Installing thermal insulation in your home is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption and save money on your power bill year round.
Thermal insulation products are made from materials such as glasswool or polyester which are effective at slowing down the flow of heat. That means on a hot day, insulation will help keep your home cooler and during winter insulation will keep your home feeling warmer.
With better temperature regulation, you’ll find that you don’t need to turn the heater or air conditioner on as often. And when you do, having insulation will mean your heater and air conditioner don’t have to work as hard and won’t consume as much energy. That means greater savings on your power bill!
Check out the awesome ideas below for ways to reduce energy consumption and save money with insulation.
The roof is where the greatest heat loss and gain occurs in a home. More than any other area of your house, ensuring your roof is insulated will make the biggest difference to indoor temperatures and energy usage.
Roof insulation is usually installed during construction and renovation phases when the ceiling cavity is exposed. However, if your home has safe and convenient access to the roof, you can install insulation at any time.
Check out the existing insulation in your roof. It may be possible to install new insulation over the old insulation if it’s in fair condition. If you notice any damages to the old insulation, any moisture or mould issues or rodent infestations, you should clear out the old insulation first and then install the new.
The best time to install insulation in your walls is during the renovation phase when wall cavities are exposed. If you are planning a major renovation, make sure you think about upgrading your insulation as you won’t get another chance once the walls have been plastered!
Insulation batts are the most effective way to insulate your home. They are typically made from glasswool (fibreglass) or polyester and come pre-cut to fit between the timber joists of most Australian homes. Insulation batts are easy to handle and can be installed as a DIY project or by a professional. If you’re planning a DIY installation, make sure you read up on the best practices to ensure a safe and effective result.
While you’re at it, consider choosing acoustic insulation for your walls. Acoustic insulation batts will still provide you with the thermal benefits, but they’ll also prevent the transfer of noise so you can keep your home quiet and peaceful. Acoustic insulation is great for between floors of multi-storey homes too.
The best way to get more out of your insulation is to choose a higher R-Value. This number indicates the effectiveness of an insulation product. Or in other words, how much insulating power it has. The higher the R-Value, the better the product is at slowing down heat flow and the more potential savings you’ll make.
Experts recommend installing at least R4.0 in the ceiling for warmer climates like Perth and Brisbane and at least R5.0 if you live in a cooler climate like Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide. By choosing to upgrade to R6.0, your home will be even better at regulating temperatures. And when you switch the air con on, it’ll cool your home faster and more efficiently. That means less money spent on your power bill.
Already ticked off the home insulation and looking for other ways to make your house more energy efficient? Try insulating your hot water system tank and pipes!
Modern hot water storage tanks are usually made with in built insulation, but adding extra insulation in the form of a jacket can help minimise heat loss. If your water stays warmer, you won’t be wasting energy on continually heating it up.
Your hot water system pipes transport water from the storage tank to the taps inside your home. During the transportation, heat can be lost out of the walls of the pipes. Pipe lagging is special insulation for pipes.
When you install pipe lagging around your hot water pipes, less heat will be lost, making your hot water system more energy efficient and ensuring you get lovely hot water when you need it. It’ll also protect the system so that it lasts longer – another way hot water system insulation will help you save!
Anywhere that air can get into your home, heat can escape or creep in too. You’ll notice that if you leave a door open on a hot day, your house will heat up much faster. In addition to installing insulation in your walls, ceiling and floors, you should draught proof your house to seal up any unwanted gaps around your home.
Start by checking around windows and doors and any piping that goes from the inside to the outside of your home. Sealing gaps is fairly easy and can be done as a quick DIY project by using an inexpensive sealant to fill in any gaps.
Consider using door socks / door stoppers at the base of your doors to prevent heat loss and gain through the gap under your doors. When you turn your air conditioner on in one room, shut the doors and place a door stopper to make your cooling more energy efficient.
According to the Australian Government’s website Your Home, installing insulation in your ceiling could cut your power bill by 30% and installing insulation in your walls could cut your bill by as much as 25%! Draught sealing may reduce your home’s energy consumption by 10-20%.
What’s more, the payback period of insulation can be as quick as a couple of years. You’ll feel the temperature difference immediately and you’ll be saving on your power bill in no time.