Insulating in Melbourne – Climate Considerations
Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with a cool winter. From June to August nights are usually colder than the day and temperatures often drop from 13-14 degrees Celsius during the day to 6-7 degrees after sun down. From an historical perspective houses in Melbourne were not commonly insulated against the cold. Home owners typically found no lack of alternative ways to spend their money and as energy prices were relatively low, insulation was often not give priority. Every year residents rugged up and braced themselves for a winter that would be uncomfortably cold, but nothing worse. With energy prices on the rise, however, and a current focus on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, home insulation is now becoming the norm.
Insulation Melbourne: Value means investing in the right R-value
Melbourne has mild warm summers and very cold winters and therefore a higher R-value is requiredWhen purchasing bulk insulation, buyers will need to decide which R-value to go for. Generally, the higher the R-value, the thicker the material and the more effective it will be at resisting heat transfer. However, higher R-value also means higher cost. So what many home owners naturally want to know is what is the lowest R-value I can invest in that will still sufficiently prevent heat losses in winter and heat gains in summer?
Obviously there is little or no point paying more for a higher R-value, if a lower rating will also do the job. The answer to this will vary depending on the climate zone of the residence. When purchasing and installing insulation Melbourne home owners are advised to use R2.0 in the walls and R5.0 in the ceiling. This is considered an adequate level of insulation for Melbourne’s mild to cool temperate climate zone, taking into account the significant increase in energy prices over recent years.
Wall wrap gives protection from the elements, and added R-value
Building a house is a big investment, so it makes sense to take reasonable measures to make it last. One relatively inexpensive step every Melbourne home owner should take is to wrap the frame of the house with foil wrapping before commencing the brickwork. Not only will this give added protection from the weather, but when used in combination with bulk insulation, will further increase the performance R-value. Wrapping the frame of the house prevents the bulk insulation from coming into contact with the brickwork (or other exterior cladding), while leaving the necessary airgap between the timber and the bricks all the way around the house. While the exact increase in R-Value may be somewhat difficult to measure, it is safe to assume that if a house was wall-wrapped and also installed with R2.0 bulk insulation in the walls, the rating achieved would be closer to an R3.0.
Invest in insulation once, save on energy bills every year
Installing a sufficient level of wall and ceiling insulation in any Melbourne home and including wall wrapping in the insulation budget is one of the best investments home owners can make. It’s not uncommon for home owners to earn back the cost of the insulation through energy savings already in the first few years. And as insulation is usually a one off expense, residents can then enjoy genuine savings every year. As energy prices continue to rise in the foreseeable future, a combination of wall wrap and bulk insulation in Melbourne homes will continue to remain an essential priority in the budget of any forward thinking home builder or renovator.