11

Yes, heavy blankets can be effective insulation over draughty windows; or in open doorways to shut off an unused space: over both, they will hinder heat loss through convection (air currents), and over windows they will add a bit of a conduction barrier too. Castles used to hang tapestries over all the walls, partly to keep some heat it. Ideally, they ...


11

Your question is very broad and can't be easily answered. There are few existing products, so the answer is also somewhat speculative. Aerogels are a form of material, like foam or dust. It's very likely that a suitable house insulation could be made with an aerogel, almost regardless of the detailed requirements that you have in mind (barring contradictory ...


9

Aerogels show some promise for use in buildings conductivity is around 0.013 W/mK for commercially available aerogels compared to around 0.04 W/mK for glassfibre quilt and 0.025 W/mK for eps/styrofoam type insulation Toxicity would probably not be an issue due to the generally unreactive nature of silica aerogels The most likely health issue seems to be ...


7

It's definitely possible to recycle plastic and create LEGO-like building blocks. In fact several houses have already been built this way! In 2010 a Colombian architect called Oscar Mendez had the same idea as you. He started an initiative called Conceptos Plasticos (website in Spanish) with the goal to reduce both waste and extreme poverty by providing ...


7

At present the plastic waste stream can be diverted into multi-color goo mixed with wood chips and be extruded into synthetic fence posts. Ugly as sin, but better than nothing, and I think that for sheet goods (bags) this is pretty good. Your idea would work well for styrofoam. You would work it like this: Styrofoam is separated from the waste stream by ...


5

This article describes the difference: EPS is formed as beads (as used in cushions) then heated and pressed together XPS is formed as a sheet or whatever final shape is desired. So EPS will break up more easily and be less waterproof, which makes it likely to degrade faster and be less effective as insulation. XPS will be stronger and better insulating. ...


5

First, draught-proofing Close the gaps around windows, doors, between floorboards, gaps where pipes go into walls and floors. It's a cheap and relatively easy way to stop a lot of heat escaping, and to cut down on the convection currents that will take a lot of heat from the bottom to the top of the house. Curtains around the stairwell? Can you put a curtain ...


5

The scientific approach would be to turn on all the heating and use heat cameras to see where most heat is escaping. Otherwise just guess it is the roof. I would start with the roof/top floor, then do the ground floor. Then the middle floors last. If you do find that heating living areas makes the top floors unbearably hot, consider moving your living area ...


4

I'm not an expert in this area, but: I think this depends a little on the layout of the house. Certainly insulating the top first will improve the overall efficiency much sooner than starting at the bottom, but as you identify it does mean increasing the temperature difference between floors, which might not be desirable. If you have an open staircase ...


4

Insulation alone does not make for a comfortable building. I built a sleepout using coolstore panels (0.6mm steel skin with 75mm eps core). That is nearly airtight and very well insulated. But it has no thermal mass, so while it cools down quickly (at night, or with the air conditioner) and heats up quickly (resistive heater), it does not stay that way very ...


4

Even though rock is a poor heat conductor for example in geothermal wells that slowly become cooler over time as heat is extracted, you cannot use sand as a general purpose heat insulator in houses. The coefficient of thermal conductivity isn't just small enough. Sand has a coefficient of heat conductivity of about 1-2 W/mK. A real insulator like expanded ...


3

When you've got very little space to work with, as is often the case when insulating floors, it can be worth looking at more expensive insulation that has a higher insulation value. Yes, reducing conductive gains needs the same material as reducing conductive losses: you're looking for a higher themral resistance, i.e. a lower thermal conductivity, in each ...


3

California is very proactive about requiring warning labels on chemicals that are possibly a problem for human health. Depending on your own judgement of the information below, I think you could just keep the tape you have. Phthalates are in many, many, products, including food and cosmetics. They are mixed into plastics to make them more flexible, they're ...


3

No. The letter rankings cannot be compared between nations in the EU, as each nation has a different number of grades (or no grades at all). From "A comparative analysis of the energy performance certificates schemes within the European Union: Implementing options and policy recommendations": This is because each nation has its own method (within EU ...


3

Available products Aerogels in composites are typically two to four times more thermally insulating than the next-best alternative. And since the recent expiry of some aerogel patents, the number of suppliers of these products has started to increase. The Space Loft and Thermal Wrap products at the site linked in the question are indeed aimed at the ...


2

I think EnergyNumbers' answer is pretty comprehensive! Basically, do 'low hanging fruit first' - i.e. the things that have a quick result such as draught proofing (sealing around gaps/cracks/skirtings/windows etc); install heavy curtains and if you can loft insulation, which you should be able to do yourself fairly easily and cheaply. Then you can start with ...


2

I would answer this as a comment, but comments don't accept multiple paragraphs. On the face of it this is a bad idea. Better to pull air OUT of the house, and let it sneak in where it can. Scenario 1. The building vapour barrier is perfect. Air put into the house can only escape through faulty weatherstripping at doors and windows. Net result. Too ...


2

There are already aerogels used in residents that are blankets and much more resilient than other legacy products available. They roll out easily and have none of the issues as fiberglass and other insulation materials. The product is amorphous silica so comparable to sand, completely safe and comes in forms that are also waterproof, offer sound dampening ...


2

Window film can be removed, but it takes some effort. The film needs to be softened with ammonia, heated with a blow dryer & carefully peeled from the one of the corners. A razor blade could be useful. After the film has been removed the window needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove the adhesive.


2

I believe wool is one of the best insulation materials available. It does not affect your indoor air quality, it is available in batts and can be installed as easily as fiberglass insulation (without compromising the health of the installer!). Wool will not settle like cellulose, it will continue to insulate even if it gets damp, and it has a natural ...


2

You are right about the complexity of the calculations, and also about the very wide tolerances. Normally those are done from CAD drawings but those contain a lot of assumptions (some more complex than you might expect - they will often give you values for "perfectly installed" vs "average install" where the latter comes from ...


2

There are several active organizations which provide guidelines, ratings, and certification of sustainable buildings, focusing variously on energy, water, waste, and embodied carbon. Several standards also include a focus on occupant health, comfort, and safety. Links and descriptions below from Wikipedia: Green Building Initiative Green Building Initiative ...


1

I think the greatest efficiency improvement can be obtained by cleaning the condenser coils on the bottom and/back . In a home unit the coils,especially on the bottom collect a lot of lint , pet hair , etc. Vacuum them annually or more often. I have also added aluminum window screen to protect the coils from lint. If you use foam ,I think you will find ...


1

No, closing the air vents will increase your energy bill. The added pressure from closing a vent can cause air leaks in your system, causing long-term and unnecessary energy waste. The heater or air conditioner will produce the same amount of air whether or not you have them closed. Not recommended.


1

They will help . But a word of caution ,water will be running off your window sills if you put them on the inside of the windows. They are not attractive but neater when on the outside. On the inside they insulate the window and it is colder; moisture from inside the house condenses and runs down the cold glass. When on the outside ,they make the glass a ...


1

If you do a find (control-f) for "0.00" on this web page, http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html, you will find that gasses have the lowest thermal conductivity. If you do a find for "0.02" on the same page, you will find that silica aerogel and foam are some of the best insulators. If the materials compress, they loose their ...


1

Blown or batts. See HomeDepot for a comparison. Look at R-Value and height and depth. Also, both fiberglass and cellulose can iritate your lungs. So wear a respirator. Also check out the HomeDepot recommended R value for your zone. I would suggest cellulose. BTW, I DO NOT suggest buying from Home Depot or any other big box. Keep your purchases local if you ...


1

1/4 to 3/8 inch. Smaller spaces than this means fewer collision between gas molecules so heat transfers faster. Larger spaces than this allow convection cells to form. For residential use, lean toward 1/4" Large buildings often use large windows. They often have thicker glass with larger air spaces for structural reasons, but in big buildings the ...


1

There is a man in Cameroon who has been melting plastic bags and molding them into paving stones. He has been doing this for 15 years. He adds sand to the melted plastic. See the full story at: Recycling plastic waste into paving stones in Cameroon Plastic bags in Cameroon are turned into durable and sustainable floor tiles YouTube


1

You are track of a useful idea here, but the ceiling space is not the place to use it. I have actually asked our local waste management municipality if it's realistic to pull a stream of waste styrofoam from the landfill sorting process. While they haven't asnwered me, because of styrofoam's low density, separating it should be straight forward. The ...


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