What are the best ways to retain heat in your home this winter?

Analysis: With energy bills skyrocketing, knowing how to keep heat in your home is more important than ever

With the weather starting to shift and energy bills rising sharply, knowing how to retain heat in your home is more important than ever. Let’s look at what you can do cheaply and right away, starting with your heating system. Ensure that your boiler is working harder by maintaining it annually to save you 5% on your heating costs, and your radiators bleed if you feel cold spots. Move furniture away from heat sources and get thermal curtains that terminate away from your radiators.

Most types of radiators dissipate heat in all directions, but in the case of installation radiator reflectors Behind them will redirect a lot of heat into the room. A thermal imaging camera can easily identify heat lost from radiators in poorly insulated homes as shown below the upstairs windows in the left photo below before installing the insulation.

After that, draft insulation is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save heat in a leaky house. Before you begin, make sure your vents are clean to prevent condensation and mold. The exact numbers on savings are case-specific, but usually blocking unused chimneys offers the greatest potential, followed by sealing windows and doors. Less than a year payback period.

Other areas to check include the letterbox, sideboard, exposed floorboards, the attic opening and around pipes or other openings. Most of these can be fixed with some Google search Followed by a trip to the ofr DIY home hardware store. If you feel uncomfortable handling all of this on your own, you can hire a contractor relatively cheaply.

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From RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime Time, modified Q&A with SEAI’s Ciarán Byrne

Deep retrofitting can cost €75,000making it unworkable Central Ireland. So, what should you invest in to effectively retain heat in your home without breaking the bank? reach to 30% from heat loss through the walls and another 30% through the roof. Floors, windows, doors and air leaks make up the rest. Therefore, if you want the greatest impact on both your bills and your comfort, you should insulate the walls, attic, and Sustainable Energy Ireland Offers (SEAI) Grant for this work.

Coffered wall and ceiling insulation is the cheapest and least complicated solution, with the shortest payback period ranging from 2 to 12 years, depending on the source used. But be careful here: cavity block (or hollow block) walls are not the same Cavity walls. It is not recommended to fill small cavities in walls with hollow blocks. The yield is negligible at best because small pockets of static air have similar insulating properties to insulation and the heat path through the concrete remains uninterrupted.

If you don’t have cavity walls, your options are to insulate internally (also known as dry lining) or externally. investment will be 10 to 14 times greater than filling the cavitybut the Grant She is also higher. The most appropriate of the two depends largely on the specifics of your home and your own preferences. SEAI provides a Instructs Which includes questions to ask your installer.

non insulated wall

From a thermal standpoint, external insulation is usually the best option if you can afford it. This approach reduces the risk thermal bridgesThose are places where heat can escape most easily. But this is not the only advantage. Rehabilitation using SEAI grants is required to achieve A certain U value Regardless of the method of insulation (the U-value is a measure of the stable heat flow through the thickness).

However, two walls with the same U-value can behave quite differently during use and walls rarely encounter static conditions. The weather changes, and the interior heats up and cools all day, week and year. Because of this, the heat storage behavior of the wall becomes important. In an uninsulated house, heat slowly passes through the walls to the outside. After the heating is turned off, the heat will continue to pass through the walls until both sides are the same.

Externally insulated wall with heating

If the insulation is attached to the outer face of the wall, you will still initially lose part of the heat to the walls when the heating is turned on. But now heat is largely prevented from passing through and your walls have become a huge heat storage unit.

When the heating is turned off, the air cools until its temperature drops below the walls. Once this happens, the heat stored in the walls will be partially returned to the room space. This slows down temperature changes in your home, which lengthens the gaps between heating use. Concrete, stone, and brick have higher thermal storage capacities, or thermal mass, compared to insulation.

Externally insulated wall with heating off

For internal insulation, your heating system heats the air and is not absorbed into the walls, since the thermal mass is now hidden. This means that the air heats up very quickly. The air will maintain this temperature well after turning off the heating as long as your home has a high efficiency. However, if you live in an older home without other upgrades, heat will dissipate quickly through ventilation, windows, floors, and ceiling, causing the home to drop to less comfortable temperatures sooner.

Insulated wall

No matter what type of insulation you choose, research shows that you will Feel better at rest and lose heat will scale down. in study Of nine low- to middle-income Irish homes, cavity insulation reduced heat loss through walls by up to 66%, external insulation by up to 77%, and all reported excellent comfort levels.

So when you’re looking to keep your winter warm, start with the easy wins. Then, if you can, invest in an insulation solution that you can afford. How much of this translates into energy savings depends on how much you value convenience versus cost.


The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ