Thermal insulation: update on traditional materials

Thermal insulation: update on traditional materials

Optimized thermal insulation guarantees constant heat during the winter, combined with significant energy savings for the environment and the wallet! It is therefore an item of expenditure to be taken seriously into account when building or renovating your home. However, with the multitude of existing materials, it is sometimes difficult to choose the one that will best insulate your interior for a satisfactory quality-price ratio. Update on traditional materials.

Thermal insulation, kesako?

A thermal insulator is a material with low thermal conductivity. It has the characteristic of slowing down the heat exchange between the inside and the outside of a building, i.e. avoiding heat leaks to the outside in winter, and the entry of the indoor heat in summer. Indispensable for the "good health" of a house, it can be installed inside and outside the walls of the habitat. To assess the performance of a thermal insulator, two main characteristics must be taken into account: its conductivity (which determines its ability to insulate) and its thickness.

The different types of insulating materials

Natural materials: There are many ecological insulating materials from natural elements. Hemp, coconut fiber, cotton wool, expanded cork, sheep's wool and even linen are excellent insulators for the home. They exist in several forms (panels, rolls, etc.) and are relatively easy to implement. Be careful though because they are not found in all large DIY stores, and some of them are easily flammable. Mineral wools: Whether glass or rock, these are the most frequently used insulators. This material with high insulating capacity is available in several forms and is applicable for all types of insulation work: walls, floors, lost roof spaces, fitted roof spaces, roofs, etc. Very economical and easy to find in stores, mineral wool can however cause skin irritation problems during installation. So be careful to take your precautions if you insulate your interior yourself, the best remaining to entrust this task to a professional. Synthetic insulation: There are two main synthetic insulators, polystyrene and polyurethane. Benefiting from a low thermal conductivity (therefore a high insulating power), they have the advantage of being thin and therefore nibble on less surface in the room during installation. These materials are preferred for flat interior or exterior surfaces because they are most often in the form of panels or slabs. Thin insulation: As their name suggests, their thickness is very reduced (from 5 to 30mm against 150mm for a more traditional insulation!). Their operating principle? Thermo-reflection which allows the return of air flows to the outside, and therefore the maintenance of the interior temperature. They remain competent in addition to insulation for the attic space.