Insulation for Older Homes

Insulation for older homes in Australia

Older homes have a unique charm that newer homes often lack. They are a beautiful part of our heritage but can also be less energy-efficient than newer homes. This means they can also be more expensive to heat and cool and may be more susceptible to condensation and mould growth, which can damage the home and create health problems for the occupants.

Insulation for older homes makes them more comfortable to live in, especially during extreme weather conditions. In the winter, older homes can be cold and drafty, and in the summer, they can be hot and humid. This can lead to increased energy bills and difficulty maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home.

If you’re a homeowner, it is important to consider insulation options for older homes to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfortability. One of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of an older home is to add home insulation.

Why Insulation Matters in Older Homes 

Older homes were often built before modern insulation standards were in place. As a result, they may have little or no insulation in the walls, roof, and floors. This can lead to several problems, including higher energy bills, drafts, mould, and mildew.

Another challenge with insulation solutions for older homes is that they may have poor ventilation. Make sure your home has adequate ventilation before adding insulation.

Adding insulation is a great way to improve a home’s energy efficiency, cost savings and indoor air quality. There are many different types of insulation available, and the best type for your home will depend on its construction and your budget.

Common Insulation Issues in Older Homes 

Older homes may face several insulation challenges, including outdated materials, settling, and damage. Over time, homes can settle and shift, which can create gaps and cracks in the insulation. These gaps and cracks allow heat to escape in the winter and enter in the summer, negatively affecting your home’s energy efficiency.

Insulation can also be damaged by factors such as pests and moisture. Rodents can nest in insulation and damage it or chew through insulation, creating holes and gaps. Moisture can also cause insulation to mould or mildew. 

Benefits of Retrofitting Insulation 

Retrofitting insulation in older homes is a wise investment that can provide significant benefits, including increased property value, improved energy efficiency, and enhanced comfort.

If you retrofit your floors, walls and ceilings you will save up to 50% on energy consumption. This can lead to significant savings on your energy bills. Energy-efficient homes are in high demand because buyers may be willing to pay more for a home that has been retrofitted with insulation. 

Retrofitting insulation can also make your home more comfortable to live in. Insulation helps to regulate the temperature in your home, improving indoor air quality and reducing your risk of developing respiratory problems. Additionally, insulation can help to reduce noise levels from outside, making your home more peaceful and quiet.

Read more: Retrofit Wall Insulation for Existing Homes: Everything You Need to Know

Video – Installing Blow-In Wall Insulation in Existing Homes

Our sister company, EcoHome Insulation, installs blow-in wall insulation in existing homes across Melbourne. This video shows the various techniques that can be used to insulate existing walls without the need for major renovations.

Assessing Your Home’s Insulation Needs 

One of the best ways to assess your home’s insulation needs is to have an energy audit performed. An energy audit is a comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy efficiency. It identifies areas where your home is losing energy and recommends ways to improve its energy efficiency.

Energy audits can be performed by qualified professionals or DIY. If you decide to conduct a do-it-yourself energy audit, you can check the insulation in your attic, walls, and floors. You should also look for any signs of problem areas, such as drafts, moisture damage, and air leaks.

After assessing your home’s insulation needs and identifying any problem areas, you can now take the steps to address them. This can include sealing air leaks with caulk, weatherstripping, and repairing or replacing any damaged insulation.

Choosing the Right Insulation Materials 

When choosing insulation materials for your older home, it is important to consider the R-value, installation method, climate, type of construction, and budget.

The R-value of an insulation material is a measure of its thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation material is at resisting heat flow. If your home does not have any existing insulation in the roof, then we recommend installing R5.0 or R6.0 ceiling insulation.

The installation method for insulation varies depending on the type of insulation material and the area of the home being insulated. Some insulation materials that are suitable for older homes include glasswool insulation, polyester insulation and blow-in insulation.

Glasswool insulation, also known as fiberglass insulation, is one of the most common and affordable types of insulation. The most common glasswool brands in Australia include Earthwool Insulation, Bradford Gold, Bradford Soundscreen and Pink Batts. Polyester insulation is another popular insulation choice. Made from 100% polyester, and soft to the touch, this insulation is resistant to moisture, mould and pests. Polyester insulation is easy to install and contributes to energy savings, making it a cost-effect and sustainable insulation solution. However it is more expensive than glasswool and it’s not available in the higher R-values, such as R5.0 and R6.0.

DIY vs. Professional Insulation Installation 

Insulating your home is a relatively simple DIY project, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a professional.

DIY insulation installation can be significantly cheaper than hiring a professional. Chat with our Pricewise team on the best way to do it yourself, the tools and equipment you’ll need. Then, put aside a weekend to be a handyperson in your home’s roof.

The decision of whether to DIY or hire a professional insulation installer depends on factors such as budget, experience level, and comfort level when working with insulation materials. If you are on a tight budget and have some experience with home improvement projects, DIY insulation installation may be a good option for you. However, if not, it is best to hire a professional insulation installer.

Insulation Tips for Specific Areas

Roofs and ceilings  are one of the best areas to insulate in an older home, as they can account for up to 30% of heat loss. The recommended R-value for ceiling insulation depends on your climate and if you have insulation in your roof already;  R4.0-R5.0 batts is recommended for Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania areas. R3.0-4.0 in Brisbane and Perth. 

If your home has no insulation, we recommend a higher R-Value, such as R 5.0 or R6.0.  

Insulating walls in older homes can be more challenging than insulating the ceiling space, but it is still a worthwhile investment. There are two main ways to insulate walls: from the inside or the outside. To insulate the walls from the inside yourself, you will need to remove the plasterboard and install insulation batts. The best time to do this is during renovation projects

Alternatively, you can hire a professional to install blow-in wall insulation. If it gets retrofitted from inside your home, installers will drill holes in the plaster board and pump it through these holes. These holes will then need to be patched and painted upon completion.

Its also possible to drill through weatherboards or in the motar of brickwork and pump insulation it into the wall cavities from the outside. 

Underfloors can also be a major source of heat loss in older homes. Insulating your underfloor area can help reduce your energy bills and make your home more comfortable. 

Use high-quality materials and install them properly when insulating your home. And don’t forget to seal any air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings.

Addressing Common Ventilation and Moisture Concerns 

Insulation and ventilation work together to control moisture in a home. Insulation helps to reduce heat loss and gain, which can help to prevent condensation from forming on surfaces. Ventilation helps to remove moisture from the air, preventing it from building up and causing problems such as mould growth and rot.

Inspect your home for signs of moisture damage, such as mould growth or water stains. If you find any evidence of moisture damage, it is important to address the problem immediately before it gets worse.

If you are unsure about how to properly install insulation for older homes or how to address ventilation and moisture concerns, it is always best to consult with a qualified professional.

Shop Insulation at Pricewise today!

Pricewise Insulation offers a wide range of insulation products and services to suit the needs of any home. Whether you want to retrofit an older home to increase its property value or fix a moisture problem, Pricewise can help! Contact us today and see how we can provide insulation for older homes.

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