Usually when we think about insulating a building, the loft and cavity walls are the first things that spring to mind, followed by upgrading the windows and doors to eliminate draughts and radiant heat loss. However, if you have a home of solid wall construction, or where the cavity is deemed too hard to fill properly, the options on insulating the building are limited to the loft space and windows, or more drastic methods such as external or internal wall insulation, both of which involve a large degree of upheaval to the occupants. External wall insulation often involves scaffolding and altering the outward appearance of the building, as well as re-routing cables and utilities. It is not appropriate for terraced or otherwise attached dwellings, or in areas where the external appearance of buildings is subject to strict planning regulations. Internal wall insulation reduces the size of the rooms, and can lead to damp problems between the structural walls and new insulation. Installing internal wall insulation also means moving sockets, switches, radiators and door surrounds and means the occupants often have to move out while the process is completed.
Thanks to AeroTherm there is now a cost effective and easy to install solution for insulating difficult properties, including flats and very old buildings. AeroTherm is a heat reflective wall and ceiling coating that radiates heat back into a room rather than letting it escape, while providing an extra insulating layer. Occupants of a sandstone tenement block in Glasgow participated in a case study looking at the effectiveness of AeroTherm across four flats in the block. They were able to remain at home while the installation took place, proving that this method involves very little upheaval compared to other methods of insulation. They have all reported better insulation and warmth in the properties, which has been corroborated by data gathered by Caledonian University on the effectiveness of the insulation.
AeroTherm can be applied using traditional plastering methods, using a notched trowel to apply a 1mm thick coating, that is then flattened and sanded down. The coating can be applied directly to wall surfaces (not on wallpaper, but on bare walls with or without plaster) and decorative plaster can be applied on top if required, although the surface is ready to decorate when it has been sanded smooth, typically within 2 days of starting. The flexible application process means this new product can be offered to clients looking for plastering services who may also benefit from extra insulation in the home, so by training to install AeroTherm the average plasterer stands to gain extra income by being able to provide this service to both existing and new customers. In areas of the country where there is a high concentration of old buildings compared to new builds (with effective cavity walls) it is well worth being able to offer this service. In the Glasgow tenement study, each plasterer easily applied 30m² per day, and with the proper training on the science behind the product as well as the application, a plasterer would easily be able to sell this product to a domestic client looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
When compared to other methods of improving insulation the AeroTherm solution minimises disruption during the installation process and makes it much quicker for the room to be redecorated. Additionally, because the layer is so thin, there is no loss of space in any room, and no need to move radiators, switches or sockets. It is definitely worth getting into this method now while it is still new, and capitalising on the extra service you can offer your customers that no-one else will be able to.