The insulation of a house works in different ways depending on the climate that the house is exposed to. Here in Thailand the weather is predominantly hot and with temperatures sometimes in the hundreds, it can become hard work and expensive keeping the house cool to make living comfortable.
Over the years I have experienced many people coming to us and asking us to tender for their house construction project, with very similar requests in the form of, “I want cavity walls” or “we need double glazing.” Upon asking the question “why” the response is always the same, “to keep the house cool.” If you are going to consider to building your own house here in Thailand, or have a contractor build it for you and you have concerns regarding insulation, I suggest to you to seek advice on how this can work best for your home and also consider all your options so not to waste or spend money on such areas on the house that you aren’t benefiting from.
There are many areas within a house that require insulation to make the inside in the house feel the effects. These are windows, walls, roof, and floor. If you are going to consider spending money on one of these areas, you have to consider all, or you are potentially wasting money improving one area of the house and not following suit with the others. As an example, what would be the point in spending a vast amount of cash on double glazing to keep the heat out and not insulating the roof? The windows maybe helping a little but is the extra cost benefitting you that much?
Over the years the population of the world has started moving towards a greener style of living. With natural resources such as electricity, water and gas becoming increasingly more expensive, many of us feel the need to look into insulating the house to reduce those increasing overheads. Many of us come from colder climates, such as the UK where I am from. In our house construction back there we have cavity walls. Many will consider this to be included to keep the cold out and the warm in. This in a sense can be true, but cavity walls are used for many reasons. In the UK we experience damp. This is why in colder and wet climates we include ‘damp proof courses.’ Cavities and DPC’s are elements designed to reduce the risk of damp rising in to the house.
Here in Thailand, although we do experience a ‘rainy’ season, in reality the climate is so hot that damp should never become a risk, unless the design of the house allows water to become trapped and unexposed to natural heat. In turn, a cavity wall isn’t essential here and single cavity walls can work well if the correct product is used, such as a good thickness “Superblock.” Windows provide us with natural light into the house. Like walls, the best option to reduce heat loss in the form of windows is to have double glazing. Although this can be expensive there are other options. Reflective or emissivity glass works well. Think about the positioning of your windows when designing the house.
Here in Thailand houses tend to have large overhanging soffits, again reducing the windows exposure to direct sunlight and heat radiation. Before going ahead with any new build or if you are considering making your house more ‘energy efficient’, we strongly advise to contact a local windows agents to see all your options as windows tend to be the highest costing area of insulating a home. The roof is the most exposed part of the house to direct sunlight and heat radiation. There are a number of ways to insulated a roof space. In general, many houses don’t include any form of insulation.
This can be hard to remedy in the form of reflective foil once the house is built. If your house is already constructed, you have a couple of options. ‘Rockwool’ insulation being installed of the upper side of the ceilings with reduce heat radiation into the house but keep the roof space still exposed to heat. The best option nowadays is sprayed-on cellulose fibre. This is a paper based product that is spray applied onto the underside of the roof tiles. It can be applied after construction or during the construction of any new house. Again, we suggest contacting a specialist to understand how a product like this can best benefit your house without wasting money on resources that will not benefit you.
In summary, if you are looking to insulate or make your existing home more energy efficient, make sure that you are spending your money wisely. You can spend large sums on these products and if you haven’t considered all the areas of the house you may well be wasting these large sums of money.
See some of the best Pattaya condominiums at http://www.condominiumpattaya.com and talk with expert consultants about condominiums in Pattaya. Tom Aikins+