House Insulation Advice Please

Alps

Well-known Member
Hi guys,

I hope you and your nearest and dearest are well.

I thought I'd asked the following questions on here previously, but after doing a search it seems I must have dreamt this! So, guys, could I please have some advice on what to do about the following? It's doing mine and my families head-in... as is the cold!

The long and short of my problem is this - 2 of the four bedrooms in my house just do not seem to heat up or retain heat and I need to source and resolve the issue! Even stranger is that if one of the cold bedrooms is at an OKish temp, the other is freezing. If the other one is at an OKish temp, the other is freezing! And vice-versa! I hope that makes sense?

If I turn the thermostat (situated on the first floor hallway) up to 24oc, the bedrooms only get up to about 21oc (less when it's freezing outside). But the stat itself shows 24oc in the hallway. I've even turned the radiator in the hallway off so it doesn't turn off before the rooms have heated up. I have a separate thermostat for the ground floor as that is all under floor heating.

Both of the cold rooms have outside facing walls. The rooms that aren't affected by this issue are the small room which has the wall of the next door house next to it. And the loft room isn't too bad at all, which is strange for a loft room!

I do need to check the insulation, but really do not want to cut holes in the walls. I'm going to try and remove some sockets to see if I can see any form of insulation from there.

I also do not fancy pulling down plaster board to apply insulation if needed. It's going to be one messy and expensive job. There is the option to add insulated plasterboard to the existing wall, but that will reduce the rooms sizes considerably.

Here's the background:

The house was built in and around 2003. It's a timber frame build with suspended floors. I bought the house in 2013. It was one of 2 mirror image houses built by an independent builder. From what neighbours tell me, the builder was an absolute cowboy who cut every corner possible.The houses had been rented out from when they were built to when I bought mine.

I got the entire ground floor redone when I bought the property as the screed on the floor had totally crumbled. At the same time, I got underfloor heating fitted on the ground floor. Rescreeded. Replastered. Repainted. New kitchen etc.

I couldn't afford at that time to do anything further to the first or second floor (loft room). But those floors weren't as bad as the ground floor. But it's the cold that is really not allowing me to repaint upstairs now.

How can I resolve this issue without risking unnecessary cutting and damaging of walls etc?
 

John

Moderator
How are timber frame walls constructed? I assume there is a cavity of some sort ? Not sure just pulling a socket is going to give you access to see ? Dont suppose you have a tumble dryer vent or similar that might give you access ?
Or
Could it be a simple as the heating getting shut off before the rooms had a chance to get to temp ?
I had a similar issue with my bedrooms. The master was fine, but the boiler shut off before the last room could get up to temp. Didnt help that it was above the garage. I seem to have sorted that with smart TRVs in the bedrooms calling for heat independently of each other
 

Alps

Well-known Member
How are timber frame walls constructed? I assume there is a cavity of some sort ? Not sure just pulling a socket is going to give you access to see ? Dont suppose you have a tumble dryer vent or similar that might give you access ?
Or
Could it be a simple as the heating getting shut off before the rooms had a chance to get to temp ?
I had a similar issue with my bedrooms. The master was fine, but the boiler shut off before the last room could get up to temp. Didnt help that it was above the garage. I seem to have sorted that with smart TRVs in the bedrooms calling for heat independently of each other
Hi John,

Here's a pic of a timber frame build. Mine is very similar to this.

images.jpeg


In days gone by, the gaps (or can I call them cavities?) were filled with wool like material for insulation (I know nothing about any kind of DIY at all so please forgive my terrible terminologies :blush: ) But these days, I believe these gaps can be filled with Cellotex type foam material. If I have any insulation at all, it will be the old wool type material.

Unfortunately, the only things I have on the walls I need to examine are plug sockets. The only other option I have is to cut some holes large enough to see what (if anything) lies behind!

I did think about the heating switching off before the rooms have warmed up, so I did the following:

* I looked at the temperature on the thermostat in the hallway. It read 24.5.
* I then put a thermometer in both my room and the kids room. It gave a reading of 20.
* then set the thermostat in the hallway to 26 to enable it to switch off later.
* I then checked the bedrooms once the temperature on the thermostat had been reached.
* The rooms then showed a temperature of 21.

The rooms still felt cold and the 21 in my room felt a lot warmer than the 21 in the kids room (weird, I know) but this method for now has worked. I'm now going to check how long it takes for the temperature to drop in both rooms. How quickly should the temperature ideally drop by per hour?

What smart TVR's did you buy? And how easy are they to install (before answering this, please read comment above about me knowing not about DIY lark).

Which direction do they face?

Edit:

See this thread about insulation loans/grants.

My room is East facing. The kids room is south easterly.
 

depot

Well-known Member
Be careful cutting a hole in your wall, there is a barrier to stop water going through, I have to say 20 degrees in a bedroom is pretty good, I take it you have radiators in the bedrooms, do they get fully hot, ie too hot to hold.
 

John

Moderator
I meant exterior walls not interior
Anyhow. I am using tado to control the heating in my 2 zones. Seems to have sorted my cold room problem
 

chrisgal

Active Member
A quick and easy short term solution may be to upgrade the radiators in the relevant rooms. If the builder was known to cut corners I'd suggest he stuck in the cheapest options possible... unfortunately likely the case with the insulation as well.
Have you also checked that the whole house heating system is properly balanced and the thermostats are working correctly?
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Damn! I had a really good north-facing wall post drafted .....

In that case, let's just pretend that I have a north facing wall :laugh:

Be careful cutting a hole in your wall, there is a barrier to stop water going through, I have to say 20 degrees in a bedroom is pretty good, I take it you have radiators in the bedrooms, do they get fully hot, ie too hot to hold.

I have plaster board with what seems to be nothing behind it! :laugh:

The rads do get hot and heat up quickly and well. I'm going to raise the radiator water temp at the boiler and see if this makes any difference.

And 20 degrees... I'm Indian.... even 21 seems a little low for me :laugh:

I meant exterior walls not interior
Anyhow. I am using tado to control the heating in my 2 zones. Seems to have sorted my cold room problem

Sorry John, embarrassingly I have no idea how the exterior walls are constructed. I will look into this though - if for nothing else, just for information. And I'm going to look into the Tados. Individual stats seem like a great idea. How do you connect them to the boiler though so they work independently?

A quick and easy short term solution may be to upgrade the radiators in the relevant rooms. If the builder was known to cut corners I'd suggest he stuck in the cheapest options possible... unfortunately likely the case with the insulation as well.
Have you also checked that the whole house heating system is properly balanced and the thermostats are working correctly?

The whole heating system was overhauled about 6 years ago - I bought a beer knees of a Valiant boiler, had a power flush of the rads and balancing. But I didn't buy new rads as the plumber was happy with them.

Today is quite a cold day down in London. The heating came on in the morning and got the house up to about 21 degrees.

I set the first floor stat to 23 which in turn got the bedrooms to 21 degrees. But for some reason the house still felt very cold.

Since then I turned the heating on again and set the stat to 24 and the house is now feeling a little warmer. Now to see how it feels in a few hours time!

Thanks again guys for all the advice and tips so far.
 

depot

Well-known Member
If the existing rads are single panel radiators, easiest option (as suggested in post #8) is to keep the same size but change them for double panel convector radiators , they are deeper, but easy to change.
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
Are you measuring the room temps, at the same height as room thermostat, and what are you using to measure the room temp separately?

One of the pros for timber framed houses, is normally good insulation, if done properly. You could carefully cut an access panel in the plasterboard; there is normally a 20-25mm service void behind the plasterboard. Then you should see a vapour barrier, which you may be able to prod to see if there's insulation.

Have you checked for loft insulation? I had a timber framed house some years ago, it was nice and warm, without the need to alter the heating.

Check you insulation before altering your heating components.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
If the existing rads are single panel radiators, easiest option (as suggested in post #8) is to keep the same size but change them for double panel convector radiators , they are deeper, but easy to change.

I'm not sure what type they are. I'll take some pics later today and post them up.

As for easy to change... most definitely not easy for me 😂 I still struggle to wire a plug!:blush:

Are you measuring the room temps, at the same height as room thermostat, and what are you using to measure the room temp separately?

One of the pros for timber framed houses, is normally good insulation, if done properly. You could carefully cut an access panel in the plasterboard; there is normally a 20-25mm service void behind the plasterboard. Then you should see a vapour barrier, which you may be able to prod to see if there's insulation.

Have you checked for loft insulation? I had a timber framed house some years ago, it was nice and warm, without the need to alter the heating.

Check you insulation before altering your heating components.

I'm using an old school thermometer by placing it on the bedside tables, which is a couple of feet lower than the room thermostat.

The problem with my house is that it most definitely was not done properly at all - the walls, the doors, the floors... even the decor is hideous!

Is the vapour panel like a sheet of plastic? And how do I check for loft insulation? I have a loft room which runs over mine and the kids rooms. I wonder if that could have something to do with it!!!
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure what type they are. I'll take some pics later today and post them up.

As for easy to change... most definitely not easy for me 😂 I still struggle to wire a plug!:blush:



I'm using an old school thermometer by placing it on the bedside tables, which is a couple of feet lower than the room thermostat.

The problem with my house is that it most definitely was not done properly at all - the walls, the doors, the floors... even the decor is hideous!

Is the vapour panel like a sheet of plastic? And how do I check for loft insulation? I have a loft room which runs over mine and the kids rooms. I wonder if that could have something to do with it!!!

If you google timber frame construction, you’ll see the common construction details. But basically it’s non permeable membrane, or plastic.

if you have a loft conversion (?), the ceiling void of the loft conversion would or should be insulated.

One of the properties at work, was discovered not to have insulation in the roof void, only 5 years old.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Might be a daft question but what value are you setting the TRVs in the bedroom to?

This is ME you're asking, so most definitely not a daft question 😂

I've set the TRV's to 5, which is the max. BUT I've turned off the TVR in the hallway as the hallway just does not get cold at all! The thermostat in the hallway today reads 23.5. The 2 cold bedrooms read just about 21 (if I had a digital thermometer it most probably would read 20.5).

If you google timber frame construction, you’ll see the common construction details. But basically it’s non permeable membrane, or plastic.

if you have a loft conversion (?), the ceiling void of the loft conversion would or should be insulated.

One of the properties at work, was discovered not to have insulation in the roof void, only 5 years old.

I'll Google this tomorrow. I reeky do want to and NEED to know more about this sort of stuff. I'll also Google to find out what on earth and where a ceiling void is :blush: The strange thing is the loft room is like a sauna today. Unlike the 2 bedrooms!
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
I might not be using the correct terminology.

I call the space (domestic properties) between a ceiling on a ground floor and floor above, a ceiling void. The space above the 1st floor bedroom, a loft space. If you have a loft extension, the space above the ceiling and roof, another ceiling void. Other people might use the correct terminology.

Sample timber framed construction.
Open Panel External Wall
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
This is ME you're asking, so most definitely not a daft question 😂

I've set the TRV's to 5, which is the max. BUT I've turned off the TVR in the hallway as the hallway just does not get cold at all! The thermostat in the hallway today reads 23.5. The 2 cold bedrooms read just about 21 (if I had a digital thermometer it most probably would read 20.5).

:)

Do you have a separate control for the water temperature on your boiler. I can control both the hot water temp and the radiator water temp. If the latter is lower then it could be too low for the bedrooms.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
I might not be using the correct terminology.

I call the space (domestic properties) between a ceiling on a ground floor and floor above, a ceiling void. The space above the 1st floor bedroom, a loft space. If you have a loft extension, the space above the ceiling and roof, another ceiling void. Other people might use the correct terminology.

Sample timber framed construction.
Open Panel External Wall

Thank you for the details mate. From what I can remember of what's behind my walls from when the builders were working on the ground floor, behind the plaster board I have the batten and frame build, but I most definitely don't *think* U have 100mm of the wool insulation and that's what I want to find out.

The ceiling voids now makes sense to me :blush: 😁 Would I check for insulation between ground floor and 1st floor from under the first floor floor boards? Or would I need to remove the ceiling?

Here are pictures of the sitting room ceiling when the ceiling was removed during the work years ago. It looks like there is some thin bits of what looks like insulation. And then there are a lot of bare spaces too!

Wires.jpg


IMG_20140808_164352-1.jpg


IMG_20140808_164352.jpg




:)

Do you have a separate control for the water temperature on your boiler. I can control both the hot water temp and the radiator water temp. If the latter is lower then it could be too low for the bedrooms.


Yup. Separate temperature controls for water temp on the boiler - so one for water and one for radiators. Should I go max on the radiator temperature? or go for 70-80 degrees?

And here are some pics of the radiators. Do they look like double panel rads?

My radiator:

IMG-3089.JPG



IMG_3093.jpg



Kids' radiator

IMG_3094-1.jpg


IMG_3095.jpg
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Oh! And I came across this a couple of days ago - my EPC Certificate. Says it's better than average. They must've got this done in mid summer!!!!!! 😂
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I may not have got the terminology quite right but the first looks like a double panel, single convector and the second a double panel double convector. So both are pretty efficient.
 

depot

Well-known Member
@IronGiant is spot on with the description, if they get too hot to hold when on, it looks like a insulation problem, my memory is hazy but bedrooms aren’t meant to be as hot as the lounge, 20/21 degrees is probably to spec.
 
Last edited:

ufo550

Distinguished Member
You wouldn’t need insulation in the ceiling/floor between ground and first floor, although it’s not a bad thing, as it’s does provide for a more efficient heating design and provides good acoustics (that looks like Rockwool batts).

If you don’t have any insulation in your outside walls (which I find hard to believe, if they’ve put it in the ceiling), you will need to get that corrected.

You should have a tvr on your hallway radiator, if the CH thermostat is located in the same hallway. Your CH will not function correctly.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
You wouldn’t need insulation in the ceiling/floor between ground and first floor, although it’s not a bad thing, as it’s does provide for a more efficient heating design and provides good acoustics (that looks like Rockwool batts).

If you don’t have any insulation in your outside walls (which I find hard to believe, if they’ve put it in the ceiling), you will need to get that corrected.

You should have a tvr on your hallway radiator, if the CH thermostat is located in the same hallway. Your CH will not function correctly.

Thanks guys for confirming the rads should be ok.

I've got a TVR on the hallway rad but have turned it off. The reason for this is, the hallway is currently around 23 to 24 degrees. Because of this, if I set the thermostat to 21 degrees, the rads in the other rooms will hardly ever come on. So to compensate, I've turned off the TVR on the hallway rad and set the thermostat to 25 degrees. The bedrooms are always 2-3 degrees lower than the hallway temperature.

I hope I've explained my mad theory well???
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
A heating system with tvr's on the rads, with a thermostat needs to work this way. You set your maximum temp on the room with the stat, typically the hallway, which will be the coldest. It will cycle the heating flow by the stat only, it shouldn't have a tvr also. The rest of the rooms within you house controlled by the tvr's on rads, will have slightly less temperature or the same comfortable temp as per the hallway rad.
You need to turn up the hallway stat, so the rest of the house (tvr's) come up to a comfortable temp.

You need to investigate your insulation.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
A heating system with tvr's on the rads, with a thermostat needs to work this way. You set your maximum temp on the room with the stat, typically the hallway, which will be the coldest. It will cycle the heating flow by the stat only, it shouldn't have a tvr also. The rest of the rooms within you house controlled by the tvr's on rads, will have slightly less temperature or the same comfortable temp as per the hallway rad.
You need to turn up the hallway stat, so the rest of the house (tvr's) come up to a comfortable temp.

You need to investigate your insulation.
Thank you @ufo550

Just so I'm clear on this, do I do the following if I want the bedrooms to have a temperature at 21 degrees:

* Set the thermostat (which is in the hallway opposite the hallway radiator) to 21 degrees.

* The hallway radiator should NOT have a TVR.

* The radiators in the bedrooms SHOULD have a TVR.

* The room temperature on the bedroom radiators WILL have a slightly lower temperature than the hallway radiator.

* I need to turn up the thermostat in the hallway - i.e. If I want the rooms to be at 21 degrees BUT the hallway thermostat is showing 23 degrees, I should set the thermostat to 25 degrees.

Is this the correct procedure?

Also, I did another temperature check in the bedrooms last night.

* The thermostat was reading between 23.5 and 24 degrees in the hallway (the radiator was turned off).

* My bedroom and the kids bedroom were reading 21 degrees (the rooms with the outside facing walls).

* The spare bedroom (with the adjoining wall to next door) was reading 24 degrees. This room is slightly smaller than the kids bedroom and a lot smaller than my bedroom.

* The loft room was reading 22 degrees.

And you are definitely right @ufo550 , I need to get the insulation checked out. The problem I'm having though is figuring out the best way to do this with minimal damage and stress. I still haven't put in any cupboards in my room due to fearing having to pull down the plasterboard to re-insulate.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on Netflix (UK) for October 2022
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Starzplay streaming service rebrands as Lionsgate+
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
JVC adds Filmmaker Mode to latest D-ILA projector firmware
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Bowers & Wilkins launches Px8 headphone
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sky set to launch its plug-and-play Sky Stream solution
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom