There are many options when it comes to choosing insulation. Making the right decision depends on your location, situation, budget, need for soundproofing, area temperature and whether you’re renovating or building a new home. To choose the best insulation for you, consider the points below.
Are you building a new home or renovating an existing home?
If you’re building a new home, you have plenty of options and can use any type of insulation you want, as long as it meets the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements. If you’re renovating an existing home, it can be more difficult to insulate, as many of the cavities that would usually hold the insulation are sealed off. Holes can be drilled into walls, to get blow-in insulation into the wall cavity, without ripping out your walls, but this isn’t always possible or appropriate in every situation.
What is your home constructed from?
When it comes to dense building materials like concrete and brick, thermal mass is important. These materials can store heat, then release it later, long after the surrounding temperature has dropped. Using double glazing on your windows, can also contribute to how temperature is regulated inside the home and how much heat is allowed in.
What climate are you in?
Depending on what climate you live in, you may want insulation that’s designed to keep heat in, keep it out, or for there to be a balance between the two. Australia has a number of climate zones and understanding what your zone requirements are, will help you prioritise and will help to determine the R-value you need to achieve. Bulk insulation is increasingly important in northern climates, because more people now use air conditioning, creating bigger temperature differences between the outside and the inside of home.
What R-value do you need to achieve?
The BCA has a minimum requirement for all new homes that must be met. The overall R-value of your home is determined by many factors, so you will need to have the home privately assessed and make improvements if you fall short of the required R-value. It is recommended that you exceed the minimum requirements as the rising cost of energy will only increase your heating and cooling bills, which is also a good reason to retrofit a home which might not have insulation, or a home where the existing insulation is failing. Plan wisely, as this can be a more expensive operation.
Is soundproofing required?
If you live near an area with a lot of background noise, you might want to consider including soundproofing in your home. Other areas that you may want to seclude, such as home theatres are also good choices for soundproofing insulation. The amount and type of soundproofing insulation you need depends on the frequency and level of noise you want to isolate. Most thermal insulation already provides a certain amount of soundproofing, but if sound is a particular concern, you’ll need to choose carefully with the help of professionals.