Working From Home – Be Honest. How Insulated Are You?

Adult working from home with toddler running around

Working from home does have its advantages.

But are you as comfortable as you should be?

You’ve got yourself all set up, but do you find you’re running the heater more in winter and overheating in summer? 

You may not have noticed it as much before now because you were at work for most of the day. But times have changed – and so have your monthly bills.

Whether you’re locked down because of COVID-19, or your workplace has moved to a more ongoing flexible schedule, the chances are your home is now bearing the brunt of increased foot traffic, noise, and energy bills.

Your home – and your ongoing energy budget – may not be able to handle all these added stresses, so it might be time to revisit just how well your insulation is performing.

And let’s face it, sadly you are not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

You should be out and about travelling, but you’re stuck at home. 

Why not spend your time and money doing some simple home maintenance?

Many people are using their yearly tax returns to reinvest in proper home insulation to ensure their lockdown digs are as comfortable as possible.

There’s More Than One Type of Insulation:

Roof Insulation

Without roof insulation you could be losing 35% of your heating/cooling capacity. That translates into 10 degrees cooler in summer and up to 7 degrees warmer in winter. Added benefits of roof insulation include lower damp conditions and mould and fire protection.

Top-up & Removal

The majority of homes built pre-2000 seriously need insulation repair, top-up or, in some cases, removal and reinstallation. Without attention to this important issue, homeowners are not gaining any benefits from their current insulation product. They are definitely paying way more for heating and cooling than they could be. Contact 4 Seasons for more information.

Wall Insulation

Without wall insulation you could be losing 25% of your heating/cooling capacity. And that’s without considering the power bills which are already costing you a fortune. Talk to 4 Seasons Home Insulation and find out about saving money while lowering energy consumption.

Existing Walls

Reduce noise transfer and increase the comfort of home and the efficiency of workplaces. 4 Seasons Home Insulation provides a series of products suitable for various levels of required acoustic insulation. Acoustic Insulation can help reduce noise transfer between:

  • Internal rooms i.e. between bedroom/bathroom or bedroom/living areas
  • Between the first and second floors in two-storey homes
  • Between apartments (in apartment living)
  • Dampen environmental noise from busy roads or aircraft

Underfloor

Without floor insulation you could be losing 20% of your heating/cooling capacity. With well-installed insulation you will:

  • Lower your energy consumption
  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions
  • Save on your electricity bills
  • Improve your comfort levels
  • Reduce the impact of mould
  • Minimise your reliance on heating and cooling systems.

4 Seasons Home Insulation gives you greater comfort, cheaper power bills, a smaller carbon footprint and a healthier home for your family.

Nearly half of Australians are now doing some work from home, and the latest evidence is that ‘WFH’ is here to stay.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to close offices and help workers find new ways to communicate and collaborate, according to new data from the Australia Talks National Survey 2021.  

The survey asked people how many hours they worked from home prior to the pandemic, at the height of the pandemic, and at present.

Working From Home Statistics In Australia

  • In June 2021, more people with jobs (37%) worked from home one or more times a week compared with before COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020 (24%). (ABS)
  • In June 2021, the aspects of life under COVID-19 restrictions Australians reported they would most like to see continue were: working from home (33%) and spending more time at home (24%). (ABS)
  • 90% of Australians want to keep working from home, in some capacity. (PwC)
  • By contrast, in 2015, working from home as part of flexible work arrangements represented just 13 per cent of the Australian workforce, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  • Before the pandemic, half of the respondents did absolutely no working from home: zero hours. Almost a third (31 per cent) did anywhere from an hour a day to eight hours or more. (ATNS, 2021)
  • But at the height of the COVID crisis, the “zero hours” group shrunk to just one third, as more people experimented with working from home. (ATNS, 2021)
  • The data suggests the workforce is now closer to an even split, with around 43 per cent of respondents working some hours at home, and 37 per cent working none. Twenty per cent responded that the question was not applicable. (ATNS, 2021)
  • The amount of people working from home full-time, eight hours or more per day, has tripled from 4 per cent previously to 12 per cent now. (ATNS, 2021)
  • The Families in Australia Survey: Towards COVID Normal found that among the employed survey respondents, 67% were sometimes or always working from home, compared to 42% pre-COVID.
  • According to a Roy Morgan Research survey released in June 2020, 32 per cent of working Australians were working from home at the peak of the economic lockdown. The figure was much higher for businesses whose employees typically worked in offices, led by finance and insurance (58 per cent of employees), public administration (51 per cent) and communications (47 per cent).
  • 4 in 5 Australian businesses say that remote work is here to stay long term, even as offices reopen nationwide.

The massive transition to remote work during the pandemic was a necessity for office-based companies that wanted to maintain operations. But the majority of companies want to continue with some form of remote work post-pandemic.

Telecommuting has been especially challenging, isolating and stressful, particularly for parents of young children.

Now, more than ever, Australians need to ensure their homes are doing the job for them and an insulation audit/update is a great way to look after your long-term health and wellbeing as you continue spending more time working from home.

Save up to $1000 per year with 4 Seasons Home Insulation. Effective, professional, guaranteed and an excellent investment that starts paying for itself immediately. Give us a call today for a free measure and quote and to discuss your insulation needs.


COVID-19 UPDATE

4 Seasons Home Insulation will be closely monitoring and adjusting our installing capabilities in line with Government imposed restrictions. For the safety of our installers and to ensure the financial longevity of the business, we are diverting installs to regional areas. Our installers are being tested for COVID-19 every 7 days and are wearing all appropriate PPE. We are closely monitoring the restrictions status in the Sydney region as we aim to resume installations as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. We value all our customers and want to structure our business in such a way that we are able to safely continue our work with little, to no risk of going into forced isolation. Office staff are working remotely, so please bear with us as we navigate our way through this difficult time. Area sales managers in the Sydney region will continue virtual quotes. Thank you for your patience and we look forward to assisting you in the near future.

Australia must insulate to beat Sweden

Map of Sweden

A stunning statistic shows Australia’s death rate from cold weather is higher than that of Sweden’s – but we can insulate against it.

The Healthy Homes for Renters campaign found every year 10,000 people die in Australia of causes attributable to the cold.

In Sweden, cold weather caused an estimated 3.9% of deaths, whereas in Australia it caused 6.5% (that’s one in 15 deaths), according to the Lancet medical journal.

Many Aussie homes are “just glorified tents” and we expose ourselves to far colder temperatures than the Scandinavians do.

Benefits Of An Insulated Home In Winter

It creates a protective barrier

You are kept warm in winter. Insulation blocks the cool air in winter, while keeping the warm air inside.

You save money on energy costs

Insulation works together with your heating appliances by taking the load off them, vastly reducing the length of running time required to heat your home. The impact on your power bills is dramatic.

It’s good for the environment

Consuming a lower amount of energy means a smaller carbon footprint. Environmentally-safe insulation materials are made from recycling of other components. 

Reduces damp and mould

Some premium products will lower condensation in your home. This creates healthier air and greater protection from the illness and allergies caused by damp and mould.

It improves your quality of life

Your home becomes more comfortable, more bearable and more inviting. 

Your Energy Rating improves

Homes built pre-2000 usually need insulation repair, top-up or removal and reinstallation. Homeowners with poorly installed insulation, often using inferior products, are getting no benefits at all.

Adding Insulation To An Existing Home 

Business development manager at 4 Seasons Home Insulation, Ross Kestle told The Fifth Estate the cost of retrofitting most existing homes with full insulation ranged from $9000-$15000, including ceiling, wall and floor insulation and draught elimination. 

“First priority is always the roof, then the walls, then the draughts, then the underfloor,” Mr Kestle said. 

Wall and floor insulation is as effective at improving thermal rating as ceiling, but Mr Kestle said roof insulation can be done in smaller homes for as little as $2000 and provides heat retention in the winter.

Click here to read the full article on The Fifth Estate.
Call us today and make your home winter-ready with 4 Seasons Home Insulation.

Energy Saving Tips For Your Home

Modern living room

There are some simple yet effective ways to insulate your home, which can significantly reduce heat gain during summer and heat loss during winter. And this leads to big savings on your energy bills.

Heating and cooling account for up to 50% of a typical home’s energy use(1). Without adequate insulation you can lose up to 35% of heat during winter and an equal amount of cooling during summer. Not only does this lead to higher energy bills, but you spend your time in a house that is a lot less comfortable to live in throughout the year.

summer heat gains without insulationwinter heat losses without insulation

Start with the roof..

Up to 35% of your energy loss happens through a poorly insulated roof. Insulating your loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills.

Get a professional to do the job

Unfortunately, if you don’t insulate the entire roof or attic properly, it might all be for nothing. Heat can pass through gaps in the insulation, timber joists, gables, chimneys, large gaps around exhaust fans, downlights and other areas making it largely ineffective

The roof area also needs to be inspected for potential leakages and moisture build-up.

Don’t forget the walls

Almost a third of all the heat transference in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls. By properly insulating cavity walls, you will save energy and cut costs off your energy bills.

And that leaves the floor!

People often focus on the walls and roof for insulation and rightly so, but the floor is also important. Particularly in the cooler months as you want to eliminate drafts. Underfloor insulation will impede temperature change, meaning it will be easier to maintain your desired ambient temperature.

Why conserve energy at all?

Energy conservation is beneficial for a variety of reasons. You can save money, you can increase the value of your property, and protect the environment all by utilising some simple energy-saving measures.

There are great benefits you can gain from saving energy no matter your exact motivation for conservation in the first place. But by simply taking a step towards living a more energy conscious life, you can begin to enjoy all of the perks of being energy efficient.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your insulation needs – 1300 331 366

1. Source: https://www.energy.gov.au/households/heating-and-cooling

4 Reasons To Get Your Insulation Professionally Installed – And Why You Should Avoid DIY

Worker insulating roof

With summer around the corner, and with ever-increasing energy bills, you may well be considering insulation for your home. You already know that proper insulation is a great way to cool the home, but here’s a fun fact; did you know that you can lose up to 80% in heating and cooling without adequate insulation? (1)

When it comes to installing insulation, there are a few important factors to consider.

▪ Compliance
▪ Safety
▪ R-Value
▪ Equipment

Let’s break them down;

Compliance

Insulation needs to be installed within the relevant safety standards and in compliance with the Building Code of Australia. This also includes meeting the minimum R-Values (more about that in a moment).

Safety & Accessibility

In addition to meeting the standards for insulation rating and installation, it also needs be installed with appropriate clearances around electrical wires, transformers and electrical appliances to avoid the risk of fire.

Climbing up into the ceiling crawl space can be fraught with danger – one wrong step in the roof could have you falling from a considerable height and result in an unscheduled trip to the hospital.

Similarly getting under the house is rarely an experience one would cherish, and it brings its own unique set of risks. Banging your head or getting cut on a piece of flashing are sure to ruin your day.

And let’s not forget that gaining access into the various nooks and crannies of your home increases the chance of encountering everything that bites, crawls and stings!

R-Value

We have a separate blog post explaining R-Value in detail, but put simply, R-Value is insulations ability to resist heat flow (preventing heat leaking in or out). Poorly laid insulation, such as overly compressing or damaging it, or leaving gaps between bats, can lower the R-Value of your product. With lowered efficiency, your energy bills are likely to be higher, therefore costing you more money in the long run.

Equipment

Depending on the type of insulation going into your home, there is some very specific equipment required for the job. Some insulation is actually pumped in and requires a blowing machine. Other types require special cutting tools. If you need to buy special tools simply for the installation, you’re already behind the eight ball in terms of cost efficiency.

In summary..

Although installing insulation might seem simple at first, it can actually be a dangerous and daunting task. There is also the consideration of compliance here in Australia, and significant safety risks for the DIY enthusiast.

Sleep better (and more comfortably!) knowing that your insulation was installed by a professional, and has a workmanship guarantee. Get in touch with us today for a free quote.

1. Source: Australian Government – http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/energy/heating-cooling/insulation

All About R-Values

Man insulating floorboards

As a homeowner researching the benefits of insulation you’ve probably stumbled across the term “R-Value”. But what is an R-Value and is it the most important aspect to consider for home insulation?

R-Value Explained

R-Value is simply a measure of resistance to heat flow, through a given thickness of material. Therefore, insulation is, at its core, meant to stop the movement of heat.

The essential “trick” with insulation is to stop the escape of heat in winter and to stop heat getting in during summer.

When it comes to an R-Value rating or number, the theory is that the higher the R-Value, the better the insulating effectiveness is. This may hold true when tested in a lab, but in the real world other factors come into play. Namely; temperature, moisture build-up and ageing.

In fact, newly laid insulation with a lower R-value can perform better than old insulation with a higher R-value. This is because the old insulation has likely accumulated moisture over time and has also lost a degree of density. How the insulation was installed is another key factor in terms of how well it performs.

Walls, ceilings and floors also have their own inherit R-Value. This value varies widely according to the type of ‘skin’ for example a double-brick wall or a brick veneer will have vastly different R-Values.

When installing insulation with a specific R-Value, its effectiveness can be affected by the heat flow through studs, joists and other building materials – a phenomenon known as thermal bridging.

DIY or Professional Installation?

When it comes to something as important as insulating your home, it really is better to leave it to the professionals.

Why?

Choosing the wrong material or simply not laying the right material properly, will severely impact the effectiveness of the insulation, and will in fact lower the R-Value – regardless of what the number reads on the packaging!

Poorly laid insulation can lead to higher energy bills and end up costing you more money.

Not using enough insulation and not having the right equipment to install the product are other common issues we see when it comes to a DIY installation.

In Summary..

So hopefully you now have an understanding of what an R-Value is, and why it isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to choosing insulation for your home or workplace.

Choosing the right material and the right quantity, along with an expert performing the installation will ultimately save you more money in the long run. You’ll have cheaper energy bills and peace of mind, knowing that the insulation that you paid for is working to its maximum potential.

Underfloor insulation – get the lowdown

Family lying on the floor

Living in an existing home or building new? Heating and energy experts agree that high-quality underfloor insulation is a great investment.

Imagine the picture – winter is settling in and your family is enjoying the benefits of professional wall and ceiling insulation. Your heating bills are massively reduced and the word of the day is Cosy.

Your doors and windows are properly covered and the good old draught-excluder is in place.

Yet, every now and then, a gasp of winter air sends a shiver up your spine. Why?

Chances are, the cold air is coming through gaps in your floorboards or rising up through an uncarpeted floor surface. You need underfloor insulation.

Greenstuf® from 4 Seasons

4 Seasons Home Insulation is the place to go and Australian-made Autex Greenstuf insulation material is the perfect solution for your home.

Made of 100% polyester (including at least 45% recycled polyester fibre), Greenstuf is recyclable at its end of life and completely free of added chemicals like formaldehyde-based binders or fibres.

Backed by a 50 Year Product Durability Warranty, Greenstuf exceeds Building Code of Australia requirements and is unaffected by moisture, mould or mildew. Greenstuf is naturally resistant to vermin and non-flammable.

Underfloor Insulation vs Underfloor Heating

People in cooler climates often consider floor heating to increase their comfort levels at home. Yet, without underfloor insulation, even underfloor heating is less effective. There is no point creating warmth without ensuring that that the warmth can’t escape.

According to https://underfloorheatingexpert.com, “Failing to lay it (underfloor insulation) can cause all sorts of nightmares further down the line and it’s often been the root cause of many peoples disappointment with their underfloor heating installation.”

Complete the Home Insulation Package

Enveloping your home with floor, ceiling and wall insulation is the way to guard against the discomfort of hot conditions in summer and cold conditions in winter.

Quality underfloor insulation will make your inside floor surface the same as your indoor temperature – cosy – instead of the ground temperature around your home, which will be several degrees lower. The same is true of summer temperatures.

Save money on expensive heating and cooling costs by investing in insulation and the huge difference it makes. Who knows? You may never need those fluffy slippers again!!

Speak to 4 Seasons Home Insulation to arrange a free inspection and quote on your home.

Wool Home Insulation Resists Vermin In Your Roof

Woolcell Roof Insulation

Wool home insulation may not be your first thought when considering pest management or fire readiness, so prepare yourself for some exciting information.

Following spells of wet weather, we often hear of nocturnal activity in the roof space keeping people awake: these noises usually come from rats and mice looking for cosy dry beds and ceiling goodies to gnaw on.  Alas, many insulation products provide just the sort of welcoming environment our rodent friends love.

The best insulation for controlling the crawlies is pump-in insulation which contains the additive borax to discourage nesting.

However many people don’t like the idea of loose insulation because of dust and the possibility of the pump-in material moving and thereby reducing its energy efficiency. What’s the solution?

The Answer is Woolcell, 20% wool home insulation

Woolcell is a wool-based natural active fibre, semi-bound insulation product. Developed in Western Australia, Woolcell binds the cellulose fibres together, keeping the product’s “loft” over the lifetime of the home, minimising movement and sagging over time.

With its inherent suitability for insulation (that is what it does on the sheep’s back after all!), wool home insulation helps the product breathe, minimising moisture and reducing mould and mildew.

Woolcell contains approximately 20% wool, combined with recycled newspaper containing added natural salts Borax and Boric acid to make it fire and vermin resistant.

Woolcell home insulation was even awarded a National Wool Invention Competition ‘Prize of Distinction’ and is CSIRO-tested for conformance to industry standards.

A Thing of Beauty

Wool stands out from other natural fibres.

It breathes and traps large columns of air that provide high resistance to heat flow, giving higher thermal and acoustic ratings over other insulators.

Wool home insulation is environmentally sustainable and consumes a very small number of processes and energy during production (it’s embodied energy).

No wonder it continues to be one of 4 Seasons’ biggest sellers.

Finally, Woolcell insulation does exactly what’s it meant to do: insulate your property in summer, winter and every time in between to efficiently manage your energy consumption for heating and cooling.  So not only will you have safe, properly-installed insulation, you’ll have peace of mind and less hard-earned money flying out of your bank account.  Read about more the benefits of roof insulation.

The only complaints will come from the rats.

Guess what? It’s February and it’s still summer

Cartoon penguin at the beach

Summer holidays are over, we’ve made it through December and January and we’re back into the routine of work and school.

Yet February is still officially summer and never fails to bring some scorchers along with it, as well as a few hints of the winter to come.

February 2016 and February 2017 take the gong for the hottest and second hottest recorded February conditions around the globe. Time will tell how February 2018 stacks up. So far, the month has been on the cool side.

This is no time to get complacent about insulating your home or upgrading old, existing insulation.

Whether heating or cooling your home, these are the essential things to consider:

  1. The temperature inside your house might be dramatically different to the temperature outside (the one online or announced on tv). Get into the habit of measuring temps inside and see the amazing difference with well-installed insulation.
  2. Which part of your house faces west? Western walls are the hottest in your house. Windows or doors on the western side will allow even more heat to affect the temperature inside your house.
  3. During summer, especially with daylight saving, we experience more hours of sunlight from the west plus higher temperatures, exposing our houses even more.
  4. During winter, reducing heat loss is the major concern. On cold days heat escapes through gaps and air leaks around windows, doors and construction joints. Sealing these weak points will make insulation more effective.
  5. It’s important to stop the heat and cold from getting inside in the first place. Good insulation will stop it from escaping even if you want it to.
  6. 4 Seasons Insulbloc installed inside existing walls is an immediate solution to the effects of hot and cold weather, no matter the season.

Arrange for a free onsite inspection of your home, to evaluate the benefits that insulation could bring.