Insulation works by restricting the flow of heat or sound through walls, ceilings or floors. Uninsulated homes are at risk of higher heating or cooling costs as they loose valuable heat during winter and gain unwanted heat over summer .
Heat and sound can pass through any material, however, some materials are more resistant than others. While metal, glass and air easily allow the transfer of heat or sound, materials such as animal fur, thick clothing, and even still air, are more resistant.
Materials known to significantly resist the flow of heat or sound are called insulators or insulation and are installed into ceilings, floors and walls to minimise the need for heating and cooling or to soundproof your home.
Tips for winter
Installing insulation in your ceilings, floors and walls does not completely protect your home from heat loss. To keep your house warm in winter, you also need to ensure large areas of glass, wall vents, and gaps and cracks in external doors and windows are appropriately covered or sealed to stop warm air from leaking out.
Tips for summer
To keep your home cool in summer, good quality insulation in the ceiling, floors and walls should be combined with appropriate shading of windows and good ventilation to prevent hot air from entering and being trapped inside the home.
Thermal insulation is given an R value which measures the level of thermal resistance of the material. The higher the R value, the higher the level of insulation provided. It is important to consider the climate of your region before choosing the R value that is right for your home.
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