Knowing the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of insulation

No doubt you’ve been told the energy efficiency basics before. Things like remembering to flick off the lights in an empty room, or switching appliances off at the wall. But have you heard the one about insulation softening the blow on your gas and electricity bills?

The benefits of installing insulation

Sure, minimising the heat flow in and out of your home may not have you rolling in the aisles. But if it can help reduce your energy usage, it may put a smile on your face.

Choosing the right energy efficient insulation (R value).

If you’re looking to insulate your home, there are a few things you’re best knowing before you get started. Think of it as insulation 101.

First of all, there are several different types – each one with its own ‘R value’ – and the type of insulation you choose will depend on your needs and your home.

The ‘R value’ of insulation is a measure of its material’s resistance to heat: the more resistance means the more warmth it keeps inside. Or, in other words: the higher the R value, the greater the energy savings – and the lower your energy bills.

So when you’re shopping for energy efficient insulation, remember it’s not necessarily the material you use, or the thickness that matters. It’s the ‘R value’ that can really count.

Checking and topping up your ceiling insulation.

All in all, hot air rises. And that means, when it comes to insulation, it makes perfect sense to start in the ceiling.

Ceiling insulation can help keep a lid on your heating and cooling bills, leading you to using as much as 20 per cent less energy¹. And if you’ve ever climbed up into your dusty ceiling space before, you’ll agree: the savings aren’t to be sneezed at.

If you’re topping up your insulation, look for something called ‘bulk insulation’. It generally takes the form of batts or blanket insulation, board insulation or loose-fill insulation and can come as a number of different materials.

The type you should go with will depend on various factors, like the shape and size of your roof space. Chat to an expert and learn which insulation can help turn your home into a more energy efficient one.

Can insulation help improve your home's energy efficiency?

The inside word on insulation perfection.

Now that you know the basics, try and keep these handy tips up your sleeve for whenever you install or update your home’s insulation.

  1. The cleaner your insulation, the more energy efficient it will be. Built-up dirt and dust can especially reduce the effectiveness of reflective types of insulation.
  2. No matter what type of bulk insulation you have – batts, blankets, boards or loose fill – make sure it’s installed and maintained the right way.
  3. Avoid compressing bulk insulation – it can lead to the air pockets in your insulation not working as well as they should.
  4. Not a tradie? Then bring in an expert when it comes installing insulation. Not only is it safer, but they’ll bring the know-how for finding an energy efficient solution.

Moving home? Download a copy of our ‘Changing Your Address’ Checklist that you can print out and tick off in the days leading up to you big move.

Looking to learn more?

1. Simple ways to help you manage your home’s energy usage
2. Discover the real cost of running your home’s appliances

References:
¹http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/services-and-advice/households/energy-efficiency/toolbox/how to/select-insulation