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I have lots of insulation – Do I still need central heating?

  • 23 November 2017

    You might be asking, “Why pay for a full heating system when my brand new home is so well insulated?”

    It’s true that modern houses are much better insulated than older homes. Double glazed windows, fibreglass batts in your walls and ceilings, it’s a lot more than the average house had fifty years ago.

    But here’s the thing – insulation only stops heat transferring through your walls, floors, and ceilings. It doesn’t make your house any hotter or colder than it already is.

    Consider this – you’re heading to a football game, and you want to take along some drinks. You grab an Eski, put your beers inside and put the lid on.

    If you come back an hour later, will your beers be any colder?

    No, obviously not.

    All that your Esky will do is keep the contents the same temperature that they already are. It’s just an insulated box.

    If you wanted your drinks to get any colder, you’d put some ice inside.

    Your house is exactly the same. No matter how much insulation you have, you need a source of heat to raise the temperature. Otherwise your house will just be the same temperature as outside.

    Heating a house is really all about flow rates. No matter how well insulated your house is, any heat inside will always leak out over time. The more insulation you have, the slower it will leak out.

    The more heat leaks out, the colder your house will get. So to keep your house at a constant temperature, we need to top up the heat at the same rate it’s leaking out.

    The advantage of a central heating system is that you have a radiator (or heated floor) in every room, so you can top up the heat where it’s needed.

    So when your insulation company tells you that their product will make your house warm, there’s truth in that – but you still need to provide some heat to get it up to a comfortable temperature.