In Seattle, Are Brick Homes Warmer or Colder than Wooden Homes?
If we’re talking about true brick construction, as opposed to a layer of brick over a standard insulated, wood-framed wall (which is more common), then the answer is that true brick homes are colder. You sometimes see this in old condo’s as a design element as well. You have several problems with a full-brick wall when it comes to keeping them warm:
1. A 6-inch wood-frame wall has an R-value (insulation value) that’s more than 10 times higher than an 8-inch thick brick wall.
2. Tiny gaps in brick-construction can add up to a lot of air infiltration and heat loss when spread out over the size of the entire home.
3. True brick homes and walls don’t have wall cavities (space between the walls), so there’s no place to add any extra insulation.
4. Brick takes much longer to warm up. When you get home and turn on the heat, it’s going to take a lot longer for a brick home to “feel” warm than for a typical wood house.
So – while the wind whipping up off the Puget Sound or Lake Washington may not be able to huff and puff and blow your house down – you may be experiencing gusts of cash flying out of your pocket to pay for increased heating bills in the winter without some sort of increased insulation!