Are you renovating or simply looking to improve the comfort levels in your home? Adding or replacing insulation could be the perfect way to do it.
The great thing is, most insulation can be installed pretty easily, as long as you follow a few basic tips. Read on to learn more about insulation, and how you can easily improve your homes liveability.
Why Should You Install Insulation?
There are a couple of reasons to consider installing insulation in your home. Firstly, it helps you keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter by trapping air where you want it. As a result, the comfort level of your home is increased.
Insulation can also serve as a cushioning for sound. It won’t completely soundproof your home, but it does limit the transfer of noise.
Finally, installing good insulation saves you money. You’ll spend less on air conditioners because they won’t have to work as hard to maintain your desired temperature.
Choosing the Right Insulation
The first thing to learn is that all insulation comes with an ‘R’ rating, signifying their resistance to heat loss.
Depending on the part of the home you’re insulating, you’ll need a different thickness of insulation (or ‘R’ rating).
When choosing the right ceiling insulation batts, look for a rating between 2.5 – 6.0. Your wall cavities aren’t as deep as the ceiling, so for the walls you want a rating of 1.5 – 2.7. Finally, floor insulation should be a rating of 1.7.
We should note that the thickness required for ceiling insulation can vary significantly. Check out the depth of the ceiling area you need to insulate, and this should help you choose the right size.
Take All Necessary Safety Precautions
While insulation is easy to install, it doesn’t come without risk. Firstly, if you’re climbing into your roof, always have a sturdy ladder and take care when climbing up and down.
As for protective gear, at a minimum you should have a thick pair of gloves (gardening gloves will do), and also some protective eye goggles and a face mask.
Many people also choose to cover themselves from head to toe, because insulation batts can shed tiny particles that cause irritation. Your local hardware store should have disposable full-body suits available for a small price.
Tips for Older Homes
If you’re installing insulation in an old home, it’s not always as easy as doing it in modern homes. Here’s a few things to consider.
Measure first: In most homes, the space available in wall and roof cavities are much the same, and most batts will fit. Occasionally the sizes can be different in older homes, so always check and measure before rushing out to buy insulation.
Smaller gaps: Especially in the roof cavity, keep an eye out for vents, chimneys and other gaps where air can escape. Make sure you insulate around these too.
Doors and windows: Check around the doors and windows of older homes because there are often air leaks. Weatherstripping can be a great cure for escaping air.
Ask for Help if You Need It
It’s great that insulation is so easy to install, however there are some circumstances where you may need help. For example, if you can’t access your wall cavities, blow-in insulation might be required.
This is best done by professionals in order to minimize the damage done to walls. Also, you need a special machine to blow the insulation in, so it’s a lot easier to call the experts.
Underfloor insulation is another job you may need some professional advice about, because it’s another hard to reach area. If at any stage you’re unsure, the best thing to do is contact your local insulation experts for help or advice.