More than ever before, Czechs are reducing their energy consumption and mainly resorting to limiting their thermal comfort. 87% of Czechs have already resorted to cost-saving measures, which in the vast majority are delaying the start of the heating season or saving on hot water. This follows from the collection of data by the Ipsos agency. Only a small part of people took a more comprehensive approach to the consequences of the energy crisis and solved them by insulating buildings or changing the heating system.
At the same time, the return on investment period has been significantly shortened. If a household uses subsidies from the New Green Savings program today, the costs will normally be recouped within 10 years, often even sooner. This is five times shorter than the normal lifetime of the measure. Czechs are still delaying investments in insulation, and most are confused about what steps to take to properly insulate the house, what layer of insulation to use or how to choose the final facade plaster. That is why we have prepared eight tips for you to proceed correctly during the insulation of your property. We will also advise what to avoid.
1. WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION?
Ask those closest to you first. Whether they are relatives or acquaintances. Get first-hand information from them, such as their experience with insulation, or if they know someone who has recently had insulation. If there is no such person in your area, look for a construction company that should also provide you with the first information.
“As a next step, we recommend seeking the services of a designer. It is necessary to assess what suits your house. Feel free to search on the Internet for an initial idea, we recommend the websites of manufacturers of insulation systems. There you can find information, including instructions and a contact for a sales representative who is able to advise,” says Karolína Bočková, product manager of Austrotherm CZ, a manufacturer of high-quality thermal and sound insulation. At the same time, he recommends that you also take an interest in the offer of available subsidy programs and financing options at novazelenausporam.cz.
2. MEASURE WHERE YOUR HEAT LEAKS
Whether and to what extent heat is escaping in your house can be roughly determined at the beginning with a thermal camera. They will lend you this, for example, at tool rental shops or rental shops of large construction chains. Most likely, the most common places of leakage will be detected: building openings or the area of lintels and cornices.
3. CHOOSE WHAT NEEDS TO BE HEATED IN THE HOUSE
The perimeter walls, roof, plinth area or floor can be insulated as needed. An expert will advise you on this. External perimeter walls are most often dealt with. By insulating them, we can protect the structure of the house from frost and excessive summer heat. Attention, high-quality insulation will also limit the risk of moisture condensation and the formation of mold and has a benefit in terms of a favorable and healthy microclimate in the house.
4. HOW THICK INSULATION WILL I NEED?
Experts will advise you. Last year, for example, the average thickness of thermal insulation of facades was roughly 16 centimeters. “Thermal insulation is only part of the composition of the structure, which must be assessed in terms of thermal insulation properties as a whole. For example, for the new green energy saving Light, the required minimum insulation thickness is 20 centimeters of EPS 70F,” says Tomáš Novotný from the technical department of Austrotherm CZ. According to him, the thickness of thermal insulation is still increasing as a reaction to rising energy prices and the efforts of households to save as much as possible. Thermal insulation of the house is definitely a returnable investment.
5. POLYSTYRENE VS. OTHER INSULATION MATERIALS
It is most often used to insulate polystyrene. Unlike other materials, handling it does not require any special protective work equipment such as a respirator, gloves, etc. In addition, polystyrene is a healthy material with a long life and is 100% recyclable. If you would like high-quality insulation, but you do not want the house to expand by up to 20 centimeters, there are also special polystyrenes on the market that have the same thermal insulation properties with a smaller material thickness.
6. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WARM THE HOUSE AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Insulating a house is not a long-term process. It is possible to handle it well in just a few weeks. The price of complete insulation depends on the materials used and ranges from 1000 to 2000 CZK/m2.
7. HOW TO CHOOSE A FACADE PLASTER?
Facade plaster is the final top layer that determines the overall impression of the house. Its structure, color design as well as shape accents of decorative elements in the form of chamfers or cornices complete the entire work. We recommend that you always consult with an architect for a specific situation.
8. HOW MUCH WILL I SAVE ON ENERGY WHEN I HEATING THE ENTIRE HOUSE
The building insulation guild has calculated examples of savings in the insulation of a family house under normal climatic and user conditions. Depending on the period in which the house was built and the typical materials used in those periods, heat consumption for heating can be reduced by 15 to 46% depending on the type of building. More information here: www.czb.cz/priklady-uspor-pri-zatepleni-rodinneho-domu
And what should be avoided when warming up? First of all, pay attention to the substrate on which the thermal insulation is glued. It is extremely important that it is clean and cohesive. It is necessary to remove all parts that fall off, are blown off, etc. The thickness of the polystyrene is also important, a smaller thickness does not save anything, because the thickness of the insulation represents only a negligible part of the insulation costs. If we choose an insufficient thickness or completely neglect to insulate some parts of the building envelope, e.g. the area of the plinth, then we expose ourselves to the risk of mold.
“A common mistake is also the failure to fill any gaps between the polystyrene boards with insulation blanks or suitable foam. If this is not done, then in the case of applying the base layer, the glue will be pushed into the joint, and in the future this will be reflected in the rendering of the boards on the facade when the humidity changes. It is the same with plate dowels that have been hammered in too much. This can be solved using recessed mounting with EPS plugs,” says Novotný from Austrotherm, adding that the facade should not be insulated in winter, but at least at five degrees above zero.