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An insulated home is cooler in summer and warmer in winter and the differences between insulated and un-insulated homes is often measured in degrees.  Insulation is also energy efficient and can save you money, as you are not spending as much money on cooling and heating.  There are several things to consider when installing insulation and these are listed below.

Types of Insulation

There are three primary types of insulation – bulk, polyurethane foam and reflective foil. 

There are several varieties of bulk insulation including:
  • Fibreglass mineral wool (also known as rockwool)
  • Sheep’s wool
  • Synthetic fibre
  • Polyester
Bulk insulation comes in either blankets that are cut to fit or in pre-cut batts.  It works by trapping pockets of air within the material, stopping heat from getting through to the home.  Another type of bulk insulation is loose-fill insulation, which is simply pumped into the roof cavity.  Some loose-fill materials are cellulose fibre and mineral wool.

Reflective foil insulation comes in single or multi-layered forms and work by reflecting heat away and by lowering radiant heat.  The multi-layered forms, such as concertina foil batts, can provide more effective insulation by trapping air.

Spray foam is another popular form of insulation, valued for its tight seal, lightweight character and insulation efficiency. It can be used to insulate walls, floors and ceilings.

©Smarter Insulation Services

The R-Value

The r-value is the most important thing to consider when installing insulation.  It does not matter so much what material you choose for if the r-values of the material are the same then they will perform identically.  Simply put, the r-value is the thermal resistance of the insulation and the higher the number, the more effective the insulation will be.  R-values range from between 1 and 4.

In normal circumstances, you will usually need a higher r-value insulation in your roof than in your walls and floor.  This is because the majority of the heat is transferred through the roof.  Generally speaking, you will need insulation that is at least 2.5 in your roof, and 1-1.5 in your walls.  However, the actual requirements will depend on your area and so you should speak to a professional to determine what will best suit you.

How Much Does Insulation Cost?

What could you reasonably expect to pay for insulation? The cheapest type of insulation are typically fibreglass batts, followed by polyester batts, loose fill cellulose with sheep wool and rock wool the most costly. Expect to pay more for insulation with a higher R-Value with the price rising by 10 to 15 per cent depending which type of insulation you choose.

Make sure you get multiple quotes for your home insulation.  Our Get Quotes service can take the hassle out of finding a local insulation specialist. Remember that all insulation packaging should clearly stipulate the r-value of the material. You should also ensure they are a registered installer and have the appropriate qualifications.

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