epc4less of Belfast: EPC rating and the role of Cavity Insulation
Epc4less, a company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that issues Energy Performance Certificates or EPC’s, talks about increasing the energy efficiency rating of a house by way of cavity insulation.
If after this article you are not sure about whether cavity insulation is a good investment for your house then why not contact EPC Belfast (epc4less) for a consultation. One of their Domestic Energy Assessors will carry out a survey at your property which will produce a report with proposed energy improvements.
What is a Cavity Wall?
Prior to the 1920’s, houses in Belfast were constructed out of solid stone walls or even solid brick walls. After that time, the idea of cavity wall was introduced. The cavity wall consists of the inner wall (masonry wall or inner block leaf), and the outer wall (face brick or outer brick leaf). In between, there is a cavity which in houses built before 1980 was filled with air.
Insulation for Cavities of Homes Constructed Between 1930 and 1980
Before the 1980s, properties built in Belfast, Northern Ireland did not have insulation in the cavity. This was because it was not yet required by the Building Control regulations in N.Ireland. A lot of homeowners have retrofitted the cavity with insulation.
To insulate the cavity of a house you will need to inject insulation into the wall. This would mean drilling small holes all over the perimeter of the outer wall of the house. These holes then are as big as the size of a pound coin. After which, water-based adhesive mixed with polyester beads is forcefully pumped through these holes. The mixture then fills the whole cavity.
As it is pumped into the cavity, the beads move in and around the windows openings to make sure every inch is filled in. When done filling, the holes are filled in with cement mix or any mix that matches the exterior facade of the property.
Insulating Cavities of Houses Built After the 1980s
“In the late 1980s, standards changed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which then required all houses to be constructed with cavity insulation” says epc4less. It was done with mineral fiber wool, polystyrene granules (beads), or polyurethane foam, and even Kingspan foam blocks. Any of these materials can do the job of filling the wall of the house as it is being built. In certain places like Belfast, mineral fiber wool and or Rigid Kingspan Insulation Boards were popular choices for cavity insulation.
What is the Impact of Cavity Insulation in Energy Performance Rating?
Without wall insulation, a house can lose up to 35% of the energy via the external walls. Applying insulation increases the EPC rating by 5 to 10 points depending on the size of the property. It could only mean that the bigger the home the longer the perimeter. Cavity wall insulation has a much bigger impact in larger homes with longer heat loss perimeters.
As epc4less would advise, Mid-terrace properties that have dwellings on both sides have a smaller external perimeter resulting in a smaller heat loss. Cavity insulation of mid terrace properties has a smaller impact in their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. Conclusively, detached houses that have a longer heat loss perimeter tend to benefit more in terms of energy performance improvement.