HOW DOES INSULATION WORK?
Insulation allows you to regulate the temperature of your home by creating a thermal barrier in your walls, ceiling, and floors. Insulation is measured on an R-value. The R-value stands for resistance. For example the greater the R-value, the greater the effectiveness of the insulation.
5 TIPS ON INSULATING YOUR HOME TO MAKE IT MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT
1. Continuity of your insulation
At junctions, you want the insulation to go right through, as far back as possible so there is a continuous line of insulation with no gaps. Unfortunately, you may get an installer that isn’t going to take this as seriously as you would have expected. In which case, you may need to politely pull them up on this and explain how seriously you take your insulation.
2. Depth of insulation
If you have space in your ceiling or have a pitched roof, you would want deeper rafters or just a truss roof. The trussed roof means a bigger roof cavity so you can get thicker insulation, you don’t want shallow rafters as you won’t be able to fit the higher rating insulation in there. Aim to get the thickest insulation that has a greater R-Value. This will create good resistance from the temperature range from the outside through the roof. The most important insulation is in your roof cavity.
As mentioned, the depth and thickness of insulation is measured on an R-Value. What is pictured here is a R6 and you can see it’s quite thick.
3. The main Voids Throughout Your Insulation is For Your Windows
Your losses are going to be through your windows. Choosing your windows is another thing that needs to be taken seriously. At a minimum, you should be looking for a double glazed window with a high-performing window frame. Aluminum is a common window frame used in Australia, although it is not high-performing. There are a lot of losses through the transfer of the aluminum itself so it’s better to go with timber or UPVC.
4. You Don’t Need to Leave Voids for Downlights
In the past, downlights would become quite hot and you would need to leave voids in your insulation so that the insulation didn’t catch on fire by the downlights themselves. The more voids that are left in the insulation mean more losses through your roof. Nowadays, downlights are LEDs and don’t get as hot however some installers may still leave the voids unless you ask them not to. So don’t be afraid to ask them to not worry about the voids for downlights.
5. Insulate Your Floors
Following on from point one, you want continuity of insulation and that includes the floors. Often the floors get missed leaving a lot of losses through the floor, especially in winter allowing your home to get colder quicker. You will be wanting to insulate your floor to create that thermal barrier enabling your home to become more energy-efficient and minimising the cost of your heating bill.
In summary, insulation my not be the most glamorous topic to talk about but it plays a really big role in the performance of your home so it needs to be taken seriously. If you see or notice any of the things mentioned here do your best to get it fixed and tidied up!