Home Insulation Vs Commercial Insulation
Home Insulation Vs Commercial Insulation
What Is Insulation
Insulation may refer to materials used to reduce the rate of heat transfer in a building or home setting. In major cities across Australia like Melbourne where it is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria it has a temperature oceanic climate and is well known for its changeable weather conditions. This changes in temperatures in summer and spring months can result in strong cold fronts across the continent. This will lead to heavy rains and minor temperature drops.
Residents across Australia deserve to live comfortably with natural environmental conditions of cold and heat affecting our comfort levels, in a world where we cannot afford to waste energy resources and money.
What Is Home and Commercial Insulation
The main purpose of insulating home or commercial properties is to create a barrier between your property and heat flow. This will help in maintaining your home cool in summer and warm in winter. A home insulated properly will give all the comfort you need and also reduce heating bills. This, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Climatic conditions influence the appropriate level and kind of insulation.
Commercial Insulation refers to those practices where any insulation object is used to safeguard the commercial property. Most of the commercial insulations are done for thermal purposes which also refer to fire insulation, acoustic insulation, impact insulations (earth tremor vibrations), etc. The different types and uses of commercial Insulations in Australia as described below;
- Thermal purposes – All the insulators are same when they are air sealed and properly installed. The main attainment here is to get the best out of your money spend on it by increasing the R-value. There are superior insulators that come with higher R-value but you must understand that most of the insulators that are available have similar R-valve and insulate same. Therefore, your goal is to get the best R-value for the money you spend on it.
- Acoustic insulations – This kind of insulation helps occupants to take advantage of the acoustically sound environments or even increase the volume without disturbing other occupants.
- Fire insulations – Manufacturers of this type of insulators apply fire retardants (20% approx weight) in order to help decrease flammability thus increasing its fire resistance power. This final product is not smolder or non-combustible resistant.
- Impact insulations -Impact Insulation is used for cushioning from shock and vibration. This is particularly useful in industrial and manufacturing buildings to reduce the vibration from heavy machinery which creates a lot of stress on the structure of the building.
Insulation can help with weatherproofing and eliminate moisture problems such as condensation. Some insulation also has soundproofing qualities. The R-values needed for the building fabric will differ according to the height of the building (height above Australian Height Datum) and climatic conditions according to the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
How to Choose Insulation for Home and Commercial Setting in Australia
Insulation products come in two main categories namely;
- Bulk insulation
- Reflective insulation
These two insulators can be combined into a composite material. The R-value in insulation measures resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation of the home or building block. All insulation materials that are sold in Australia must meet Australian Standard of materials. Modern insulation materials in Australia are Polyester, Glass wool, rigid panel, Fiberglass and earth wool are used by leading manufacturers across the country for their quality products.
In the early 50’s, 60’s and 70’s manufacturers used Asbestos for their products. It was not until the Australian government in the late 80’s discovered the side effects of asbestos on human beings health, since it can cause death after long periods of exposure.
Categories of Insulation
- Bulk Insulation – This type help in resisting the transfer of conducted heat mainly due to the trapped air in pockets in its structure. The thermal resistance power of this kind of insulation is same irrespective to the heat flow direction. Bulk Insulation includes materials such as glasswool, cellulose fiber, wool, polyester and polystyrene.
- Reflective Insulation – This kind of insulation helps in resisting low emissivity and high reflectivity. Thermal resistance will also differ in this kind of insulation depending on the heat flow direction.
N.B: The performance will be reduced with dust settling on the surface. Especially here in Australia where it’s a bit dusty during the sunny and hot season, it’s recommended you reduce the amount of dust settling on the reflective surface either by wiping it or cleaning it with cleaning solutions available in the market and not corrosive with the reflective surface reducing its efficiency in insulation.
Types of Insulations
- Blanket insulation — This is the widely used kind of insulation available in rolls or batts. It is made of fiberglass in general that in other words is flexible fibers.
- Concrete block insulation - The cores of the concrete blocks are filled with insulating material – such as polyurethane, polystyrene, polyiso or polyisocyanurate. The concrete blocks hollow blocks can be filled with liquid foam or foam beads.
- Foam board or rigid foam – These materials can be used from the foundation to the roof of your building.
- Fiber insulation – This kind of insulation has flexible or rigid fiber or mineral wool material which is mostly used in air ducts insulation. In most cases, it’s used to withstand high temperatures.
Advantages of Home and Commercial Insulations
- Greater energy efficiency, lower energy bills across households in Australia.
- It meets occupant needs for most residents across Australia during warm and cold seasons.
- It meets sustainability and responsibility since Australia is the world’s most sustainable property market.
Where to Install Insulations and its Applications
Roofs and ceilings work in conjunction when it comes to insulation. Insulation can be applied in the following areas:
- Roofs of veranda must be insulated irrespective of the climatic conditions or if used extensively, which will help in reducing heat. Reflective insulations are good for this set-up. Heat build-up below veranda will affect both the inside the house and also the space below the veranda.
- The same goes on to external walls as well. In order to reduce all the heat transfer insulation is must.
- Floors require insulations in cool climates and often in other climatically regions across Australia.
When insulating your house or for commercial purposes you can select the best kind of insulation that match your needs. It is important to decide the following factors in order to choose the best kind of insulation for you. Where you want or need to install/add the insulation.
- The recommended R-values for areas across Australia you want to be insulated.
Also fire safety is a concern in most homes and commercial establishments since many insulation materials are flammable.
N.B: Depending on the different situations they are used, few insulation forms can double as moisture barrier or vapor.