My kitchen is a small extension (5 or 6 square meters) of the house. No heater. Extremely cold in winter (down to 8 degrees celcius). For months I've wondered why it's so cold (1), now I suspect it's the outside walls: the kitchen walls are about 80% or 90% outside walls. Can this explain why the room is so cold, and if so are there things I can do about it?

(1) I already posted a question here about why my kitchen is cold. But since the reason I'm proposing now is so different and calls for a different kind of answers, I thought posting a new question was more appropriate than adding comments to my old question.


An association of insulation suppliers claims

  • More than 40% of all the heat lost in an average home is through the loft space and walls
  • Up to 45% of heat is lost through uninsulated solid walls
  • More heat is lost through walls than any other route – approximately 33% in an uninsulated home

Obviously, we need to take into account that they are not a disinterested party but this does support the idea that the more external walls a room has, the more heat it will lose to the outside in cold weather.

The solutions, unsurprisingly are

  • insulate the walls (and ceiling, and floors too)
  • install heating.

Insulation depends on the type of wall construction - which differs markedly between the USA and UK and other places.

See http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/heat-loss-transmission-d_748.html

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In my home, I had the same issue. I have a row home in Philadelphia, and the kitchen is a wood add-on to the brick house. The kitchen has three exterior walls. Lack of insulation didn't account for the cold. After investigation, it turned out that the kitchen was framed with a modified balloon type of framing. The studs extended all the way to the roof, and there were no baffles that prevented the cold air in the attic from circulating into the walls of the kitchen. This cold air came in through outlets and other openings in the wall.

You may want to check the attic to make sure that cold air is not coming in from above.

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Air seal and insulate the attic space above. Install dense pack cellulose in the exterior walls. If there is a crawlspace below, install 2 or 3 in poly iso, then air seal the poly and the rim joists.

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