Effective insulation has so many benefits for your household and the environment. If you are planning to hire a professional or install insulation yourself, check out the list below of the most important things you need to know.
Where to Install
The first step is to assess your home and decide where you want to install insulation. You can insulate virtually every area of a home, including the ceiling and roof, internal and external walls, under the floor and between floors of a multi-storey home.
Individually insulating any one of these places will make a difference to thermal regulation within your home, but the best way to see maximum energy savings is to insulate all of them.
Type of Insulation
The next step is to determine what type of insulation you will use. There are many to choose from including:
- Bulk insulation, such as insulation batts or rolls. These are very effective and easy to DIY. The most common materials for bulk insulation are polyester, glasswool, rockwool and Earthwool Insulation (a specialised type of glasswool that is less itchy).
- Reflective foil insulation which is used mostly in roof installations to reflect radiant heat from the sun away from your home.
- Foam board and insulation panels. These can be used in almost any part of a building and have a high compressive strength.
- Blown insulation is blown into cavities using a specialised insulation hose. This type of insulation must be installed by a professional.
Choosing the right R-Value
Whichever insulation type you decide to go with, one of the most important factors you need to consider is the R-Value of the insulation. The R-Value indicates how effective the insulation product is at thermal regulation. So a product with a higher R-Value will be more effective at resisting heat flow, and will help you see greater energy savings in your home. Therefore, we recommend you always upgrade to the highest R-Value that you can afford in order to experience the maximum benefits of your insulation.
If you choose to DIY your insulation, it’s crucial that you take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself.
- Clothing – wearing long sleeves will help prevent itchiness from handling the insulation.
- Safety Glasses – wear these to protect your eyes from dust and other particles.
- Gloves – protect your hands from splinters or itchiness by wearing gloves.
- Dust mask – underfloor and ceiling areas can be particularly dusty, so protect your lungs by wearing a mask.
Additionally, make sure you choose the right time of day to install; the roof area can get especially hot during the middle of the day.
What equipment do you use for insulation?
Installing insulation yourself doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you are prepared with the right equipment. You will need a utility blade to cut insulation material and a step ladder to help you reach higher places. When installing the insulation in high places such as the ceiling or top of the wall, it is also helpful to have a long rod or stick.
Insulation is an investment, so it’s important the installation is done correctly. A poor installation can significantly reduce the effectiveness of insulation, which means you won’t be getting all the benefits you could be. Follow these tips to ensure a top-quality installation:
- Make sure there are no gaps or cracks between insulation batts.
- Don’t compress the insulation material.
- Try to insulate behind wires, or insulate around them if that’s not possible.
- Cut gaps in the insulation for any light switches or other important elements that need to be accessed afterwards.
- Don’t cover up any ventilation.
- Ensure downlights have minimum clearance to avoid fire risks.
After having installed your insulation, how do you tell if your house is well insulated? The simplest way is to see how you feel. On a hot day, does your house remain cool inside? What about on a cold day? Touch the walls and floor to see if this is true. Then monitor your energy bill – effective insulation should mean you don’t need to rely on artificial heating and cooling as much.