Why Insulate Your Home in Canberra?
Insulation is the most overlooked factor in Australian homes. This is essential in Canberra since Canberra has extreme weather conditions.
Yet when chosen carefully and properly installed, it can keep you up to 10 degrees warmer in winter and 7 degrees cooler in summer and significantly reduce noise, making you and your family more comfortable all year round. If that isn't enough, it will also save as much as 60% of your current energy bills - enough to pay for itself in 3-4 years and add to the real estate value of your home.
A well-insulated will provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills by up to half. As a result will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
And there’s a bonus too! Just think how much you’ll save on those energy bills! In fact, everyone will breathe easier, including the environment. Frankly, it’s hard to think of a better year-round investment for your home!
Where Does Energy Loose / Gain in a House ?
When it comes to a comfortable living, environment your of home can be your worst enemy. Take those freezing winters. 42% of your home’s warmth is lost through the ceiling and 24% is lost through the walls. It’s the reverse on blazing hot summer days with heat flowing in through the ceiling and walls.
Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation stops up to 70% of all heat transfers. Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation gives you comfort and control all year-round.
What is R Rating ?
To compare the insulating ability of the products available, we need understand their R-value. R value specifies the resistance to heat flow.
R value means the thermal resistance (m2K/W) of a material calculated by dividing the thickness by it ‘s thermal conductivity.
U value is the inverse of R value. The higher the R-value better the insulation. Products with the same R-value have the same insulating performance irrespective of the brand. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance.
R-values are specified with insulation products.
Bulk insulation thermal resistance is expressed by material R value.
Reflective insulation thermal resistance is expressed in terms of total R value.
Reflective products have 2 R-values depending on the direction of heat flow through the product.
- ‘Up’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow upwards (sometimes known as ‘winter’ R-values).
- ‘Down’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow downwards (sometimes known as ‘summer’ R-values).
Up and down R-values should be quoted when installing reflective insulation in roofs, ceilings and floors.
Choice of insulation depends on
- Thermal performance
- Condensation control
- Fire rating
- Moisture absorption.
- Acoustic performance
- Expected life
What is the difference among Bradford, Fletchers, Knauf Insulation and GreenStuf® Insulation (Autux)?
Glass wool has 4 Zero fire rating. Autex made of 100% Pure Polyester (more information and prices of GreenStuff in ACT,NSW)
Bradford, Fletchers and Knauf are all made of glass wool. They all comply with Australian Standards.
Bradford and Fletchers insulation are made in Australia and Knauff insulation is made overseas. Knauff also uses a different binder.
Insulation products come in two main categories — bulk and reflective — which are sometimes combined with a composite material.
GUARANTEED R RATING
Any insulation you use in your home should have a guaranteed R rating. A guarantee shows that the insulation has been thoroughly tested and the manufacturer is certain that it will meet R rating standards.
Do not accept any insulation products that cannot guarantee the R value. CSR Bradford Insulation, Australia’s largest insulation company, guarantees all it’s batts for the life of your home. In fact, CSR Bradford Insulation complies to Australian Standard AS3742.
Time tests many types of insulation materials. Over several years, some types of insulation will settle or compress, causing a decrease in R value. As Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation cannot settle, shrink or compress, their R value is guaranteed to remain constant, from day one for the life of your home. This guarantee, like all Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation guarantees, is given in writing.
When you are choosing insulation the possibility of fire should always be considered. A bale of hay for instance, makes a good insulator, however, it ignites easily and burns in seconds. If one part of the house is affected by flame it can quickly spread through the open roof space to other parts of the home unless proper insulation is used.
Rockwool is made from basalt rock and Glasswool from at least 60% recycled glass. The base material of both products has extremely high temperature tolerances beyond that of most residential fires. This explains why Rockwool and Glasswool do not burn and actually hinder the spread of flame.
WHY OUR INSULATION IS GREEN
To begin with, all Bradford glass wool batts are made from at least 60% recycled glass and Bradford Rockwool uses up to 15% of blast furnace materials that would otherwise become land fill. But there is an even better reason why Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation is good for the planet. Studies show that energy usage for home power consumption is one of the chief contributors to the greenhouse effect. Air conditioners and heater units can be used more efficiently with reduced running costs with insulation. You can expect, through energy cost saving, that the insulation will pay for itself within 3 - 4 years. By reducing your consumption of energy for heating and cooling, Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation doesn’t just save you money, they help save our planet as well
CSR Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation and Bradford Rockwool are endorsed by The Allergy Research Foundation
- for minimal VOC and dust emission in normal use.
Bradford Comfort Seal Insulation is now manufactured using the latest FBS-1 bio-soluble formulation and have been assessed as non-hazardous under the
National Occupational Health & Safety Commission's guidelines.
For fast efficient installation by qualified installers RING NOW. We provide a free inspection of your home and advice on all your insulation needs.
Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow. It can make your home more comfortable by reducing the amount of warmth escaping in winter and reducing the amount of heat entering in summer. By insulating you can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The higher the R-value of insulation the more it slows heat flow and the better it works.
Why install insulation?
What sort of insulation should I use?
The important thing to remember with insulation is that R-value determines the effectiveness of the insulation. The type of insulation will depend on the circumstances of the project and personal preference. For example, wool batts rated at R2 will function exactly the same way thermally as Polyester Batts rated at R2. Check to ensure the insulation you choose passes Australian standards.
How much insulation do I need?
We recommend R 4 to R 5 in the ceiling; R1.5 to R 2 in the walls; and R 1 to R 1.5 under suspended floors or around slab edges. When installing you should prioritise the roof first, then walls, then floor. You can lose up to 40% of the heat in your home through the roof, up to 25% through walls and up to 15% through the floor.
Works by trapping tiny pockets of still air within its structure. This air provides a barrier or resistance to heat flow. Resistance to heat flow (R value) is not seasonally dependent for bulk insulation. See below for types of bulk insulation.
Works by a combination of reflecting large amounts of heat away from its polished metallic surface and/or by reducing the radiant heat being emitted from the surface. To be fully effective there needs to be an air gap of 25mm beside the reflective side of the insulation. Because reflective insulation works by reflecting radiant energy, it is more effective at higher temperatures and generally has a higher rating for summer R-values than for winter values. E.g. A layer of foil under roof tiles might be R0.23 for winter rating but R0.9 for summer.
Because Canberra has a climate that requires far more heating than cooling it is generally easier to get adequate levels of insulation using bulk insulation rather than foil insulation.
Tips for installation
- Fit: Avoid gaps in the insulation. If only 5% of an area is left un-insulated, up to 30% of the potential benefits may be lost. When using bulk insulation cut the insulation carefully to ensure good fitting around windows, ceiling fans, etc.
- Keep bulk insulation dry at all times.
- Have your wiring inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure it can be safely covered by insulation.
- Avoid loose-fill insulation if your roof space is excessively draughty, unless a sealant can be added to bond its top surface.
- Reflective foil should be installed with a still air gap of at least 25mm width next to the reflective surface. Tape up any holes, tears or joins in the foil.
- Caution! Allow clearance around appliances and fittings. Do not install insulation within 90mm of hot flues, or recessed light fittings.
(Retain a clearance of 90mm for low voltage down lights). Restrain loose-fill insulation with non-combustible barriers
Retrofitting insulation to roofs with attic-type spaces is generally straightforward as access is relatively easy and there is adequate space for the bulk insulation. In general it is a good idea to avoid covering ceiling joists as this may create a safety hazard unless a catwalk is installed.
Types of bulk insulation.
Composition: Finely shredded wastepaper.
Borax and boracic acid are added as fire retardants and to deter insects and rodents. Cellulose fibre is pumped or blown into ceilings by contractors to the required depth for the R-value purchased. Depending on the installation method, this material may settle over time with an associated reduction in performance. It is recommended that your contractor cite installation to the Australian standard and guarantee the settled depth and R-value.
Glasswool (fibreglass) batts
Composition: Melted glass spun into a mat of fibres.
Baits with different R-values are available. Glasswool baits are flexible and easily cut and installed by a householder or a contractor. A dust mask, gloves and a long sleeved shirt should be worn during the installation process. Fibreglass blankets with foil backing are also available and are typically used under the roof as insulation and a moisture (condensation) barrier. Gaps around and between the edges of baits can impact on the overall effectiveness of insulation. If you choose baits make sure they are installed without gaps.
Once installed, it does not release dust or fibres and is not known to have any ill effects on health.
Composition: Polyester fibres spun into a mat.
These are similar to fibreglass baits, except that polyester is not known to cause irritation during installation. Foil-backed polyester blankets are also available.
Polystyrene foam boards
Composition: Polystyrene shaped into boards.
These have excellent insulating and water resistant properties. They can be used in double brick and brick veneer walls and against solid concrete and rammed earth walls. They can be rendered so are an alternative to bricks for cladding.
Composition: Melted volcanic rock (basalt) spun into fibres.
Available in loose fill form for vertical wall cavities and as baits and blankets for ceilings and frame walls. Rockwool is denser than fibreglass and possesses superior thermal and acoustic insulation properties, but is usually more expensive. The same precautions should be taken when installing rock wool as when installing fibreglass.
Common problems that reduce the effectiveness of insulation
Down lights and Penetrations
As mentioned earlier, even small gaps in insulation can compromise the effectiveness of insulation. For this reason, penetrations in the ceiling should be kept to a minimum. Recessed down lights are particularly bad culprits in this area as a 20m2 room with 8 down lights would have an uninsulated area of only 1% by area, but this could increase heat loss by 15%, not including heat losses due to infiltration (warm air venting out through the down lights themselves).
Gaps and Cracks
Though not strictly speaking an insulation issue, many existing buildings, especially older ones, lose a significant amount of heat through drafts through gaps and cracks. Sealing these gaps and cracks is
Canberra has a dry continental climate. There is no need for wall vents as witnessed by their absence in new houses. Remove and plaster over, or otherwise seal your wall vents for improved comfort.
Gaps around the skirting board:
This is particularly true for double brick houses but also holds true in brick veneer houses. A sizeable gap is often present where the wall meets the floor. Depending on the size of the gap, a silicon sealant, expandable foam, or additional skirting board will eliminate this problem.
Are necessary for kitchen and bathroom ventilation but are typically open all the time. Installing a hinged cover in the roof cavity over existing fans or using fans that 'blade close' when not in operation will help reduce unwanted heat losses and gains.
Fixed Ventilation in bathrooms:
Many older houses have a hole or screened window that does not have any glass. Again, such permanent ventilation is not necessary. Consider replacing the screen or hole with glass or other suitable building material and crack open a window for low level ventilation at times when it is needed.
Gaps around Windows:
Especially in older houses, there may be gaps between the walls and the window frame. Treat these in the same manner as gaps between the floor and walls. In addition, windows may not seal properly due to wear or warping. It is usually possible to use weather-stripping (adhesive-backed foam strips) to improve the seal of existing windows. In extreme cases, window replacement may be appropriate.