That’s the city of Perth peaking through the fog this morning.
We have had a cold winter here and everyone is complaining and say it is the coldest winter they can recall. Brr…! this morning with the foggy conditions. So while I was out walking on the Darling Escarpment watching the city slowly reveal itself I thought about something I feel quite strongly about. And that is the value of insulation to a home. A sure way for a cosy home in winter and the best fix to reduce heating costs is investing in the installation of insulation.
Properly insulating a home can use about 40 per cent less energy than poor or none at all. It will pay for itself in five to six years. The type of insulation used to maximise energy efficiency will be dependent on the design of the house, how it is constructed and where you live.
Just some technical bits
To compare products, you need to know their R values, the measure of resistance to heat flow. The greater the R value, the higher the level of insulation.
Here’s a quick overview of what is available on the market
- Shiny foils. Reflective insulation consists of layers of foil with air sandwiched in between. Principally acts as the first line of defence in the roof. Makes sense as it is the hottest part of the house, reducing radiant heat up to 95%.
- Cavity Wall Insulation. Principally most of the homes in Perth are constructed with double brick walls and Bradford have come up with a specifically designed pliable composite barrier membrane as a cost effective solution.
Bradford EzyCAV™ Cavity Wall Blanket Check out their site.
- Batts and blankets are widely available, made of everything from fibreglass or rockwool (volcanic rock melted and spun into fine fibres) to polystyrene boards and loose-fill insulation made from wool or nylon fibres or from cellulose (pulverised waste paper).
- Bulk insulation works by trapping still air in layers or cells and air is a pretty good insulator. Tontine produces a very environmentally friendly no chemical or toxins which gets a good tick for a healthy house. http://www.tontineinsulation.com.au
How much is enough?
Generally the more R value for a given thickness the more expensive the product. You do need to factor in that loose fill settles over time reducing the R value.
The extra cost is small in the grand scheme of your build, but a wise investment considering energy prices will continue to rise well above inflation for the foreseeable future.
It’s always wise to have insulation installed professionally to ensure safe installation around electric/hot features and is imperative to eliminate gaps in its coverage, making it worth your investment.
And if you need further advice please contact me Sallyanne Bond www.sabbuildingsolutions.com.au or 0418857708