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The air-tightness of a building can be described as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points or areas in the building envelope. Research confirms that air leakage can account for up to half of all heat losses in modern buildings and can reduce insulation performance significantly.
One of the most cost effective means of reducing heating bills, increasing the energy efficiency in buildings and ensuring that the insulation can perform effectively is to use quality insulation while making sure the building envelope is as airtight as possible. In this way addressing air leakage can be pinpointed as one of the most effective and cheapest means of increasing the energy performance of our buildings.
An air tightness test identifies the areas where the cold air isgetting into a building and where the warm air is leaking out. In order to improve the air tightness of a building it is essential that unintentional leaks or gaps in the building envelope are located and sealed. The only way to locate theses gaps is to perform a blower door test. A blower door test involves installing a large fan within a temporary door frame in an external door opening and inducing a pressure differential. The building may be depressurised or pressurised. When the building is pressurised air leakage can be identified by pumping smoke around the building. This smoke will be visible to somebody on the outside where there are leaks or gaps present. Another method of finding air leakage is using a thermal imaging camera while pressurising the building.
Under the 2011 Building regulations all new house must have an air-tightness test carriedout in order to show compliance to Part L of the building regulations. Part L of the Building regulations deals with the Conservation of fuel and Energy and requires that all new houses have a maximum air leakage rate of 7m3/hr/m2. This maximum rate is not very ambitious and most people are now trying to exceed the maximum to get figures down to 3m3/hr/m2 or below. It is widely recognised that a draughty house is an uncomfortable house and expensive to heat.
A Building Energy Rating or BER is an energy label with an accompanying advisory report for homes. The rating is a simple A to G scale. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and will tend to have the lowest energy bills.
A BER makes the energy performance of a home visible to prospective buyers and tenants allowing them to take energy performance into consideration in their purchase or rental decision. The Advisory Report identifies potential energy performance improvements that could lead to better comfort levels, reduced energy use and costs. A BER is valid for up to 10 years provided that there is no material change to the home that could affect the energy performance.
Optima is the 1st N.S.A.I Dry Lining System in Ireland – A high performancedry lining system for insulating new and older houses from the inside that significantly improves thermal and sound insulation. Together with VARIO system it also improves air tightness and moisture control.
We at Carlow Insulation Solutions have completed numerous projects using this system.
External wall insulation is the less known version of home insulation that is available to homeowners. This article will hopefully explain everything you need to know about external wall insulation, and aid you in deciding whether this form of insulation is appropriate to your home.
External wall insulation involves fixing insulation to the external walls of your property, which is then covered with a special render or cladding to reduce the heat loss through your walls (please see diagram and video clip). This insulation system can cut your heating cost quite dramatically by helping to stop heat from escaping through your external walls.
*** Diagram & Video Clip to go here ***
The insulation works by essentially wrapping the exterior of the house in a thermally resistant package (Seen in diagram above) These layers prevent about 30% of the energy that would normally be lost through the walls should your home not have external wall insulation.
Insulation is measured and rated by the R- Value which is the measurement of thermal resistance. The larger the R-Value the greater the thermal resistance is. Therefore, if the R- Value is higher it means that the insulation effectiveness and resistance is greater which prevents heat loss.
Blow Fibreglass Attic Insulation is today's solution to meet thermal regulations for the both new build and existing loft spaces. Installation is quicker than laying conventional roll insulation and creates minimum disturbance. Blown Fibreglass will not react with any metal components in the attic or will it cause loss of plasticiser from UPVC cables and pipes. It is extremely durable material and when installed will remain as effective for the life of the building. All our fibreglass products are free from gases that are harmful to the environment such as CFC's, HCFC's. HFC's and any gases that would have glabal warming prtential. Blown Fibreglass attic Insulation can also significantly improve the sound insulation of a building.
Starting with waste newspaper as the raw material, at Carlow Insulation we process the paper into its original fibrous state and formulate the material to give the required structure and properties needed for each particular application, i.e. wall, warm roof and attic insulation for timber frame structures and attic insulation for brick and block construction.
Cellulose is a non hazardous material manufactured from recycled newspaper, and is an incredibly effective insulation and what’s more it’s installed quickly and easily, simply by pumping it into place by approved installers. There’s no cutting and no access problems as one size fits all and you need less of it. You are combining ultra high insulation performance with true sustainability and environmental responsibility.
As material cellulose is extremely fire resistant through the addition of simple inorganic salts. It’s also free from harmful or toxic substances including VOCs, CFCs and added formaldehyde, it’s also resistant to biological and fungal attack, it’s treated against insects and is unattractive to vermin.
It has been proven that one of the most efficient ways to reduce heat loss in any building with cavity walls is to fill the walls with an insulating material. Savings of up to 30% can be achieved on fuel costs in certain cases. These figures have been supported and backed by the government energy efficiency watchdogs.
ThermoBead Hidensity offers a 15-20% improvement on all other injected cavity insulation materials. This gives significantly improved savings on all previously estimated figures leading to further reduction in fuel costs.
The ThermoBead involves injecting expanded ThermoBead polystyrene in granular form, coated with an adhesive into a cavity to form an insulating mass. All materials used are completely safe and in addition to the thermal benefits, offers resistance to fungal growth and pest infestation. The fill will remain stable in the cavity, does not settle or crack and will not effect any of the fire resistance of the walls.
Cavity Wall Insulation is so cost effective that it will pay for itself over and over again. The better you insulate your home the less energy you need to keep it warm and the more money you will save in the long run. In fact by insulating your cavity walls you could cut your heating cost by up to 20%. By saving energy your household will produce less CO2, so insulating your cavity walls is a great way to help fight climate change.
Dry Lining is an alternative to cavity wall insulation where cavity walls are not available e.g. Stone Cottages or 9" cavity wall builds, or can be used in conjunction with cavity wall and attic insulation for that extra warmth and money saving effect.
The Boards are fitted directly to the inside of the wall, the thicker the board the better the insulation. You can also attach wooden battens in-filled with insulation to the wall. This involves attaching battens to the wall, filling the spaces between the battens with insulation and then covering them with a plaster board finish.
Internal wall insulation can be cheaper than external wall insulation and you could save around €550 a year on your energy bill.
A three bed semi – detached house could save around 2.4 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Taping and jointing produces a smooth, continuous crack free surface which is ready for final decoration. The jointing process has 3 application stages, firstly bedding the tape and bulk filling the joint, secondly filling to take up shrinkage and then the final finish (each stage is sanded down as required).
There are several advantages using this method in comparison to traditional plastering or skimming.
We here at Carlow Insulation Solutions have completed many projects using this form of board finishing.