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Sound advice on choosing insulation

With longer days and drier weather, the summer months are a great opportunity to start on that home renovation you may have been putting off.

For those who decide to knuckle down, it’s easy to get caught up in visible features of your improved home, but what about the features you don’t see?

With benefits ranging from sound proofing to improved comfort throughout the seasons, home insulation is an element that should be near the top of the list, according to Knauf Insulation Technical Product Manager Guy Manthel.

“Installing insulation is one of the most valuable investments a homeowner can make, as it will keep homes cool in summer and warm in winter,” he said.

“On average, households with ceiling, wall and under-floor insulation can save around $450 per year on energy bills while maintaining a comfortable internal temperature all year-round.

“Insulation will also absorb sound transfer in external and internal walls, helping to separate the home into peaceful areas that suit everyone’s needs.”

For those considering what type of insulation they should install in their home, Mr Manthel said the most commonly used was glasswool, which was specifically manufactured for ceiling, wall and underfloor application.

“Walls provide limited space for the insulation, so a product with a higher density is used to increase performance,” he said.

“Ceilings generally have more space, so a lighter but thicker product is used to obtain maximum thermal performance.

“Under floors can have unique challenges, with some products incorporating facings and silicone technology to better suit this application.”

Mr Manthel said to keep in mind that not all glasswool products were the same, and recommended doing your own research.

“For example, Earthwool is a safe and sustainable product that is made using up to 80 per cent recycled glass,” he said.

If you are looking to install insulation in your new build as opposed to an established home, Mr Manthel said to talk to your designer about your specifications.

“It is important to understand that the building code requirements are only minimum standards,” he said.

“If you want a superior high-performing build, you should maximise the product R-values and challenge your designer to increase the thermal performance.”

“If you’re building a new house you should consider acoustic insulation; it is easy and relatively inexpensive to do at the time of construction and is very affective in blocking unwanted noise.”

For people looking to take a DIY approach when it came to installing insulation in their home, Mr Manthel said to pay attention to safety instructions and to wear the appropriate PPE.

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