Thermal Insulation: The Acoustic vs Thermal Debate

Whilst both thermal and acoustic insulation provide a sufficient level of soundproofing and thermal properties, each is superior in their field. Deciding between which to install in your home or business is dependent on your needs for the property. Today we’re here to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision for your project.



Thermal insulation is what is commonly thought of when discussing this industry. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is essential for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Material is placed in spaces and crevices within the house to prevent heat from escaping through. Insulation can work in a number of different ways, but it most commonly incorporates materials that consist of millions of tiny pockets of air. Still air is an extremely good insulator, and trapped pockets of air are what give most types of insulation their high thermal resistance.

Thermal insulation works by slowing the movement of heat from a hot space to a cooler space. This increases the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of heat that escapes from it in the winter (containing the heat and keeping the house warm) and keeping it from getting too warm in the summer months (retaining the cold air and keeping inside comfortable).


As mentioned above, both acoustic and thermal insulation have thermal qualities. However, acoustic insulation is much denser and this allows for more effective soundproofing properties. Live near an airport? Consider soundproofing your ceiling with acoustic insulation – this is not usually a requirement but with planes constantly flying above it will help reduce the sound. Houses situated near busy road or highways will also benefit from soundproofing the ceiling.

We’ve discussed the need for acoustic insulation in regards to blocking out external noise, but what about internal? Noise transfer between rooms can be frustrating, particularly in theatre rooms where the sound from the television can be heard throughout the house, and in offices where noise transfer can be detrimental to one’s work.

So which one should I go for?

It depends on your needs! We’ve written up a little table to help summarise and identify what’s important to you and your project.


Noisy neighbourhoodFeel the cold/heat easily
Live near planes/highwaysFlustered by extreme temperatures
Prefer peace and quietSaving money on energy bills
Environmental footprintEnvironmental footprint
Increased comfort in homeIncreased comfort in home


  • Energy usage: Both types of insulation will decrease your energy usage in your property as opposed to a property without insulation. However, thermal insulation will do so more than acoustic as that is its primary role, and you will be paying significantly less on your energy bills.
  • Environmental impact: Due to less reliance on heating and cooling appliances, your impact on the environment decreases. Again, this is more so if deciding to choose thermal insulation, as it allows for a larger decrease in energy usage. In terms of materials used for insulation, Earthwool is an environmentally friendly product (made from recycled materials) and is available for both thermal and acoustic insulation.
  • Increased comfort in home: This is subjective to the person’s needs for insulation. In a home one person may find more comfort in a suitable temperate inside the home without excessive use of heating and cooling. For another, noise reduction may be hugely beneficial for them and increases the comfort of the home. Decide what is important to you and you should be able to make an informed decision.


This a brief overview and comparison of acoustic and thermal insulation. If you are interested in learning more, check out some of our other blogs!


No Gap Insulation are the experts in our field. Have any questions? Call us at (03) 8592 1900 and we’ll be able to give you a hand.

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