A lot of people overlook underfloor insulation but did you know without it you could be losing or gaining as much as 20% of your home’s heat? Installing underfloor insulation in new or existing buildings is a worthwhile investment that will see many benefits in the long term. Not only will underfloor insulation help you keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, you could end up saving money on your electricity bill. That’s because well insulated homes rely less on artificial heating and cooling to stay comfortable. Underfloor insulation can also prevent air draughts from entering your home through holes and cracks in your floor. Finally, underfloor insulation can also provide acoustic benefits by reducing reverberation noises and dampening the sound of foot traffic. ALSO READ – REASONS TO INSTALL UNDERFLOOR INSULATION.
How Does Underfloor Insulation Work?
Naturally heat energy travels from places of high thermal energy (hot air) to places of low thermal energy (cool air) until there is an even temperature everywhere. This becomes an issue on summer days when that hot air begins creeping into our homes. In winter our lovely warm indoor air can quickly escape through gaps in the floor, walls and ceiling, leaving us uncomfortably cold inside. Underfloor Insulation, like insulation in other areas of the home, works to combat the flow of heat so that you can keep indoors at a comfortable temperature. There are several different types of underfloor insulation which each work to prevent heat loss/gain in slightly different ways. Below we will discuss the best underfloor insulation products and how each of them helps you keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Which Underfloor Insulation Is Best?
The most suitable underfloor insulation will depend on a number of factors specific to your situation. For example, are you retro-fitting under an existing house or building a new home? What is the climate like where you live? Are you planning a DIY or will you hire a professional to do the installation? Some of the most common underfloor insulation products include:
Polyester rolls such as GreenStuf Underfloor Insulation are a type of bulk insulation. Bulk insulation works by trapping billions of tiny air pockets in their structure which break up the path of heat, slowing it down. If bulk insulation is compressed during installation it will be less effective. Polyester rolls are made out of recycled plastic materials and come pre-cut to fit new and existing timber joist floors. They are pleasant to handle and have no breathable fibres. They come in a range of thicknesses and R-values, and if you pick a higher R-value or specialised acoustic product you will experience noticeable acoustic advantages.
Glasswool Underfloor Insulation Batts
Glasswool batts such as Knauf Earthwool Underfloor Insulation Batts are also a type of bulk insulation which rely on billions of tiny air pockets to slow down heat flow. Glasswool products are a cost-effective option, made from recycled glass materials. Insulation batts are pre-cut to fit between the joists of timber floors and can be strapped or stapled in place. They are lightweight and an option such as Knauf Earthwool is pleasant to handle and has none of the itchiness traditionally associated with glasswool. Acoustic options can provide noticeable acoustic advantages by reducing reverberation within the home.
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Boards
XPS foam board insulation has a dense closed cell structure which provides excellent thermal resistance. It can be used in a variety of applications throughout a home and is particularly effective in concrete floors as an under slab insulation. XPS has high compressive strength and is water resistant, which means it can help prevent thermal loss through the ground. It can even be used in multiple layers for higher thermal resistance. You can retrofit the XPS Board or install it when the concrete is being poured in. A good example of XPS Board is Knauf ClimaFoam.
Foilboard is a rigid insulation panel which can be used in walls and roofs as well as underfloors. They are made from a fire retardant expanded polystyrene core with a pure aluminium layer of foil on both sides. This provides a thermal break and vapour barrier for superior thermal performance and moisture resistance. Foilboard insulation can be installed quickly and easily and is pleasant to handle as it has no fibres. Panels are easy to cut to fit between the timber joists of a floor and are held in place by floor saddles and joining tape. Foilboard Green is an excellent choice for this type of insulation.
What R-value Do I Need?
The R-value of an insulation product tells you how well it resists heat flow. So a product with a higher value will have greater thermal properties than a product with a lower R-value. For underfloor insulation, we recommend choosing high quality products with an R-value of at least R2.0. Remember the higher R-value you choose, the greater thermal benefits and energy savings you will experience.
Does Underfloor Insulation Make A Difference?
Yes, properly installed underfloor insulation makes a significant difference to winter heat loss and summer heat gain in any home. Even if the rest of your home is insulated, the floors can let in air draughts or allow heat to leak out. Underfloor Insulation helps create a more pleasant indoor environment which means you’ll probably be using heating and cooling appliances less often. That’s how underfloor insulation can lead to energy bill savings anywhere between 10-20%! Finally, installing underfloor insulation can provide acoustic benefits by dampening the sound of footsteps. Along with wall and roof insulation, underfloor insulation also helps reduce the transfer of noises from outside to inside your home and vice versa.
Video: How to Install Underfloor Insulation Batts
Video: How to Install Underfloor Insulation Rolls
Need Help Choosing The Right Underfloor Insulation?
If you need assistance choosing the ideal underfloor insulation products for your particular situation, why not get in touch with the team at Pricewise Insulation? We have a large range of high-quality underfloor insulation, and would be happy to answer any queries you might have.