We're interested in improving the overall energy efficiency of the house for environmental and comfort reasons. However, there seems to be some conflicting and/or inconclusive information out regarding the pros and cons of insulating the inside of brick walls. For instance, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a booklet, "Renovating Distinctive Homes: the Century Home" which states:
The report also states that studies are ongoing of buildings where insulation has been installed on the inside of solid brick walls. So, we are curious, is there any actual data on this? Good idea or bad idea?For the solid brick house [..] Insulation placed on the interior of the wall changes the dynamics of the wall. When the heat is held in by interior insulation, the wall may be subject to more of the freeze-thaw cycles of a Canadian winter. If the brick or mortar has absorbed water, the freeze-thaw cycle may cause the brick to spall or fall apart.
PS: a case study on a brick house very similar to ours indicates that heat loss through the walls is the single biggest source of overall heat loss, so it seems beyond doubt that this is worth considering if it can be done without causing structural damage: