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Insulation

Does your home feel like it could always be warmer or cooler?  Are you cranking the thermostat, have you serviced your appliances and still feel that 30degrees isn’t keeping your home warm?  Before you rush out and buy and new electric heater or split system air-conditioner have a look around your home, is it properly insulated?

Why is insulating your home so important?  Around 40% of your cool or warm air can leak out your home through gaps and cracks if your home is not properly insulated.  Insulating your home will help you reduce those heating and cooling energy bills.  By insulating your home, it will prevent you having to over work you heating and cooling appliances by preventing heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.

When you have air leakage you’ll find you will be relying more and more on your electric heaters or reverse cycle air-conditioners with up to 40% of that lovely cool and warm air disappearing through your poorly insulated home.  Not only will this be increasing your energy bills it will also be shortening the life span of your appliances as they will be getting over worked to over compensate for the air leaking out throughout your home.

Before you rush out keep in mind that you don’t have to insulate your whole home to save on your energy bills if you’re on a tight budget, you can start small and work your way around the home.  A great first step would be to seal up gaps and cracks around doors and windows.  Start with the room you use most and ensure when you have your appliances running you have the room closed from the rest of the house.

Sealing gaps and cracks has never been easier if you’re unsure where to begin visit your local hard ware store and get some advice from them.  When you have seal off your main living area work your way around the home until you have done all your rooms and hallways.

Invest in appropriate window treatments such as blinds or curtains and use these to trap in that cool/warm air each day.

Types of Insulation

There is a minimum building standards in Australia for insulation and before you begin if you don’t know where to start contact a builder or your local council about the requirements.  Meeting the minimum standards will mean your house will retain the desired temperature with ease helping keep those energy bills down.

The best time to insulate is when you are building or renovating your new home, once your home is constructed it can be difficult to then pull down walls to insulate them.  Always get your house checked in case the area’s you are about to insulate contain asbestos and ensure that it’s disposed off correctly. 

Types of insulation:

Bulk Insulation:   Works by preventing unwanted heat entering your home in summer or much needed heat escaping your home in winter.  It works by relying on pockets of trapped air within its structure, which could be glass wool, wool, cellulose fiber polyester or polystyrene.  This type of insulation traps air in the still layers.

Reflective Insulation: Does exactly what it says on the tin it reflects the sun’s heat away from your home with reflective, usually tinfoil like material.  The material is usually shiny aluminum foil laminated onto paper or plastic available in sheets or batts, known as RFL or reflective foil laminates.

Depending on where you live will depend on the type of insulation you require some areas may even need a combination of both.

If you’re unsure of what type of insulation your home needs have a look here

Where to Insulate:

Lots of areas of your home can be insulated as heat rises a good place to start would be your roof and celling then work down through your walls and floors, it’s a good idea to insulate your water pipes and reduce heat loss during the cooler months.  This will help save you on your hot water bills during the cooler months.

Other benefits to insulating your home is some types will also sound proof your home for those homes which may be an added benefit for some.  Keep in mind that you meet all the safety standards requirements, some types require masks and specialist equipment if you’re not sure what you’re doing contact a professional. 

With any work, you do always shop around for the best deal and use sustainable building material.

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