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What are the best price-quality options for insulating your home in Spain?

The Local Spain
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What are the best price-quality options for insulating your home in Spain?
Insulating your home. Photo: Erik Mclean / Unsplash

We all know that most houses in Spain are not built for cold weather. So what can you do to insulate your home and what are the costs?

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It may come as a surprise to those first moving to Spain that Spanish homes can get very cold in the winter.

Most of them are constructed with the idea of keeping them cool in summer with central patios, tiled floors, shutters and interior rooms. Unfortunately, these all mean that they are extra cold in winter too.

Add this to the fact that many homes in Spain don't have central heating either and it's not hard to see why the problem needs addressing. 

READ ALSO: Why are Spanish homes so cold?

One of the best ways to keep warm in winter as well as saving energy on both heating and air-con in the summer is to make sure your home is well insulated.

It is a good way to improve the energy efficiency of a property, as well as function as acoustic insulation to keep the sound from noisy neighbours to a minimum.

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What are the problems?

One of the main issues is that many properties in Spain are only insulated using air chambers, but today there are much more effective ways of doing it.

An air chamber is an empty space between two walls, through which air can pass. They can exist between walls within your property, between neighbouring walls or between the façade and inner wall.

If you live in a region that gets particularly cold in winter, however, or somewhere with high humidity, these can actually be a problem, making your home feel even colder.

The difference in temperature between the interior of the walls and the environment of the house, in places with high humidity can also cause condensation and eventually mould, which is a big issue in older buildings in some Spanish cities such as Barcelona and can lead to serious health problems too. 

How much does insulating your home cost?

According to CronoShare, a website that lists trade professionals in your area, the price of insulating your home could cost anywhere between €9 and €120 per metre squared.

The most common ways to insulate a property are a ventilated façade, an exterior insulation finishing system (SATE), insulating wall and roof cavities with cellulose, changing or adding wall cladding and using polyurethane foam.

READ ALSO: The home improvements you can get a 60 percent tax deduction for

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the best insulating options in Spain:

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Ventilated façade –  This method consists of fixing a layer of insulation such as mineral wool or polyurethane on the façade of the building. It is one of the most effective ways to insulate as it improves thermal insulation and also helps to reduce thermal bridges. The price ranges between €100 and €150/m2.

SATE – Very similar to the ventilated façade, the exterior insulation finishing system or SATE incorporates a series of insulating panels on the outside of the façade. With this method, it’s possible to eliminate thermal bridges almost entirely. It costs between €50 and €80/m2. 

Cellulose insulation – This consists of injecting different types of insulating materials into the air chambers. It totally insulates the façade and prevents other problems such as dampness too. Depending on the material that is injected, its cost may vary. The most common is to use blown cellulose, which costs between €10 and €15/m2.

Polyurethane foam – The other most common alternative is injected polyurethane, which is usually cheaper than cellulose and one of the cheapest methods of insulating over all. It costs between €7 -13 €/m2

Wall cladding – You could also clad the inside of your house to create an extra layer between the outer wall and your home. There are various materials you could do this with such as wood or fibre panels. This would cost anywhere from 7 - 40/m2.

One of the last options is to build a false ceiling so that you create a space to insulate and fill with various types of insulating materials. The price of this would depend on how many you create within your home and the type of material you choose to fill it with. 

Insulating your home properly can also help you in the long run by reducing the costs of heating in the winter and cooling fans or air-conditioning in the summer.

The Spanish government is even offering a tax deduction of up to 60 percent for energy-efficient renovations to your home as part of its ‘Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan’. Find out more about it here

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