Check out our SUMMER Promo
38 d 13 h 34 m
Tips & Advice

7 min read

Thermal insulation and sealing — how does it affect energy efficiency?

Written by

Kacper Szczypek

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In the quest for greener, more sustainable building practices, the focus on thermal insulation and sealing has never been more critical. With the growing awareness of environmental issues and the continuous rise in energy costs, optimising the energy efficiency of buildings has become a priority for homeowners, builders, and architects alike. This article delves into the vital role that thermal insulation and sealing play in enhancing a building’s energy efficiency. It’s a comprehensive guide to the latest materials, techniques, and strategies in the industry. By exploring innovative solutions and practical applications, it aims to illuminate the path towards more energy-efficient, comfortable, and sustainable buildings.

Through an expert lens, the article will explore how products like breathable airtightness membranes, thermal seal spray foam insulation, and thermal window seals contribute to a building’s overall performance. This piece will delve into how these elements work together to seal and insulate effectively. How? By making it a crucial guide for anyone aiming to boost their building’s thermal efficiency and reduce its energy footprint through expert window and door installation techniques.

Definition and importance of thermal insulation

Thermal insulation, crucial for maintaining indoor temperatures, significantly impacts the energy efficiency of a building through materials and techniques that reduce heat transfer. Incorporating thermal insulation and sealing within window and door installations is vital, ensuring these joinery elements are effectively insulated and sealed. This enhances the building’s energy efficiency and directly affects energy consumption, operational costs, and occupant comfort. Properly installed window and door joinery, integrated with thermal insulation strategies, are essential for optimising a building’s thermal performance.

Types of thermal insulation

The choice of insulation material plays a pivotal role in a building’s thermal performance. Various materials offer different levels of insulation, suited to different areas of a building. See the list below to know more about these materials and their properties.

Spray foam insulation

A versatile option that expands to fill cavities, cracks, and gaps, providing excellent thermal insulation and airtightness in one application. This type of insulation is particularly effective for irregular spaces and around openings such as windows and doors.

Breathable airtightness membranes

These membranes provide a unique combination of airtightness and moisture control, providing enhanced insulation effectiveness while preventing potential moisture-related issues within the building structure.

Rigid and flexible insulation panels

Used in walls, roofs, and floors, these panels offer robust thermal insulation and are available in materials ranging from polystyrene to fibreglass and natural fibres.

Warm assembly — all you need to know

Warm assembly in window and door installation is key to maximising a building’s thermal performance. This process emphasises the importance of the insulation materials and the installation techniques to ensure energy efficiency.

Here’s the information in brief:

  • Triple-layer insulation — utilise triple-layer techniques, incorporating thermal insulation and sealing to prevent heat loss.
  • Proper sealing — apply vapour-permeable and vapour-impermeable tapes for airtight sealing, enhancing the building’s overall energy efficiency.
  • Material selection — choose materials like spray foam insulation and breathable membranes that offer superior thermal properties.
  • Installation techniques — follow specific installation procedures that include proper preparation of the installation site, application of insulating materials, and careful placement of windows and doors to minimize thermal bridges.
  • Quality assurance — ensure the installation is performed by skilled professionals to guarantee the effectiveness of the thermal insulation and sealing.

Tapes for window warm installation

Tapes for window warm installation

Benefits of thermal insulation

The benefits of integrating effective thermal insulation into a building include:

  • Reduced energy consumption — by minimising the need for heating and cooling, insulation significantly lowers energy bills.
  • Enhanced comfort — insulation maintains stable indoor temperatures, contributing to a more comfortable living or working environment.
  • Environmental impact — lower energy consumption translates to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with broader environmental sustainability goals.

The role of sealing in airtight construction

Airtight construction complements thermal insulation by ensuring that air leakage through the building envelope is minimised. This is achieved through meticulous sealing of all potential air leakage points, from the foundation to the roof, including all openings and junctions. Airtight construction elevates thermal insulation effectiveness and contributes to improved indoor air quality by controlling the infiltration of outdoor pollutants.

Techniques and materials

Achieving airtight construction requires the strategic use of specific materials and techniques. Here’s what to consider:

Layer sealing installation

Particularly around windows and window sills, layer sealing installation ensures that these potential weak points in the building’s envelope are meticulously sealed, using materials like airtight plasterboard tape and Siga airtight membrane.

Airtightness of building products

Products such as airtight membrane ceiling systems and breathable membranes contribute to a continuous airtight barrier, enhancing the building’s overall energy efficiency.

Impact on energy efficiency

The integration of airtight construction techniques significantly impacts a building’s energy efficiency by:

  • Preventing unwanted airflow — this notably reduces the loss of heated or cooled air, minimising the energy required to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.
  • Enhancing insulation performance — by ensuring that insulation materials function optimally, without being undermined by air leakage.

Thermal window sill Nyxon Black

Thermal insulation and sealing for windows

Windows represent a critical aspect of a building’s thermal envelope. Proper insulation and sealing around windows are essential for preventing thermal bridges and air leaks, which can significantly impact a building’s energy efficiency.

Challenges with windows

Windows and window sills are common areas where thermal bridging and air leakage occur. Without proper insulation and sealing, these areas can lead to noteworthy heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, undermining the building’s overall energy efficiency.

Solutions for windows

Innovative solutions and products have been developed to address these challenges, including:

  • Thermal window seals — these seals are designed to prevent air leakage around window frames, enhancing the window’s overall thermal performance.
  • Thermal insulation for windows — products provide effective solutions for improving the insulation properties of these critical areas.

Advanced airtightness solutions

Breathable membranes and airtight fabrics

In the pursuit of energy efficiency, the construction industry has seen noteworthy advancements in airtightness solutions. Among these, breathable airtightness membranes and lightweight airtight fabrics stand out for their innovative approach to balancing moisture control and airtightness. Products like the airtight membrane and airtight membrane exemplify how modern materials can enhance a building’s thermal performance while ensuring indoor air quality and comfort. These membranes work by allowing water vapour to escape the building envelope, thereby reducing the risk of condensation and mould growth, all while maintaining airtightness to prevent unwanted air infiltration.

Spray foam insulation

The seal spray foam insulation represents a leap forward in insulation technology, offering a two-fold benefit of insulation and airtight sealing in a single application. This material expands upon application, filling gaps, cracks, and other potential air leakage points, creating a continuous barrier against both heat loss and air infiltration. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, including roofs, walls, and floors, and around windows and doors where traditional insulation methods may fall short.

Practical application tips

Achieving optimal airtightness and insulation requires more than just selecting the right materials. It involves a meticulous application process, attention to detail, and a comprehensive understanding of the building as a whole system. Here are some practical tips for those looking to implement advanced airtightness solutions:

  • Comprehensive planning — before construction begins, plan for airtightness and insulation in the design phase. Identify potential air leakage points and determine the best materials and methods for sealing them.
  • Attention to detail —  during construction, pay close attention to joints, corners, and connections, which are common sites for air leaks. Using tapes, such as airtight plasterboard tape, and membranes can ensure these areas are properly sealed.
  • Regular testing — employ blower door tests throughout the construction process to identify and address air leaks. This proactive approach ensures that airtightness goals are met before the project is completed.

Window foundation HS Black

Window foundation HS Black

Maximising efficiency — the role of windows in passive house design

Passive houses are designed to maximise energy efficiency, drastically reducing the need for heating and cooling. This is achieved through superior insulation, airtight construction, and the strategic use of proper windows that are key to maintaining consistent indoor temperatures. The windows in passive houses play a crucial role, incorporating advanced technologies such as triple glazing and inert gas fills to minimise heat loss and enhance solar gain, aligning with the principles of sustainable and eco-friendly living. For a deeper dive into the specifics of passive house windows, you can explore the insights by Fenbro in this article.

Integrated approach

An integrated building design approach considers all aspects of energy use and environmental impact, from the orientation of the building to maximise natural light and heating, to the selection of sustainable materials and the incorporation of renewable energy sources. This approach guarantees that insulation and airtightness efforts are complemented by other energy-saving measures, creating a truly efficient and sustainable building.To create a building that truly excels in energy efficiency, an integrated design approach is crucial. It incorporates:

  • Orientation for natural light — maximises solar gain.
  • Triple glazing — reduces heat loss.
  • Warm edge spacers — improves window insulation.
  • Super-insulated frames — enhances overall energy efficiency.

Sustainability and environmental impact

Buildings with high levels of thermal insulation and airtightness contribute significantly to reducing energy consumption and, consequently, greenhouse gas emissions. By focusing on sustainable construction practices, including the use of environmentally friendly insulation materials and techniques, builders and homeowners can reduce the environmental footprint of their buildings. Adopting sustainable construction practices reduces buildings’ environmental impact. This includes:

  • Lower U-values — significantly cuts energy consumption.
  • Solar gains — utilises passive heating.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions — through optimal energy use.

Future trends in insulation and airtight construction

The future of building construction lies in innovation and sustainability. As research and technology advance, we can expect to see new materials and methods that offer improved thermal performance, environmental benefits, and cost savings. Trends such as passive house design, modular construction, and smart materials are paving the way for the next generation of energy-efficient buildings. The future of construction points towards more sustainable and innovative solutions. These include:

  • Advancements in glazing and framing — for better thermal performance.
  • Integration of smart materials — for adaptive energy efficiency.
  • Modular construction — incorporates prefab elements with high insulation values.

Conclusion

Thermal insulation and airtight sealing are foundational to achieving energy efficiency in buildings. By understanding the principles, materials, and techniques involved, builders, architects, and homeowners can make informed decisions that lead to more sustainable, comfortable, and cost-effective living environments. With advancements in technology and passive building principles , the future of construction looks promising, offering pathways to significantly reduce our energy use and environmental impact. As we continue to explore and innovate, the goal of creating truly energy-efficient buildings (Passive house buildings) becomes increasingly attainable, marking a positive step forward for the industry and the planet.

Read more

Tips & Advice

6 min read

Importing windows and doors from Poland to the US — tips worth knowing
Products Guide

7 min read

How to choose the right bathroom window
Products Guide

7 min read

Fully fitted composite doors from reliable suppliers
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Replacing windows in your home — Fenbro’s expert advice
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Replacing doors — everything you need to know in the UK and Ireland
Tips & Advice

8 min read

How to install a window – step by step DIY guide
Tips & Advice

8 min read

Importing building materials from Poland — everything you need to know about the process
Industry News

4 min read

Breaking news: Fenbro fitting services now available in the UK!
Our Services

8 min read

How much does window installation cost? Understanding the costs of professional window fitting
Tips & Advice

8 min read

Replace standard old windows with sliding patio windows — transform the look of your home!
Tips & Advice

6 min read

At what height should windows be installed — a guide to optimal window placement
Industry News

8 min read

How much do new windows cost? Check what factors influence window prices
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Modern front door styles – design inspirations from the Experts
Tips & Advice

7 min read

Replacing sliding doors in your house — a step-by-step guide introduction
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Setting windows to winter mode: how and when to do it
Industry News

8 min read

Best selling windows and doors in 2024 – new trends and our customers’ most loved products
Industry News

8 min read

Grants for replacing windows and doors – how can you benefit in 2024?
Industry News

3 min read

Popular construction summits in Ireland and the UK: Where to go?
Industry News

7 min read

Get to know our window fitter better! Interview with Marcin Wojtyczko
Our Services

9 min read

Selecting windows and doors for secure and modern office buildings
Tips & Advice

11 min read

12 questions to ask before buying sliding doors
Tips & Advice

8 min read

Does EU joinery comply with the UK safety standard PAS24?
Tips & Advice

10 min read

Which side and direction should a door open? Decide before you buy!
Products Guide

9 min read

Joinery glossary explained – everything you need to know about window and door parameters
Tips & Advice

7 min read

Choosing the right colour for your new windows
Products Guide

9 min read

8 different types of window panes for your home
Tips & Advice

8 min read

How to properly measure for a front door – Our Expert has the answer!
Tips & Advice

10 min read

Building regulations for windows and doors in UK and Ireland
Tips & Advice

4 min read

Is it worth replacing house windows and doors during a major renovation?
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Protection against external noise – the benefits of acoustic doors
Tips & Advice

5 min read

What is the FENSA certificate and what is it required for?
Products Guide

8 min read

Wikęd front doors – what distinguishes this manufacturer’s door models?
Tips & Advice

8 min read

How can the front door improve the BER rating of your house?
Tips & Advice

4 min read

What is the difference between HST and PSK sliding doors?
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Modern smart-slide doors – an alternative to traditional door solutions
Our Services

6 min read

Benefits of choosing Fenbro over your local window and door suppliers
Tips & Advice

5 min read

Following the trend of frameless windows – freedom and elegance
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Standard window sizes – which are used?
Tips & Advice

8 min read

How does Fenbro prepare a quote for a window and door order?
Products Guide

6 min read

Aluminium or uPVC? How to choose the best material for your windows and sliding doors?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Looking for the cheapest windows? Here’s how to save on importing Polish windows!
Our Services

7 min read

10 reasons why Fenbro customer service gets 5-star ratings!
Products Guide

6 min read

Main differences between casement and tilt and turn windows – pros and cons
Products Guide

6 min read

Window glazing explained – types and functions
Our Services

5 min read

How much does the warranty on doors and windows from Poland cost?
Tips & Advice

7 min read

How to choose the best replacement windows for your house
Products Guide

7 min read

5 points to consider when buying garage doors
Our Services

8 min read

Buying windows online – how to protect yourself from window company scams?
Industry News

5 min read

Poland is one of the world leaders in window and door joinery – here are the reasons and causes
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Most common window types – how do they actually differ?
Products Guide

5 min read

Everything you need to know about bifold doors – pros and cons
Tips & Advice

8 min read

When is it time to replace windows at home? 10 useful tips
Products Guide

5 min read

Simplicity and minimalism in the interior design – new steel-look window and door systems
Our Services

6 min read

Why is professional window replacement better than DIY?
Tips & Advice

7 min read

Everything you need to know about building a house and choosing windows and doors for it
Products Guide

5 min read

Anthracite grey RAL7016 windows: Why are they so popular?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Features of good windows – what to look for when choosing them
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Guide to Velux window sizes: Choosing the right size for Your home
Products Guide

6 min read

A guide to Passive House Windows
Tips & Advice

6 min read

What makes French doors special? Why are they so popular?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Double glazing vs Triple glazing: Which is better?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Can windows and doors make your home more energy efficient?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

How to ensure that there is plenty of natural light in the house?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Foggy windows? 12 ways to get rid of window condensation
Tips & Advice

5 min read

How to choose the right door colour to match the style of your home? – Advice from the experts
Products Guide

5 min read

The comparison of uPVC, aluminium and wooden windows – facts and myths
Products Guide

7 min read

How to choose the best windows and doors for the UK weather – useful tips to know before you buy!
Tips & Advice

4 min read

Comparison of inward and outward opening windows: advantages and disadvantages
Our Services

7 min read

9 Questions you wanted to ask Fenbro Joinery Experts – Q&A
Tips & Advice

6 min read

How to save on heating costs? Window replacement as a way to lower your energy bills in winter
Products Guide

4 min read

What defines premium uPVC sliding systems?
Products Guide

4 min read

Protect your home against all weather conditions with stylish looking alu clad windows!
Products Guide

5 min read

Prolong summer and let more sunlight into your home! Get to know new aluminium sliding doors from Fenbro
Tips & Advice

5 min read

How to effectively reduce outside noise in the comfort of your own home?
Industry News

4 min read

Every satisfied customer is the best reward – Interview with Paweł Brodzik, CEO of Fenbro
Products Guide

4 min read

A great idea for a chill zone in your garden – Aluminium pergolas in the Fenbro offer
Our Services

5 min read

How to transport windows from Poland
Products Guide

5 min read

Why is it worth investing in WIKĘD front doors?
Tips & Advice

5 min read

What are the differences between PVC and uPVC?
Tips & Advice

6 min read

Window maintenance: what you can do to extend the life of your windows
Industry News

5 min read

Why should you buy windows and doors from Poland? We explain the Polish joinery phenomenon!
Tips & Advice

5 min read

How to measure windows correctly? Use these useful tips from our Expert!
Tips & Advice

7 min read

Choosing the right windows – basic parameters and cost-optimisation
Tips & Advice

6 min read

How to assess the quality of insulated glass? A mini guide for window buyers
Our Services

4 min read

Window replacement and installation – Fenbro services in Ireland

Ask our sales Team!

Have any questions?

Follow us on social media

facebook instagram youtube linkedn pinterest twitter Hover
Remove all
Compare products