The heat produced by buildings amounts to almost a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and 39% of emissions in the US. According to a report, “In 2018, the UK residential sector produced an estimated 65.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, making up around 18% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions for the year.”Carbon dioxide emission is a very complicated issue. Sector-wise industry bifurcation will show how much each sector produces its heat emissions. Studies have shown that buildings contribute a multiple level carbon emission during construction and post-construction usage of the building also affects the environment. This includes the location of the building or the house.
Finally, two aspects of building emissions have been addressed as a prime matter of concern – the daily use of energy, which is generated from using the power supplies, like lighting, heating, cooling, etc. The other form of carbon emission by buildings is the manufacturing of building materials and their transportation.
Most carbon emissions-related problems emerge with the use of energy. The foremost issue to be considered to reduce energy consumption, is making an energy-efficient design for homes and various other buildings. Also, there can be various ways to reduce carbon emissions in a pre-designed house by using loft insulation.
Reducing the Building Sector CO2
The Paris Climate Agreement targets to put a stop to the global climate temperature rise, to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As per the UN Environment, “The energy produced by any building or house should be improving by 30% by 2030.”Though the world over, the energy intensity of the building sector is improving every year, but the number of buildings built every year is rising as well. Carbon emissions will increase hugely if immediate action is not taken on them.
It has been suggested that retrofits and renovations will play a major part in decarbonization.
According to NFB, “A net-zero carbon building, including embodied carbon, means that the building produces enough renewable energy to meet operations annually and offset the carbon emitted from construction.”
Eliminating the carbon dioxide in the building industry can take many forms. Addressing the issue, the World Resources Institute published a paper about ways the building sector and related policy at the local, regional, and federal levels can address emissions. “Although all buildings must be net-zero carbon by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, not even 1 percent of buildings are considered net-zero carbon today,” the report states.
Architects, engineers, and the building industry jointly are finding pathways to come up with new ideas in this regard.
Loft Heat Insulators
It has been observed that an uninsulated house loses its heat through the roofs. Loft heat insulators prevent heat loss and save on heating bills and energy costs.
During winters, we heat our homes using the central heating system or heating up the fireplace. Also, plenty of mechanical gadgets heat our homes daily. Most of this heat escapes through the roof. The loft insulations help reduce this heat by trapping the heat below the loft and keeping the heat inside the room itself and the cold air also does not trespass through. This way, the room heat is stored for a longer time, thereby, reducing your annual electricity bills drastically, as your heating system is not over-functioning to keep you warm for a longer duration.
Though the thickness of the insulator varies, it is better to have thick insulation as it is more effective to trap the heat and lock it in your house.
The given below figures show the savings you can have with loft insulation in your home
|Savings on InsulationCosts/Savings||Adding 200mm to the existing 50mm of loft insulation||250mm loft insulation where none at present|
|Cost of fitting|
|Installer||£200 to £230||£220 to £250|
|DIY||from £140||from £170|
|On fuel bills||£20 to £30||£80 to £100|
|Installer||7 to 11 years||2 to 3 years|
|DIY||5 to 7 years||around 2 years|
Types of Loft Heat Insulators
Strong insulation boards of natural or synthetic materials that are fire and moisture-resistant covers. It is expensive, that is why not mostly used and is less environmentally friendly in terms of production. It provides rigidity to the loft that is why it’s also known as rigid insulation.
Granular or Fibre-based Insulators
These are loosely-filled insulators, mostly made up of granules of cellulose fibers, cork granules, and mineral wool. At times recycled newspapers are also used for the environmental approach. This type of insulation can work to protect the pre-existing insulator but is not advised because it cannot sustain heavy draught of winds. Such types of insulators require skilled labor and mechanisms to be installed.
Mostly, recommended for hard to access loft spaces; professionally done with mineral wool fiber, treated cellulose, or polyurethane foam. An average home would cost around £1,000 as regards insulation with spray foam, but the longevity spans up to 20 years. A return on investment can be seen within three years of installation and partial savings could be highlighted in your energy bills.
Batt, Blanket Insulator
The most inexpensive form of loft insulation is this type of insulation as it not only fits easily but also, follows the government prescribed norm of the depth of insulation. This is the most common form of insulation used in the UK. It contains rolls of rock, glass, minerals fiber folded in foil. Cost-effective, easy-to-install insulation, which is not only pocket-friendly but eco-friendly as well.
Advantages of Heat Installing Heat Insulators
Saving on Bills
Installation of insulators can save a lot of money on electricity bills. Annually it can save up to 110 pounds. Loft insulations have a life span of over 40 years, therefore, you can save on your energy bills repeatedly. The insulation thickness matters in helping the heat leaving your house. The more the thickness, the better the insulation.
Earning Energy Certificate /Government Grant
The UK government gives every insulated home a government or energy grant if someone opts for insulation. At times, the government bears the full cost of installation. The government has already started focusing on insulating offices, public buildings, schools, and hospitals all over. It is planning to spend one million pounds on reducing the carbon footprint overall and make the energy of the place efficient.
Trustmark is the government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out on their home. Households will be able to choose from approved tradespeople in their areas to carry out the work, but only approved and accredited installers will be able to be commissioned, ensuring high standards and consumer protection. Tradespeople or businessmen must register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation, to take part in the scheme, which will cover green home improvements ranging from the insulation of walls, floors, and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar energy – measures that could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
“The government is putting up further details of the range of measures included and how consumers in England will be able to claim the new vouchers, which are worth up to £5,000 for homeowners. Households on a low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.”
- The Trustmark certification by the Government in the UK is given to the New Green Homes grant scheme. Businessmen in theUK have been supported by the government with over 100,000 jobs through this new energy-efficient scheme of building new green homes.
- Stricter norms for businessmen and tradespeople, who are a part of this scheme, will improve the home quality providing their respective services for the new scheme. Plumbers to builders equally, will be supported by the government with an approval seal as a part of the new scheme, for helping people with green home projects.
- In the US, insulated homes or apartments are getting certified by the government. Also, they are earning, ENERGY STAR on behalf of the government. Those who strictly follow the guideline and get verified by officials on energy-efficient construction or insulation, in the USA, by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
To make a sustainable, energy-efficient, and conserved resources green home, it needs to be designed and insulated likewise. Such homes are either designed to save on energy, water, and other environmental resources, which in turn, reduces the carbon footprint. The carbon emission affecting the environment is largely reduced. Anywhere from “550kg and 1030kgof carbon dioxide savings are done each year, depending on the size and construction of the house.”
Attaining a Balanced Temperature Year-Round
Be it any type of weather, insulating your loft will give it a wonderful effect in different seasons. An optimum level of temperature is created throughout the year. This means a loft cool during summers, warm during winters, and protecting draught winds as well.
Reducing Noise Pollution
The noise of vehicles, loud music, honking, and other such activities, get partly reduced due to the insulation done in your homes.
EPC Ratings Get Improved
An upgraded energy-efficient home is always welcoming to the government norms. This will push potential buyers as your house will get Energy Performance Certificate.
Poorly insulated lofts and laying the flooring in the wrong way can cause dampness and condensation. Along with dampness, there is a risk of mold which causes respiratory issues in your health from time to time, like asthma. Or respiratory allergies. The problem of damp lofts affects household members.
The most common problem that happens with insulation is when it’s squashed down during incorrect installation. This hampers the smooth flowing of air between the floor and the insulation. This could result in the following problems, causing strain on the ceiling, extra water vapor being produced and striking the cool surface below the loft flooring, or, condensation can seep through in its worst form through ceilings and spoil them.
Therefore, free-flowing airflow is a very important factor through the insulator so that you can have your health conditions improve.
Boiler Remains Intact and Safe
Installing proper insulation helps you to protect your boiler too. If the boiler emits more heat than is required, then its longevity becomes doubtful. Having proper insulation creates a consistently soothing environment inside. This helps your boiler to work for a longer period and saves your money.
To conclude, we can say, as responsible citizens we must abide by the government norms and do our part for the environment. This will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also, save the environment for generations to come. Different types of insulations are customized for different environmental locations. Choose the best suited for your home and proceed forward to make a difference.