Which First: Ceiling or Wall Insulation?

Ceiling or wall insulation

Insulating your home can have a dramatic impact on indoor temperature regulation while helping you save on your energy bill. Ideally, insulation should be installed everywhere throughout the home including the ceiling, floors, internal and external walls and between floors of a double-storey home. This is the best way to ensure you reap the maximum benefits that insulation offers.

However, life circumstances and budget do not always allow us to choose the ideal. If this is your situation, and you are wondering if you should insulate the ceiling or walls first, we’ll walk you through the best choice.

Should I insulate the ceiling or walls first?

If you really have to choose, you should go with the area that will make the biggest difference to your home. Did you know you 25%-35% of your home’s heat loss and gain happens through the ceiling? Compare that to 15%-25% through the walls.

According to these statistics, insulating your ceiling will make more of an impact than your walls, so you should make it your priority. By installing ceiling insulation, you could see a 35% reduction in your power bill. This not only means you will be saving money, but you will have reduced your environmental impact significantly.

Choose the right R-Value for your ceiling and walls

Wherever you are insulating in your home, make sure you choose products that have the right R-Value for your climate. The R-Value of an insulation product tells you how effective it is at resisting heat flow. That means you want to choose the highest R-Value as your budget allows for in order to get the maximum benefits from your insulation.

The Building Code of Australia has regulations about the R-Value you should use in different parts of your home. In most climate zones, you should use ceiling insulation that has a minimum R-value of R4.1. For cooler climates such as Melbourne or Adelaide, we suggest upgrading to R5.0 or R6.0. 

For wall insulation, we recommend a minimum of R2.0 for areas such as Perth, Brisbane and northern NSW. For cooler climates such as Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, we recommend a minimum of R2.5. 

How do you install insulation in walls and ceilings?

Wall and ceiling insulation can be installed professionally or you can do it yourself. For DIYs, simply follow the instructions of the manufacturer and slot insulation batts between the timber joists of the wall or ceiling. Take care not to compress the insulation or leave any gaps, as this will compromise its ability to resist heat flow. Work around electrical wiring and plumbing, and make sure to leave power points accessible.

Remember to follow the correct safety precautions such as wearing gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help prevent any itchiness from the insulation material.

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