Let us count the ways. . .
Heat Loss In Homes
People may be surprised at the answer to this question. Windows, doors, areas of damp are the obvious. However an Independent Report carried out by Dundalk Institute of Technology has confirmed the heat loss through household electrical sockets installed in insulated plasterboards.
The report was commissioned by Enviroform Solutions from Warrenpoint, and researched, tested and evaluated by Dundalk Institute of Technology and funded with an innovation voucher from Enterprise Ireland.
The research study used thermal imaging cameras to evaluate the scale of the problem. It revealed that due to significant heat loss from sockets a purpose built product would be worth investing in to address this Gap in insulation.
Buildings Poorly Insulated
A large number of domestic dwellings in Ireland are not built to a particularly high standard. Many buildings are not airtight. This results in draughts, heat loss and ultimately that means waste of money and over consumption of household fuel to heat inefficient buildings.
Liam Brown of Enviroform Solutions explained: “The report backs up our assessment that many homes, including homes constructed in the last ten years leave a lot to be desired in terms of their insulation performance. This is costing homeowners serious money, hundreds and in some cases thousands of Euros a year in heat loss and wasted fuel costs.
“By concentrating on simple detailing and installing products to maximise the value of your install and by accumulating all of these measures you end up with an energy efficient house. Too many U Value calculations carried out by insulation companies ignore the fact that large parts of the insulation will be broken when installing electrical sockets but fail to take this into consideration in their designed U or heat loss values.
“No wonder there is the so called Performance Gap so widely talked about in the industry. For a simple exercise put you hand up to your socket or better to use a candle to see if there is heat loss through air leakage. Unfortunately if you have already installed insulated boards it is too late. ”
Socket Insulation Heat Loss Report Conclusions
The report states: “Energy losses, in the form of draughts, make up a significant part of the energy performance of a building. However, there is a lack of research in this area, which is concerning, for example, the energy performance of buildings, in general, is still nowhere near a high quality.
“Based on finding in the literature, there are a large number of domestic dwellings throughout Ireland not constructed to a particularly high standard. Moreover, this includes domestic dwellings constructed within the last decade.”
The study team used a thermal imaging camera to record the issue of air tightness in the building. – a domestic dwelling, with a floor area of approximately 390 m2, which was constructed within the last 10 years.
“A number of thermal images were taken of electric wall plate assemblies throughout the building. This building has an insulated cavity (high density board 100 mm) and internal insulated plasterboard (30 mm). It can clearly be seen that there are significant energy losses through the electric wall plate assemblies.
“An assessment of the energy losses due to draughts within the building envelope was then conducted. These energy losses are significant in most cases. A best case/worst case scenario was then conducted. The results of the assessment concluded that a purpose built product to reduce these energy losses would be worth investing in.
“The Thermo-Soc demonstration apparatus was tested to verify functionality and operation. The testing procedure was outlined, describing the approach taken. A smoke test was conducted and observations were discussed. A thermal comparison was then conducted by varying the controlled environmental conditions for the Thermo-Soc and the non-insulated equivalent.
“The tests of the Thermo-Soc showed significant thermal performance improvement over conventional methods of installation.”