How Can I Heat My Home More Efficiently

Heating your home costs money, so minimising waste heat is a great way to save some money and create a warmer, more comfortable living environment in your home.

During the colder autumn and winter months that we are now experiencing we begin to think about switching our heating systems on and in this article I want to discuss how you can improve the efficiency of your heating through the use of thermal insulation products. These products are different to cavity wall insulation and are applied to the internal walls of a room.

If you are decorating a room or renovating a house adding thermal insulation at this stage can provide a number of benefits for a house and obviously it is a great time to do it before the final and cosmetic decorations (such as wallpaper, paints and home accessories) are added to a room!

Thermal insulation products can be applied as part of a DIY project by those who have basic DIY skills and experience in home tiling and adding wallpaper. These products are also popular with professional decorators.

What do thermal insulation products do? They provide a layer of thermal insulation on a wall that provides a barrier between the room’s air and the cold wall.

When are they effective? Thermal insulation products are particularly effective for buildings that have solid walls. In these instances there is no possibility of using cavity wall insulation so applying thermal insulation products to the inside walls can provide the benefits we are looking for.

How do they work? Different products work in slightly different ways but ultimately they provide a barrier on the wall surface between the room environment and the wall. The insulation layer means that when you are heating up a room you are not wasting energy by heating up the cold wall. They also reduce heat seepage from the room and so help it stay warm for longer.

What products are available? There are a number of different thermal insulation products available for adding to the internal side of room walls. Some of the common types are shown below:

  • Thermal insulation tiles – made from extruded polystyrene which provide the insulation properties
  • Insulating lining paper – again using polystyrene for the thermal properties but in the form of a roll of lining paper
  • Graphite insulating lining paper – like the above  but with graphite embedded within the polystyrene for improved performance
  • Wallrock thermal liners (http://www.coveryourwall.co.uk/wallrock-thermal-liner.html) – A range of thermal liners produced by Wallrock that are used as wall coverings

What are the advantages? These thermal insulation products have a number of advantages:

  • Reduce your energy bills – these products help you heat a room more efficiently; rooms become quicker to heat and they retain their heat more effectively
  • Combined properties of a lining paper – some of these products, such as the Wallrock thermal liners, can be applied to rough and bumpy wall surfaces to create a smooth surface
  • A greener approach – with more efficient heating you are becoming less wasteful so thermal insulation can help you in your approach to a greener, more environmentally conscious lifestyle

How will my room look? The great advantage of these type of products is that they have been designed specifically for use on internal walls so you can decorate over the top of the thermal liners, lining paper and tiles.

The different products have slightly different requirements but in general you can paint the insulation layer and cover it.

  • Wallrock thermal liners can be painted or covered in paste-the-wall type wallpapers
  • Thermal insulation tiles (in this instance I refer to Climapor tiles) can be plastered over, painted or covered with lining paper or wallpaper
  • Insulating lining paper can be painted and covered with wallpaper

This ability to cover means that you get the benefit of more efficient heating without having to compromise on your internal decoration – two great steps for making your house a home!

What budget will I need? Different thermal insulation products have different costs, the key is to include a part of your decoration budget to include thermal insulation products – don’t blow it all on designer wallpaper, mirrors and soft furnishings! The cost will also depend on the level of insulation you will require. For example, Wallrock KV600 liner is more expensive than the Wallrock Natural but this is because the liner is thicker and offers additional thermal performance. A decision on the level of insulation required NEEDS to be made at the planning and budgeting stage of the DIY project.