Good insulation keeps heat inside during winter and outside during summer. These top tips will help you to insulate your home…and cut your energy bills!
Good insulation will keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. As a result, you won’t need to use nearly as many energy-hungry heating and cooling devices and, best of all, you may be able to cut your heating and cooling bills in half.
- Think about your local climate and what you want to achieve. Is it more important to limit heat loss in winter or heat build-up in summer?
- Consider how easy it will be to install insulation. The easiest time is during construction or
- Factor in long-term savings. Overhauling your home insulation may seem expensive and time-consuming, but it can pay for itself in less than five years in the form of reduced
"Overhauling your home insulation can pay for itself in less than five years"
- If you have existing insulation that is inefficient, consider adding another, thicker layer to improve its performance.
- Make sure you insulate all areas of the home—floors as well as ceilings and walls—completely. A five per cent gap can reduce potential benefits by up to 50 per cent.
- To maximize the effects of insulation, check that all air outlets, such as
There are two main types of insulation materials, which can be used separately or together.
This is usually made from aluminum foil laminated onto paper or plastic. It works by reflecting and resisting heat. It is highly effective at preventing summer heat gain via the roof.
It works by trapping small pockets of air, which in turn inhibit heat flow. It can be made from a variety of materials including fibreglass, wool and cellulose fibre, and comes in several forms such as batts, loose fill and boards.
Products combining the two types of insulation are available. For example, you can buy foil-backed blankets or foil-backed batts.
Loose fill is used mainly for flat ceilings and confined spaces. Batts and rolls can be use for ceilings, pitched roofs, walls and floors. Look for biodegradable materials with no health risks.
- Avoid loose-fill bulk insulation if your roof space is draughty; alternatively, apply a sealant to its top surface to hold it in place.
- Keep bulk insulation dry at all times. If condensation is a problem, fit a "
"Look for biodegradable materials with no health risks"
- When working with fiberglass and rock-wool fibres, wear protective clothing and a mask as the fibres can irritate the skin, nose and eyes.
- If fitting insulation over wiring, check with a licensed
- As well as adding insulation, you should seal all gaps and holes.
- If you see light around a door or window, or hear whistling, the air may be getting in and out. To find less obvious leaks, wet your hand and hot it in front of doors,
- Draughtproof doors and windows with a foam strips or permanent mouldings.
"Latex- and silicone-based sealants are the latest toxic"
- .Use a permanent draught excluder or "door sausage" to seal a gap at the bottom of a
- Seal narrow gaps with foam seals or mouldings. If that isn’t possible, use a liquid caulking compound. Latex- and silicone-based sealants are the latest toxic. Exterior caulking products may emit toxic fumes.
- Window panes cause up to 20 per cent of heat loss in
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