How Wall Panels Can Enhance Home Energy Efficiency
By Space Coast Daily // July 17, 2023
Energy efficiency is key to maintaining a sustainable home with lower energy costs and a minimal carbon footprint. But for a home to be sustainable, it all starts with its build.
There are several factors to consider when building or upgrading to an energy-efficient home, but one of the most important is the quality of wall construction. Walls are one of the primary sources of heat loss in a home, so it’s crucial to ensure your home is well-insulated. One of the ways to do this is to install the right wall panels.
Here are just some of the ways wall panels can enhance energy efficiency in your home:
- By Improving Insulation
Wall panels can be designed to contain an insulating material that can regulate the temperature within a structure or home by minimizing heat transfer. It’s highly effective in maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures while reducing reliance on heating and cooling systems.
Tongue and groove walls are one of the many different paneling styles that can improve insulation. The panels used can be installed both on the walls and ceiling to optimize energy efficiency. They serve as the first-line barrier in reducing heat loss and preventing heat gain, which is helpful in maintaining a steady temperature indoors, thereby reducing energy consumption.
- By Reducing Air Leaks
Energy loss can also be traced to air leaks, which undermine the overall energy efficiency of your home’s air conditioning system. This happens when cooled or heated air escapes and outside air flows into your home. Once outside air infiltrates your home, there will be energy wastage and increased power consumption from your heating and cooling system as it tries to compensate for the loss and maintain a stable indoor temperature.
With professionally installed wall panels, you can avoid air leaks. Wall panels can be designed to be airtight. By reducing or preventing air leaks, your home will have a lesser energy requirement for cooling and heating, leading to lower electricity bills and a reduced carbon footprint. However, keep in mind that ventilation should be considered as well when working on sealing your home for energy efficiency.
- By Promoting Ventilation And Air Circulation
Often overlooked, ventilation is important in insulated homes to keep them from becoming too airtight. Poor ventilation can cause pollutants, moisture, and stale air to build up inside the home and affect the inhabitants’ health over time.
Walls that can balance proper ventilation without excessive air leaks can help improve indoor air quality. This enables continuous but minimal airflow that’s just enough to ensure that moisture doesn’t build up. During warmer weather, ventilation allows hot air to escape, keeping indoors cool. On the other hand, in colder months, it helps to keep cool air out, reducing the need for more power from your heating system.
Ventilated wall panels are also helpful in avoiding structural damage caused by accumulated condensation that’s often hidden inside walls. At the same time, it’ll also reduce the need for dehumidifiers, which will need additional electricity.
To achieve the above, start by choosing the right wall panel material that’s suitable for your house’s current build. Also, check the building code requirements and any local regulations in your area that you may need to consider for compliance.
Energy-Efficient Wall Panels
There are plenty of energy-efficient wall panel types you can choose from depending on your needs and budget. If you’re not sure which ones to use, here’s a list of the most common types of wall panels with excellent thermal performance:
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIP): SIPs contain insulating foam cores in the middle. These durable but affordable panels can be prefabricated to tailor-fit any home’s design. They’re easy to install and are effective in keeping a structure well-insulated and airtight.
- Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Panels: XPS panels contain rigid foam that’s durable and lightweight. They’re versatile and can be used on most surfaces, from walls and floors to roofs and ceilings. Aside from excellent insulating capabilities, they’re also water-resistant and have low flammability.
- Mineral Wool Panels: This insulation material used for homes and buildings is made from molten rocks that are spun into wool-like fibers. These fibers are then compressed and bound together to form rigid, heat-resistant panels that provide thermal insulation. Being non-combustible, it also acts as a fire barrier.
- Insulating Concrete Block Walls: These are concrete hollow blocks filled with insulating foams like polystyrene, polyurethane, or polyiso, which are either injected or poured into the cavities.
These are only some of the many options you’ll find when you explore shops for new wall panels. It’s recommended that you work with your trusted contractor to get an assessment and determine which ones will be best for your home.
If you’re looking for ways to improve energy efficiency in your home, look into upgrading your house’s structure, starting with the walls. Remember that making a home energy efficient is a long process that’s expensive in the beginning but cost-efficient in the long run. Consult with professionals and work with them through each step to learn more about building and maintaining sustainable homes.