well-insulated place is much more sustainable in the long run.

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