Insulation: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?
Okay so you know about insulation, but there’s still a whole lot about it that feels a bit confusing. We’re here to tell you the ins and outs of the trade. Where does it go? What does it do? What kind do I need? Keep reading to find out.
Insulation works by blocking out excess heat and is necessary to keep 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 most commonly includes materials that are made up of millions of tiny pockets of air. Still air is an amazing insulator, and these trapped pockets of air are what give most kinds of insulation their resistance to the elements.
Insulation functions by slowing the movement of heat into a building. This results in the building being more energy-efficient. The amount of heat that escapes from the building in winter is reduced (as the heat is trapped inside) and the house remains cool in the summer months (cool air is retained and the outside heat is kept from leaking in).
With insulation, a rating is given to a material based on its resistance to heat flow. This is called the R-value the higher the R-value, the greater the insulation. R-values range from 1.5 to 7 and it depends on climate and the area of the home (walls, ceiling etc.) as to what R-value is needed for proper insulation. Different products with the same R-value should perform the same if installed correctly.
However, tt’s also important to note that not all insulation works in the same way. Here at No Gap we primarily use Earthwool. It is a low allergen product with no added formaldehyde (can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat), therefore providing high indoor air quality. Earthwool is made using sand and recycled glass bottles, therefore it the best choice for customers who are conscious about their environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
External walls need to be insulated, as this will reduce radiant and conducted the transfer of heat. Insulation can be installed within wall cavities, within stud frames, on the outside of stud frames and on both the inside and outside of solid walls. Some forms of insulation can also work as a barrier to vapour or moisture.
The insulation that goes around the outside of the home is known as wall wrap, or Sisalation. Sisalation foil is extremely effective in severe climate conditions due to its reflective ability. This Sisalation acts like a second skin for your home, offering optimal comfort for its occupants. Sisalation minimises draughts, therefore allowing standard wall insulation to be the most effective.
Roofs and ceilings work together in regards to insulation. Insulation is installed under roofing material to reduce the transfer of heat and in the ceiling to decrease excess heat loss or gain from external elements. Ceiling insulation is usually installed between the beams.
Veranda roofs (the area surrounding the home which is covered by a roof) should be insulated in warm climates where outdoors areas are commonly used, such as for entertaining, to help decrease radiant heat gain. Heat can build up under verandas, which can negatively impact the space under the veranda, as well as the temperature inside the house.
Floors require insulation in a range of climates, mainly where it is quite cool or where there’s high humidity. Insulation is needed underneath suspended floors in colder temperatures and mountainous climates. It is also needed in high humid and dry environments where air conditioning is heavily used. Your feet will thank you in winter with underfloor insulation.
The time is now! Insulation goes in during the building process of your new home. Make sure to chat to your builder about getting the best quality product for value for money. They can do whatever they please without your input.
If you’re planning on adding insulation to your existing home, there are pros and cons of the more extreme seasons of the year. You’ll notice a huge difference regardless, as in summer your house will stay cooler for longer and in winter it’ll be warmer for longer! In summer the inner workings of your home, i.e. roof cavity, maybe too hot to work in. Winter is generally better for DIY as it’ll be more comfortable for you or your installer to work.
Other than because it’s a requirement in all new homes? Well, it will keep you nice and warm! When installed properly, insulation can increase the comfort levels of your home by maintaining a consistent, uniform temperature from room to room. A well-insulated house will also save you money in the long run by reducing heating and cooling bills up to 50%.
You can also soundproof your home with insulation. Your new home should be your haven where you and your family can experience comfort and peace. Acoustic insulation is designed to diminish unwanted noise transfer between rooms and mid floors (if living in a multiple story home) to help you enjoy every aspect of your home life.
Are you feeling up to a bit of DIY? You are allowed to install insulation yourself in most states and territories, but be sure to check your local laws before you start. Of course, you can do it yourself, but there is a reason installation is a trained profession.
Installing insulation can be a dangerous process, specifically up in the ceiling. It must also be installed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia. This includes knowing the R-Value requirements so you choose the correct product to use, as well as ensuring adequate clear space between insulation and electronics. While completing the installation can be rewarding it’s recommended to hire a trained professional, as a poor installation job will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the insulation.
We are No Gap! No need to go searching for a trained professional as you’ve already found the best in the business. We are Australian owned and operated, providing top quality insulation and thermal solutions for homeowners and commercial projects across Melbourne and Victoria. No job is too big or too small for us! Contact No Gap at 03 8592 1900 for your free non-obligation quote today.