Insulation is a revolutionary material specifically designed to make our lives, and homes more comfortable. Its main benefit is to reduce both our living costs and carbon footprint. Heres a few handy tips before choosing your new energy-saver!
There are two types. Bulk insulation is most beneficial when distributed through the entire home, as it acts like a shield between the inside and out. It traps heat and seals in the cold. Predominantly installed in cooler climates, the common type of material used in this style of insulation is batts and boards. Then there’s Reflective insulation. Constructed mainly from aluminium foil laminated onto paper of plastic, this kind of insulation deflects the sun’s rays, and is designed to lock in cool temperatures. Perfect for tropical or arid climates.
Hire an expert. Installing insulation can produce a few dramas when trying to attempt it yourself. Some of the things you may not have considered is manoeuvring batts around electrical wires. An expert will also be an excellent judge of scale and the exact amount required – this will save you buying too much or not enough. There can also be a slight risk involved. Some houses built before 1990 were insulated with a material called Vermiculite – a dangerous fibre with asbestos deposits. Professionals are adept at removing existing materials like Vermiculite and old fiberglass, as well as meeting government standards if required.
Advice. Another facet an expert can advise you in is how much of your home should be insulated. Heat flows naturally to a cool space, and insulation’s primary job is to regulate temperature. If your walls are thin, it might pay off to insulate from the ceiling to the foundations of your home. In warmer areas, you may only need installation in your roof. Did you know that a one percent increase, or decrease on the temperature of your thermostat equals a one perfect rise in your energy bills? Correct insulation can reduce the cost of your energy bill by 50% yearly.
It may be free. The Australian government allocated $2.4 billion dollars in rebates for insulated homes. Various governments throughout the world offer the same kind of rebates – some up to $1,200 per household. Governing bodies acknowledge the unparalleled power of insulation’s conservation. The environment benefits, the householder financially benefits. You could very well be paid to install!
Be choosy. There’s been debate over the materials used, and some dubious reaction to potentially hazardous fibres. Insulation has a history of utilizing everything from volcanic rock to sheep’s wool. Foam spray has its pros and cons. One of the newer, more environmentally friendly and sustainable materials is Foilboard, a lightweight, fire-retardant creation that has no hazardous fibres.
Working around it. Always be sure to seal cracks in window panes, especially in an attic window, or your insulation will practically be moot. Also check for holes, missing tiles and imperfection to the roof – water is insulation’s number one enemy. And if by chance, you decide to install yourself, it pays to seek expert advice on the type and quantity that will best suit your home, as well as learning the ideal installation procedures.