The Healthier Home Guide – Improving thermal & acoustic comfort

The World Green Building Council has recently launched a guide, titled “Healthier Homes, Healthier Planet”. It provides us with a wealth of information and statistics regarding ways to make your home as healthy as possible, both for the people who live there and for the environment.

Who is the World Green Building Council?Image result for world green building council

The World Green Building Council is a network of Green Building Councils across the world, that is dedicated to creating green buildings for work, home, education and play, to ensure that the population can thrive and grow both now and in the future, particularly with the changing climate.

The Healthier Homes guide provides practical, down to earth advice on how to make homes as healthy as possible, focusing particularly on air quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, and lighting.


 

Thermal and acoustic comfort

Health issues

The healthier homes guide focuses on thermal and acoustic comfort, because being in an environment that is too hot, too cold or excessively noisy can cause health issues.

Noise pollution can lead to health issues such as stress, high blood pressure, strokes and hypertension, and chronic exposure to noise can affect children’s cognitive development.

Damp, cold housing is known to be the perfect place for mould to flourish. This can lead to mental health, respiratory
illnesses and asthma – 2.2 million Europeans today have asthma, which is partly due to their living conditions.

Environmental impact

Additionally, thermal and acoustic comfort can have environmental impacts, reducing the amount of energy used will help to reduce the severity of climate change.If a building is energy efficient, it will need less energy to heat up and cool down rooms, which will reduce the amount of carbon emissions it is responsible for. Air conditioning units use around 6% of all electricity consumption in the USA, and a high proportion of these systems use CFCs and HFCs, which contribute to climate change.

The impact of having effective insulation is not minor. In the USA, a predicted 46 million insulation retrofits are estimated to result in a 100,000 tonne reduction in nitrous oxide emitted, and contribute to a 65000 reduction in asthma attacks, 240 less deaths, and save around $5.9 billion per year.

Economic impact

Improving home efficiencies, particularly in regard to thermal and acoustic comfort, can also have an economic impact, saving money. American Consumer Reports suggest that sealing leaks in your home can reduce energy costs by 15%, and an Australian study noted that retrofitting your home to improve energy efficiency can save on average $108 per year of energy bills.


 

How to improve thermal and acoustic comfort in your home.

There are a number of ways in which to improve thermal and acoustic comfort, helping to improve the health of occupants, reduce costs and environmental impacts.

Insulation

One of the most important ways in which you can improve the thermal and acoustic comfort of a building is to use insulation. Insulation will trap heat within the building in colder seasons, which reduces the amount of energy required to heat the home, whilst also trapping heat outside the home in warmer seasons, which reduces the amount of energy required for air conditioning. Additionally, insulation can be used to reduce the amount of noise pollution that enters the home, blocking traffic and neighbourhood noise, which helps to improve quality of life.

Insulating walls, preventing leakage and investing in good quality, insulated windows are all ways to improve thermal comfort. It has been found that children from homes that have received energy efficient upgrades have experienced a 15% reduction in days off school due to respiratory health.

Insulation Superstore is proud to offer a wide range of insulation for both acoustic and thermal insulating properties. From loft insulation and insulation boards, to multifoil insulation, breathable membranes and more, we are confident that you’ll find everything you need to help improve the thermal and acoustic comfort of your home.

Solar panels

Another option to improve thermal and acoustic comfort, whilst also reducing environmental impacts and costs, is to use solar panels. Solar panels are a great way to minimise energy requirements and utility bills, by powering the home with renewable energy. Additionally, solar panels are well-known to provide you with a good return on investment – it’s estimated that for a typical American home, it will take 1-4 years to break even, whilst the solar panels will provide the home with around 30 years of clean energy.

Here at Insulation Superstore we have a range of Plug in Solar Panels, which are quick and easy to set up, and can be used on garages, workshops and flats, or just used on the ground. The plug in solar panel range has a number of different outputs depending on your needs, from 250W to 4kW.

Planting trees

A relatively low cost and environmentally friendly way to reduce the need for air conditioning is to plant trees and other shrubs. The shade created by trees and plants can help to reduce high summer temperatures by up to 9 degrees Celsius, helping to reduce the amount of air conditioning used.

 


If you have any questions about thermal efficiency, acoustic insulation or anything else, feel free to call our team on 01752 692762 or use the live chat and they will be more than happy to help.

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