What does thermal bridging mean?

Banner image showing a house in infrared imaging to show thermal bridging

Whether you are installing thermal insulation in your ceiling, walls or elsewhere, it’s important to understand the basic meaning of thermal bridging, and how it can impact on the efficiency of your insulation project. A thick layer of thermal ceiling insulation, installed between ceiling joists, will have a greatly reduce heat transfer into and out of the home. However the timber or metal frame, which have a much higher thermal conductivity than the insulation itself will provide an easier path – or bridge – for the heat to pass through. This results in thermal bridging, and an overall reduction in insulating efficiency.

Some ways to reduce thermal bridging..

The easiest way to minimise this unwanted transfer of heat, is to:

Image showing how thermal bridging works and can be reduced by installing insulation in two directions1) Install the insulation snugly, without leaving any unnecessary air-gaps for heat to escape through.

2) Avoid compressing the insulation when you install it (compressed insulation has a higher thermal conductivity compared to normal insulation.)

3) Consider installing the insulation in two layers – one layer between the ceiling joists, and the second layer cross-ways over the top of the first layer.

For more information and tips on how to install insulation, please visit our D.I.Y. Installation page.



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