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Outside 11 degrees, inside 15.5 degrees. Should I invest in external wall insulation?

  • 18-04-2021 10:36am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 46 Domicio


    Hey, my wife and I bought a house last autumn and we are struggling to understand if our house is colder than the average.

    We used to live in an apartment and we barely needed to turn on the heater, likely because of the people that used to live on the apartment above and below us that turned on the heater, heating our apartment as well.

    Now we feel that we need to turn on the heater everyday that is not sunny (not uncommon at all here in Dublin, right?).

    Although it rained last night, it wasn't cold. Now outside is 11 degrees and our home is 15 degrees -- we turned off the heater during the night and with the central gas heater on, it takes 2 hours to reach 18 degrees. Heating to 22 degrees would take forever and our gas bill would go to the roof.

    I had the airtightness survey done back Feb this year and it believe I've fixed everything that was possible for someone without any previous DIY experience.

    Our home receives a lot of wind and as it's an end of terrace we would get up to €5k SEAI grant.

    I was wondering if we should investing in external wall insulation. What do you guys think?

    Am I overthinking and I should just turn on the heater and shut up:D or it looks like to be the case to invest in external wall insulation?


    PS: Internal wall insulation is not an option for us and the wall is not a cavity wall


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,670 ✭✭✭✭ cnocbui


    If you bought your house recently, then it would have had a BER rating. That should given you some heads up on future heating costs.

    https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/why-external-wall-insulation-is-beneficial-29396815.html

    It is usually considered that spending money on insulation saves money in the long term.

    Roof/attic insulation would normally be the first port of call. If you don't have any or it's less than modern standards call for, then you might want to look at that first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,812 ✭✭✭ Wesser


    What about windows? What kind.of windows do you have?

    Is your boiler efficient and do you have good heating controls?

    Is the attic insulated?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,745 ✭✭✭ ongarite


    What did the air-tightness survey find & what did you fix yourself?

    What's the BER of the house & when was it built?
    Open vents in external walls exposed to wind?


  • Registered Users Posts: 46 Domicio


    Wesser wrote: »
    What about windows? What kind.of windows do you have?

    Is your boiler efficient and do you have good heating controls?

    Is the attic insulated?

    uPVC double glassed windows. House built in 2004.
    Boiler replaced December last year and new three zone system installed.
    Attic insulation upgraded from 100mm to 300mm.

    We never turn on the upstairs heater and only downstairs is the point of concerns.
    ongarite wrote: »
    What did the air-tightness survey find & what did you fix yourself?

    What's the BER of the house & when was it built?
    Open vents in external walls exposed to wind?

    House built in 2004.
    BER C2 when we bought it, before replacing the old 15 years old boiler and the new zone system been installed. We have also upgraded the attic insulation from 100mm to 300mm.

    The new BER survey is pending due COVID-19 restrictions. I'd say after the upgrade, it could go form C2 to easily to C1, hopefully a B3.

    The air-tightness survey found:
    • A lot of gaps between skirt-board and floors; Fixed
        Regarding the floor/titles downstairs, I feel it is extremely cold
      [*]Draught behind the kitchen cabinets; Fixed
      [*]Draught from downlights; partially fixed
      [*]Although we had the attic insulation with 300mm done last December, they also found gaps and I tried to fix it as much as I could; partially fixed
      [*]half of one external wall in the living room wasn't properly insulated and TBH, he said it was too little to worry about; Not fixed


      Air vents exposed to the wind have been insulated by me with silver tape and expanding foam. The only ones left "open" are the kitchen and bathrooms. I've replaced the external kitchen vent one with the vent with flaps.

      Thanks for helping to have a better understanding of what is normal regarding the house temperature .


    • Registered Users Posts: 4,770 ✭✭✭ KungPao


      The windows are from 2004? Double glazed of that era are useless for heat retention. And the seals would be worn, so cold air seeps in.

      U-value could be 3-4, whereas new DG could be 1 to 1.4.

      Are walls colder around window reveals?


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    • Registered Users Posts: 46 Domicio


      KungPao wrote: »
      The windows are from 2004? Double glazed of that era are useless for heat retention. And the seals would be worn, so cold air seeps in.

      U-value could be 3-4, whereas new DG could be 1 to 1.4.

      Are walls colder around window reveals?

      I've found the windows have the following code: BS6206 A
      No clue if it's good enough and worth the investment to replace it.

      Generally speaking, all walls are cold. I'm not quite sure if the window reveals are colder TBH, I would say about the same.


    • Registered Users Posts: 4,770 ✭✭✭ KungPao


      Domicio wrote: »
      I've found the windows have the following code: BS6206 A
      No clue if it's good enough and worth the investment to replace it.

      Generally speaking, all walls are cold. I'm not quite sure if the window reveals are colder TBH, I would say about the same.
      No year stamp inside the panes? If you know the windows are 15 years plus old, may be worth changing.

      Sometimes old and poorly installed windows leak around the frames so that the cold comes in and flows behind the plasterboard (if you have it) itself. So walls are cold. But this is usually obvious as it's freezing at reveals then moderates further away from windows.

      If the glass is very cold to the touch inside (when say 5 degrees and under), a sure sign you're losing heat and time for better windows.

      External insulation is best, but internal is cheaper and you can do in phases/room by room.


    • Registered Users Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭ standardg60


      Basic answer, yes i would definitely invest in full external or internal insulation to first floor level along the exposed wall.
      I would also look at insulating the ground floor ceiling, either by dry walling or insulating the cavity.


    • Registered Users Posts: 21,618 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


      Domicio wrote: »
      uPVC double glassed windows. House built in 2004.
      Boiler replaced December last year and new three zone system installed.
      Attic insulation upgraded from 100mm to 300mm.

      We never turn on the upstairs heater and only downstairs is the point of concerns.



      House built in 2004.
      BER C2 when we bought it, before replacing the old 15 years old boiler and the new zone system been installed.

      Air vents exposed to the wind have been insulated by me with silver tape and expanding foam. The only ones left "open" are the kitchen and bathrooms. .

      Why did you replace the boiler ? Was it broke ?
      Did you seal up the vents in bedrooms and other rooms?

      You will have problems down the line.


    • Registered Users Posts: 46 Domicio


      ted1 wrote: »
      Why did you replace the boiler ? Was it broke ?
      Did you seal up the vents in bedrooms and other rooms?

      You will have problems down the line.

      The old was quite old, like 17 years old. So we replaced it by a new and more efficient one.

      IMHO, the vents sealed up would be a problem down the line if one day the home becomes air-tightness proof.


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    • Registered Users Posts: 21,618 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


      Domicio wrote: »

      IMHO, the vents sealed up would be a problem down the line if one day the home becomes air-tightness proof.

      I’d be cautious about mould etc. Vents are there by design and air tight houses have mechanical ventilation


    • Registered Users Posts: 3,434 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper


      If the end wall is a cavity wall and not cavity block could you get it pumped instead of external insulation it would be a lot cheaper and less disruptive, external insulation can get damaged by a knock...


    • Registered Users Posts: 10,929 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


      KungPao wrote: »
      The windows are from 2004? Double glazed of that era are useless for heat retention. And the seals would be worn, so cold air seeps in.

      U-value could be 3-4, whereas new DG could be 1 to 1.4.

      Are walls colder around window reveals?
      Very aggressive and misleading U values, have a look at the DEAP manual


    • Registered Users Posts: 10,929 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


      Domicio wrote: »
      The air-tightness survey found:
      • A lot of gaps between skirt-board and floors; Fixed
          Regarding the floor/titles downstairs, I feel it is extremely cold
        [*]Draught behind the kitchen cabinets; Fixed
        [*]Draught from downlights; partially fixed


        Air vents exposed to the wind have been insulated by me with silver tape and expanding foam. The only ones left "open" are the kitchen and bathrooms. I've replaced the external kitchen vent one with the vent with flaps.

        .

        How?
        So blocked?


      • Registered Users Posts: 30,657 ✭✭✭✭ listermint


        If the end wall is a cavity wall and not cavity block could you get it pumped instead of external insulation it would be a lot cheaper and less disruptive, external insulation can get damaged by a knock...

        You'd want to lump a hammer off it to damage external insulation , frankly.


      • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭ ewiz9


        how to do an air tightness survey?



      • Registered Users Posts: 46 Domicio


        Just Google it and you will find a couple of companies that does it :)



      • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik


        You said you never turn on the upstairs heating. Trying use upstairs and downstairs heating for a while., See if it makes any difference.



      • Registered Users Posts: 7,962 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer


        external insulation makes such a massive difference to quality of life in your home. Besides the the basic insulation qualities it also blocks out a lot of sound from outside. It is more expensive but internal insulation is a real pain to put in and quite destructive to any internal finishes and electrical outlets. Pumped insulation doesn't really work very well as the cavities in the wall are rarely clean enough to get the insulation evenly distributed.

        External insulation can get damaged due to sun damage or damp and does need a little TLC every now and then like any external coating exposed to the elements.



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