Your guide to home insulation (and how to know if you have enough)
Home insulation is one of the first steps you should take on when creating a sustainable home. It’s one of the best ways you can save on energy bills, make your home more comfortable and help protect the environment.
But as important as it is, it can be a bit confusing. If you don’t have insulation installed, how do you know what you should get? Or, if you have it, how do you know if it’s enough? Let’s walk you through the basics so you can be confident in making sure you have what you need.
What is home insulation?
Home insulation is the material that is used to reduce the amount of heat that is lost or gained by a home. It is typically installed in the ceilings, walls, and floors of a home to create a barrier between the inside and outside of the home. It’s like a warm blanket for your home in winter keeping the heat in, or a cooler bag for your home in summer keeping the heat out.
How to find the current insulation level of your home
Even if you know you have home insulation, to get the most benefit from it you need to be certain you have enough. That means you need to measure it, but that can be easier said than done. While insulation can be measured by the thickness of the material, insulation in your home is usually in places that are hard to reach and measure. So, here’s another way:
- Check your energy bills: High energy bills could be a sign that your home is not well-insulated, as you are losing heat or cool air through your walls, windows and doors, making your air con system work overtime. Check your energy usage against the average at your location. Then, have a look to see how your energy use changes with the seasons. If your bills are higher than average and even more so during winter and summer, you might need to improve your insulation.
- Talk to an expert: If your energy bills are high or if you are unsure about the insulation level of your home, you can hire a professional energy auditor to assess your home and provide recommendations for improving its energy efficiency.
Why is insulation important?
Getting your home insulation right is an easy way to keep your family comfortable at home while knowing you’re doing your part for the environment. Plus it’s good for your hip pocket. Home insulation helps with:
- Energy efficiency: Insulating your home can help to reduce your energy bills by preventing heat loss or gain through the walls, ceilings, and floors. This can help to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, reducing the need for heating and cooling.
- Comfort: Insulating your home can help to create a more comfortable living environment by reducing drafts and temperature fluctuations.
- Environmental impact: By reducing your energy consumption, insulation can help to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable home.
- Noise reduction: Insulation can also help to reduce noise from outside sources, such as traffic or airplanes.
How is insulation measured?
Home insulation is measured by its R-Value. R-value is a measure of a material's resistance to heat flow. It is commonly used to rate the insulation value of building materials, such as insulation used in walls, ceilings, and floors. The higher the R-value, the more effective the material is at insulating.
The R-value of a material is determined by its thickness, density, and conductivity. We’ve shared more information about R-Value here. It’s always a good idea to talk with a professional installer so they can help you determine the appropriate R-value for your home. You can find a trusted insulation installer for your home in our marketplace listing.
Cost and potential savings for installing insulation
Just like homes come in all different shapes and sizes, so does insulation. The cost of installing insulation in your home will depend on several factors such as; the type of insulation you choose, the size of your home, and how easy it is to access your walls, ceiling, and floors (because the harder the work, the more time and effort it will take).
As a guide, you should expect the potential cost to range from $40-$100 per square metre for labour and supplies. While that means the total cost of insulating your home will likely be in the thousands, you should remember that properly installed insulation can save homeowners up to 45% on their energy bills and should pay for itself in around five or six years. Plus, with a Brighte loan you can spread the upfront cost of the installation over time while enjoying the rewards of a more energy efficient home today.
How to choose the right installer
Although you can DIY, insulating your home is best carried out by a professional who can analyse your home insulation requirements and install it properly and safely.