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There is nothing worse than trying to sleep when it’s hot. A house, due to its shape and design, lets in the heat and cold depending upon the season. This can make it hard to maintain a comfortable environment. When a house has little or no insulation, heat or cold is transferred through the walls and ceiling into the house. When trying to cool or heat your house, the constant heat transference can make your heating and cooling systems work more and become a costly exercise.

In winter, insulation is like a jumper for your home. It adds an extra layer that will stop the heat from inside the home leaking out. This will make your home easier to heat and stay warm which saves you money. In summer, the insulation acts like a screen to stop the heat from entering the house making it easier to keep cool.

The effectiveness of insulation is measured as an “R Value”. This is the “Reflective Value” of the insulation and it’s efficiency. Currently (2015) the minimum R value used in housing, as stipulated by the government, is R4.0. With the updated building codes now stating that a house must meet a 5 star energy efficiency rating for compliance, insulation is a cost effective and proven way to save you money and help the environment whilst meeting the energy efficiency rating.

To help achieve this 5 star energy rating, insulation can be installed in roofs, ceilings, walls and in some houses, under floors. To meet these different applications, there are various types of insulation and materials.

Insulation Types

The main types of insulation are:
- Cellulose: This is an older form of insulation that is gradually being phased out. Cellulose is made from recycled paper that has been treated with boric acid to help prevent fires. Whilst it does reduce the flammability of the insulation, it is still flammable and prone to movement through the roof. Cellulose can only be installed above the ceiling.
- Fibreglass Batts: This is the most common type of batts used. Batts are relatively inexpensive and can be installed easily. Once installed the batts do not move and have a very low maintenance requirement. These batts are often made from recycled glass.
- Polyester Batts: With the same properties as fibreglass batts, polyester batts are a slightly more expensive alternative.
- Sheeps wool: Made out of wool, these batts are heavier than fibreglass batts but provide a natural alternative. These batts are also more expensive.
- EPS: Expanded Polystyrene Foam: This product is extremely light and versatile in it’s application. These can be used in applications where rigid or loose fill installation is required. This product is very useful for wall insulation and can contain graphite and termicide for increased insulation and to help repel termites.
- Reflective Foil: This is a thin foam sheet with foil adhered on both sides. This product is popular as a under sheet insulation for tin roofs. It can also be installed in walls to increase the insulation rating.

An experienced and registered installer will be able to help you decide which insulation product and where to install it, to help meet your needs and budget. With a variety of products available, including cavity insulation for walls, insulating your home will make it more comfortable and save you money.

Choosing an Insulation Installer

When choosing a insulation installer, there are a few basic checks that you need to do to ensure a quality job with little stress.
1. Experienced & Registered? An experienced and registered insulation installer will ensure a quality job that is compliant with government regulations. Whilst licensing details do vary from state to state, ensure you check with your local building or trades commission to get the exact details.
2. Are they insured? Check to insure that the insulation installer has the relevant insurance coverage for themselves and any work they do. This includes Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance.
3. Correct Paperwork. Written quotes and guarantees, certificates of installation are a few of the necessary documents that the insulation installers can provide. These should be provided at the completion of the job and before the insulation installer leaves the jobsite. These documents ensure that the work has been done by a qualified insulation installer and may be required for insurance, building inspections or on resale of your home.
4. Safety: An experienced and registered insulation installer will ensure that your insulation is installed in a manner which is safe and not create a danger to your house and family.
As with any other trade, ensure you understand what the insulation installer will be doing before they commence the job, how long it will take and the costs. Finally, ensure you get multiple quotes for your job and ensure the quotes are based on the same information for ease of comparison.