Buying the Right Ceiling Insulation

Buying the right ceiling insulation batts

In the months leading up to winter Pricewise Insulation has been inundated with insulation enquiries. It has been interesting to note that these days the enquiries are not so much about whether customers should install insulation or not, but more about how many bags they’ll need, what r-value they should go for and whether there is much of a difference between Green Stuf insulation and traditional glasswool batts. This is good news for Australia as it seems the message is filtering through about reducing carbon emissions. Installing insulation is certainly one of the best things home owners can do to do their part in reducing energy consumption.

Easiest Access and Most Value for Money

The ceiling is by far the easiest part of the house to insulate, from an accessibility point of view. And it just so happens that insulating your ceiling will have the biggest impact on your energy bills. Most of the heat lost during winter goes through the roof and conversely, most heat gains in summer also enter through the roof. This is good news for home owners considering installing insulation themselves.

Buying the Right Insulation – Measure the Width of Ceiling Joists

The roof cavity isn’t the most pleasant place to spend time, but with some careful planning you can limit your visits up there. For most ceiling insulation projects, you will only need to go up twice; once to get the information you need to buy the insulation material and once to install the insulation. The first time you go up you will need to measure the area that needs to be covered. However, what most first timers don’t realise is that there are two standard distances between the ceiling joists. Insulation batts are usually sold in two widths, so that customers can buy the version that fits snugly in between their timber spacings.

What if I have Bought the Wrong Width?

It’s not the end of the world if you purchase the greater width. It just means you’ll have to cut every piece to size before you fit it between the joists and it will take you a lot longer. By quickly measuring the distance between one of the ceiling joists while you’re up measuring the entire area, you will know whether you should order 430mm or 580mm insulation.

Deciding What Kind of Insulation to Order

One of the questions we are typically asked is whether Autex insulation is better than the glasswool batts. There is no clear answer to this question, but it comes down to a range of factors, including comfort of handling, allergies, delivery, etc. For some customers Greenstuf insulation becomes the obvious choice, while others may find that glasswool insulation will suffice. One thing that is good to know is that while fibrelass insulation typically has a reputation for being terribly itchy to work with, it has improved vastly from the material that was on the market a few decades ago.

Differences Between Glasswool and Polyester Insulation

Autex insulation is made out of polyester and is completely itch free. It is the most comfortable bulk insulation to work with and is a popular choice amongst asthma and other allergy sufferers. On the down side it has poor compression properties and takes up a lot of space even when it is stored in bags. It is also the more expensive option. Glasswool insulation is the cheaper option, performs just as well as its polyester equivalent and has higher compression properties. On the down side, some people find it unpleasant to handle.

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