Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is important if you want to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well insulated home will provide year round comfort by minimising heat loss and heat gain, as well as cutting energy bills by up to half. Roofs, ceilings, floors and wall cavities can all be insulated to improve thermal efficiency.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING
When considering insulation, compare the capability of the products being offered. The main element to consider is the R-value, which measures resistance to heat flow - the higher the value, the better the resistance. The Australian Standards set out minimum requirements for R-values for buildings and houses. In Perth, ceiling insulation should have a minimum R-value of 3.2. The minimum is 1.9 for wall insulation.
As well as the R-Value you should also consider:
- Environmental impacts – insulation should preferably be made from local, renewable and recyclable material;
- Fire protection – insulation should be fire proof or non-combustible;
- Value for money – get multiple quotes to ensure good value; and
- Installation requirements - some need to be professionally fitted.
INSULATION FOR PERTH’S CLIMATE
Beware of the hot box syndrome! Unshaded windows build up heat inside the home and the insulation keeps the heat inside, resulting in an oven effect. Keep windows shaded during the day – especially east and west facing windows. Use passive cooling and heating techniques in combination with insulation for the best outcomes.