Each of us dreams of making our home warm, safe and friendly to the household members. However, the reality is sometimes different. A few months after moving into a new house, we notice how wet stains are formed on the walls, and the suffocating damp prevailing in the underground rooms settles on the windows and ceiling. The first black dots in the corners are starting to form and these are nothing but the first signs of a damp and the effect of a leaky house. Additionally, in the rooms on the ground floor and on the top floors, cold is clearly felt, which is a symptom of heat loss from the building. Every house emits heat, which instead of staying in a heated room, escapes through gaps called thermal bridges (thermal bridges). The reason for the loss of heat may be structural defects in the building and the lack of insulation as well as incorrectly performed installation and thermal insulation made of polystyrene.
Correct insulation of the house ensures that the right temperature is maintained regardless of the season. In winter, in addition, it allows you to save on heating. Energy losses are caused by heat transfer through unprotected walls. In summer, the heat penetrates inside the rooms, and in winter it escapes from them. Regardless of the season and the prevailing weather conditions, we expect the house to be at a pleasant, comfortable temperature. Achieving such a state requires the use of appropriate materials The choice of insulation material has an impact on financial issues, our safety, proper acoustics in rooms, the degree of comfort in the building (the house does not lose heat in winter and does not overheat in summer) and even the environment.
Percentage of heat loss in the building
• about 20% -35% of heat escapes through walls and corners,
• 25% -30% of heat escapes through the roof,
• 10% -20% of heat escapes through windows and doors,
• through basements and foundations from 15%- 25%,
• other heat losses cause, for example, chimneys, here losses can be as high as 15%.
Five causes of heat loss
1. The most common cause of heat loss in a building are thermal bridges, which lead to leaks in the thermal insulation made of polystyrene and, ultimately, freezing of the corners. Heat losses are also perceived coolness and wind blowing from under doors and windows.
2. Thermal bridges also occur in the places where the ceiling joins the walls and over the basements. Warm air, always directed upwards, penetrates through the unheated structural elements of the building, generating energy losses.
3. Another reason for the building’s cooling down are gaps formed by a poorly insulated foundation and wall cracks caused by the movement of the ground on which the building stands (eg mining areas).
4. The reason why the building is being cooled down may also be poorly working or the lack of ventilation. Then there is no exchange of fresh air into the rooms, only the loss of warm air outside.
5. Incorrectly performed construction works at the stage of erecting the building structure and careless execution of thermal insulation of the building, which reduces its thermal functionality.
How can we prevent heat loss
If we notice in our home disturbing signs of room cooling or ubiquitous dampness on the walls, it means that the construction work in the new house should be repeated (or the older house should be renovated). The penetration of cold air can be limited by sealing the above-mentioned places. The performed works can also be checked by carrying out a thermovision examination, which will allow to determine whether the renovation is already proceeding properly and the damage has been repaired. Thermovision measurements are non-invasive tests in the construction of a building, cheap and, above all, accurate. With their help, all leaky places in the building will be precisely identified.
Advantages of thermovision research
• quick indication of heat loss places,
• indication of leaks in water systems,
• indication of any moisture,
• assessment of tightness of windows and doors,
• assessment of the quality of construction works performed,
• speed of operation and assessment of the technical condition of the building,
• low cost of the thermal imaging service,
• indication in the final report of recommendations to eliminate the problem of heat leakage.
Very often, carrying out thermal imaging works allows to assess the effect of arranging the thermal insulation of a building made of polystyrene and to indicate the places where the greatest heat losses occur. Such an analysis will also allow to assess how additional polystyrene insulation will reduce heating costs. The above summaries show that the most heat escapes through the external walls of the building, its windows, entrance doors and the roof. Therefore, thermal insulation with polystyrene of these nephrological places in the house is a must, because the lack of continuity of the polystyrene insulation leads to condensation in the corners and the formation of a damp inside.
What are we heading for in isolation?
Whatever technical solutions we plan for our home, the first important rule should always be to limit heat loss to an economically justified minimum. Cleverly supplying heat will not help if we will lose it senselessly later through poor partitions, woodwork or thermal bridges. Only after ensuring that the heat does not escape unnecessarily and excessively from our home, let us consider how to provide it and what installation solutions are most advantageous. Good insulation translates into an economical heating system, the most profitable ones are based on cooperation with low-temperature underfloor heating (e.g. with condensing boilers or heat pumps). They are encouraged to do so by the greater energy efficiency of these heat sources, and thus lower fuel demand and lower operating costs.
However, also these solutions must be properly selected and analyzed in terms of – what is the most profitable?
At the end
• Optimally made insulation of external walls and roof in a typical house can result in heating savings of up to 30%. annually, i.e. even by several thousand per year.
• The quality of glass is one of the most important features that you should pay attention to when buying windows. The thermal insulation of the entire window depends on it. The windows produced nowadays use double glazing, made of two or three glass panes with characteristics depending on the desired parameters of the window.
• 25-35% of the house escapes warm through the gravity ventilation system. It is worth insulating the chimneys. Unfortunately, the heat leakage through gravity ventilation is the most difficult to eliminate, as it requires the replacement of the system with mechanical ventilation, preferably with heat recovery.
• In a well-insulated house, it is worth considering a heating system with a modern low-temperature source (eg with condensing boilers or heat pumps).
However, the cost of such a system is sometimes very high, so take care of keeping the heat in our home even in a basic way, reducing costs.
Projekt EWI Specjalista LTD