What is the best time of year to insulate your house?

When to install home insulation

You might be wondering what the best time of year is to insulate, when is the ‘insulating season’? If you have no insulation in your roof, then ‘right now’ is probably a pretty good answer. Well not exactly ‘now’, but as in as soon as you can manage to get hold of some insulation batts of a half-decent R-Value, and either set aside time to DIY, or book in a professional insulation installer to do the job for you. Almost every uninsulated  house will benefit significantly from getting insulation installed in the ceiling. Apart from the noticeable cooling effect in summer and reduction in heat loss in winter, ceiling insulation is the single most effective way to reduce energy bills relating to heating and cooling appliances, including split air-conditioning systems. Bulk thermal insulation in the roof cavity also has other benefits such as reducing the incursion of airborne noise, such as aircraft noise. But urgency and energy savings aside, there are of course a number of obvious and perhaps not-so-obvious reasons why insulating at certain times might be more or less ideal.

Summer – when you’ll notice the biggest difference

For an immediate uplifting ‘so glad I just did that’ moment, the hottest season of the year is likely to be your best bet. Roof spaces without insulation become extremely hot, and without thermal insulation batts to block the temperature transfer, much of this heat passes through with relative little resistance into the living areas below. On really warm sunny days, the ceiling plasterboard may even feel hot to touch; like a gigantic flat heating-element against which a standard size home air-conditioner will stand little chance of combating the heat simply oozing through it. The first heat-wave often serves as a reminder to home owners, to service their air-conditioner and to think seriously about getting some insulation installed in their ceiling.

Winter – the best time of year to DIY

Installing insulation is not everyone’s cup of tea. Glasswool can be a bit itchy to work with, and even if you’re installing a zero-itch polyester product such as GreenStuf, the roof cavity is not exactly the most inviting room in the house to spend the morning, day or weekend. However if you’re prepared to do what it takes to save the extra dollars, then the coldest season of the year might be a good option for you. Typically a roof cavity will be colder at night than the rest of the house, but once the sun hits the roof in the morning, it will quickly warm up to a pleasant working temperature. In summer time, insulation installers will often aim to start as early as possible, and aim to finish their work day by around lunch time. During the coldest months of the year, this is usually not an issue.

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