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.