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Heating a home is one of the largest household costs these days, and the best way of reducing this cost is with a more efficient, better insulated home.
Shrinkthatfootprint.com claims that it is even possible for a home to be so well insulated against heat loss or gains that only the sun, our bodies, a few simple appliances, and a basic heat recovery system would be enough to provide all the necessary heat for a comfortable existence. Basically, if the insulation is good enough then you need never worry about heating bills.
In the diagram below Shrinkthatfootprint.com provides a visual comparison of the heat gains and losses for three different types of insulated homes.
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A Leaky House – is the most poorly insulated example. It consists of solid walls, an uninsulated floor, single glazed windows, and lots of draughts. In order to combat the high level of heat loss the leaky house requires 300 kilowatt hours of heat energy per square metre per year to remain at a comfortable temperature.
A Modern House – is the typical new build house that many people own. It has insulation between the walls, in the loft and the floor, double glazing windows, and far fewer draughts. This all helps to drastically reduce the energy needed to heat the property to 150 kilowatt hours per square metre per year.
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A Passive House – is the most perfectly insulated property imaginable. All materials used to build it offer good insulation. It has triple glazed windows, and is so air tight that a ventilation system is needed to keep the air fresh. It estimated to need just 15 kilowatt hours per square metre per year, most of which can actually be generated through a heat recovery system in the ventilation system.
The difference in heating bills for an average sized home in each class has been estimated to be $1,500 a year for the leaky home, $750 a year for the modern home, and just $100 a year for the passive home.
Unfortunately for those living in poorly insulated houses, cost effective retrofits are difficult to achieve and it is far easier to create a well-insulated house during the construction phase of a new build.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com