do we need to insulate our buildings?
your house helps to maintain a comfortable living environment
by maintaining inside temperatures and reducing energy costs.
purpose of insulation is to create a barrier around the building,
that is, over the roof, on the wall, and beneath the floor,
which reduces the amount of heat entering the home on a warm
day, and reducing the amount of heat loss on a cold day.
diagram illustrates the different ways how heat/cooled air
is lost the normal house.
the majority if heat is lost or gained through the roof and
the exposed walls, these areas are the most fundamental places
to insulate in order to create a comfortable and energy efficient
does insulation work?
a hot day, like most typical Maltese days during the period
from May till September, a concrete roof and walls exposed
to the sun without insulation will start to absorb heat from
outside the building. The roof will become hotter and hotter,
and will start to emit this heat in the building, which will
result hotter environment within the building.
to the concrete and bricks' heat capacity, the roof and walls
remain warm during the night, and the inside of the building
becomes uncomfortably hot during summers.
opposite happens during winter, in which the heat from the
house is absorbed by the roof and walls, and emitted outside.
During night-time the inside temperature can easily match
the chilling outside temperature.
always travels from the hotter area towards the colder area.
The only way to stop this process is through good insulation.
In a house with insulation, heat flow through the ceiling
and walls is vastly limited, depending on the thermal conductivity
of the material installed.
insulation will prevent heat from travelling through the roof
and walls, thus the building temperature can be kept comfortable
with much less heating and cooling energy. Therefore the inside
of the building remains relatively cooler than the hotter
outside environment,and on a cold night or during winter,
the majority of heat that is inside the house will remain
trapped by the insulation barrier, thus keeping the buildingwarm.
your home is like wearing a jacket in winter, and like staying
under and sun umbrella in summer.
about Heaters/Air Conditioners?
tempurature extremes in homes without insulation, heaters
and air conditioners are inefficient. This is because the
rapid heat exchange through the ceiling an walls causes most
of the heat to be lost on a cold day, or on a hot day too
much heat to re-enter the home. Because of this constant heat
loss/gain, the devices are required to run constantly and
at close to maximum power just to maintain a comfortable temperature.
good way to picture this is by imagining a fridge with the
door open. The cool air inside will not stay cool for long
and the compressor will have to run constantly just to try
and keep the temperature down. This is similar to a house
without insulation. When the door on the fridge is closed,
however, a barrier is created which stops the cool air from
escaping and the heat from entering. This is similar to how
a house that is insulated, heaters do not have to run as hot
or as long to bring the tempurature up to a comfortable level,
as more heat is retained by the insulation. The same applies
for air conditioning on hot days - it is not required to run
as long as the cooler tempurature inside will not be invaded
by the majority of the heat from the ceiling.
effective is roof and wall insulation?
house with insulation can reduce heating and air conditioning
costs by up to 40%. This translates to massive savings
on energy bills and a lot less pollution due to less energy
usage. The money saved from reduced energy consumption greatly
outweighs the cost of the insulation which, in the end, essentially
pays for itself.
effectiveness of insulation as a heat barrier is deteremined
by many factors, however it is largely and most importantly
determined by its thermal conductivity. This value denotes the
resistance the material has against heat transfer across the
is the common value that industry uses as a comparison between
products, however it is not the only factor on which a decision
should be made (other important factors affecting one's
decision should be cost, safety and feasibility of the product).
is only one part of an energy-efficient home. Other areas of
heat loss/gain are windows/doors, walls, air-gaps and even the
floor. While the ceiling contributes the most heat lost and
gained in a home, the other areas should also be considered.
Having windows tinted and covering with thick curtains can also
help, as can opening and closing doors and windows at appropriate
times of the day.
underestimate heat generating devices are lamps, especially
halogen lamps, which create lots of heat. Now a day the cost
of green substitutes such as LED lights is low. These apart
from generating nearly no heat, they consume a fraction of the
electricity of a traditional bulb. (We also carry a range
of both domestic, commercial and steet LED lighting products)