With autumn upon us, and winter lying head like a dreaded mid-year exam, it’s time to turn our collective thoughts towards how we intend to keep our families and homes warm during the chilly months. Eskom has been degraded once again, and another electricity price hike is both guaranteed and imminent. With the traditional sources of thermal comfort subsequently becoming unattractively overpriced, some old-school solutions to keeping warm in winter offer a slight reprieve. A hot water bottle instead of an electric blanket, a fire place instead of an oil heater. And by far the best way to keep your body warm is through layering of clothes. Wearing two or three layers of lightweight clothing instead of just one thick sweater or a jersey is much more effective at keeping you warm and comfortable in cold weather. Outdoor experts suggest a synthetic base layer to keep moisture off the skin, a medium layer of natural fiber such as Marino wool over that to maintain a constant comfortable body temperature and then a thicker outer layer and a hat, to prevent heat loss.
So that’s your person sorted. Now what about your home? Did you know that you lose up to 60% of heat through your house’s walls and roof?
Just imagine if you could do the same with your house – keep it warm in winter by using layers of insulation. Well, believe it or not you can. Apply this same process of layering of thermal insulation to buildings and you have a system called ETICS – External Thermal Insulation Composite System.
The good news is that you don’t even need to be in the design stage of your dream house to benefit from this thermal comfort solution. ETICS is perfect for retrofits i.e. you apply it to your existing house or apartment block. A proven solution to thermal comfort, the Weber ETICS system was tested for efficiency during a 2014 pilot project at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. One of the floors of a students’ residence was externally clad with Weber ETICS and resulted in a massive 40% energy saving compared to the other floors that were not insulated.
ETICS is a thermally insulating and decorative exterior cladding system that consists of a series of specially designed components, each of which performs a designated function and as a system they offer excellent insulation properties for buildings. Firstly the specially designed insulation panels are adhered onto a brick or concrete substrate using adhesives and fixings, to deliver the thermal insulation required. Thereafter the reinforced base coat and polymer render are used to finish off the façade providing the building’s aesthetics.
Also very effective at insulating existing buildings is the addition of thermal insulation layers in your ceiling. Different locally manufactured products are available from your local building supply store at very affordable prices. They are easy to install through DIY and the difference in thermal comfort you will feel is instant.
Voila! Layered insulation for your home.
For more information on ETICS , visit www.weber-tylon.co.za.