Insulation options

Insulate now in readiness for winter and you may well be surprised at how little it costs to insulate your home with the wide range of subsidies that are available.

Person preparing insulation material.
ARTICLE Kylie Jurgensen. PHOTOPGRAPHY courtesy of Pink Batts

Insulate now in readiness for winter and you may well be surprised at how little it costs to insulate your home with the wide range of subsidies that are available.
Ask anyone who’s been there, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ experience of having insulation installed is nothing short of life changing – not to mention money saving!
Without insulation, the average home loses a whopping 30 to 35 percent of its heat through the roof; 18 to 25 percent through the walls, 21 to 31 percent from windows, 12 to 14 percent through the floor, and another six to nine percent through air leakage. Improving insulation in any one of these areas will definitely make a difference to health and comfort levels in your home, but to be most effective, insulation needs to provide unbroken coverage as heat can escape through gaps such as ceiling downlight cavities and uninsulated window frames.

Insulation options

A wide range of different insulation products is available, and in most homes a combination of different products used for different areas of the house is likely to provide the best results. Common insulating products include wool (brands include Eco Fleece, Latitude, Terra Lana, Woolcote, Insulwool), mineral wool (Rockwool), glasswool (Bradford Gold, Pink Batts) polyester (Cocoon, Novafloor, Novatherm), polystyrene (Goldfoam, GreenStuf, Koolfoam, Lanwood EPS/Styrofit/Styrofoam, Polyfoam, Poly Palace, Retrotherm, Wunderfloor), cellulose fibre (Insul-fluf), fibreglass (Polygold), aluminium foil (Air-Cell, Silverzone, Sisalation, Thermabar) and foam (Airfoam).

Many brands offer a range of solutions for different R-ratings, generally priced per square metre with costs increasing as the R-rating gets higher. When you’re trying to find your way through the bewildering array of insulation products out there, it’s important to consider:
- The degree of insulation required in terms of the purpose of the room/area.
- Other factors contributing to the energy efficiency of the room/area, such as air sealing, heat sources, moisture control and ventilation.
- Where the product will be installed (ease of access, fittings or fixtures that need to be accommodated, the type of coverage required).
- Fire resistance.
- Vermin resistance.
- Ability to withstand rot and mould.
- Performance over time – most products will shrink, compact or decay over time and become less efficient so this should be factored into the cost.
- Independent verification of any standards/claims made about the product’s effectiveness.
- Cost/ease of installation.
- Levels of toxicity, potential irritants.
- Environmental-friendliness of the product.

You might be interested in reading: Environmentally friendly home insulation.

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This article by Kylie Jurgensen featured in 002 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.


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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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