What is glasswool insulation?
Australian Made Quality Glasswool insulation is a product made from molten glass which is then processed by a spinning process into fibres a bit like cotton wool. These fibres are then compressed into the various R rating batts. When manufactured by a careful and trustworthy manufacturer the weight of fibres and size of the batts are carefully calculated and controlled so the rating claimed can be guaranteed.
What other options do I have to choose from?
There are many different types of insulation available and all will have various "R" rating options available. The most common of these are Polyester, Cellulose Fibre and Sheeps Wool insulation. Some types of insulation do not have a life guarantee and other safety features we would look for in our home. We believe it pays to research all the products available before making the all important decision of which product suits you best. For ideas on what you should check for see our safety and quality page.
How does Quality Insulation work?
Australian made quality glasswool insulation is composed of millions of fibres which are poor conductors of heat. These fibres criss-cross each other to form tiny air cells which slow down the transfer of heat through the insulation.
The thicker or denser the insulation is, the more it resists the flow of heat through it. This resistance is measured by the R-value of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation and higher the level of comfort in your home.
Whilst some insulation materials can pack down or settle over time, Australian made quality glasswool is guaranteed to maintain its R-value for the life of your home.
To put it in a nutshell.
Insulation is like a heat barrier. Keeping heat in during the colder times of year and out during the hotter. Every barrier has its limit of strength. In insulation this is your R rating. The higher rating you install the greater ability your insulation has to prevent heat transfer.
Insulation is most effective when it is installed like a blanket. Every hole or gap in reduces the effectiveness of that blanket. It works the same as it would if you were to cut holes in the blanket or doona on your bed or open a window in winter.
How does installing insulation save energy and help the environment?
Heating and cooling accounts for almost 40% of energy usage in the average home. By stopping up to 70% of all heat transfers, air conditioners and heaters can be used more efficiently with reduced running costs.
Energy used for home power consumption is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Reducing your consumption of energy is a very positive action and environmentally responsible.
Australian made quality glasswool insulation is manufactured with up to 80% recycled glass content helping to save energy in manufacture and reduce landfill.
Where can I install insulation and what is best to use there?
Traditionally insulation was installed only in ceilings. There are many products and ratings on the market that can be used in ceilings. Currently there are batts with as high a rating as an R6 available. Different roof styles and types can limit the rating you can install. Otherwise it is usually recommended to install the highest rating you can afford.
There are also insulation blankets which are mostly used in sheds and commercial applications but can also be used in domestic homes. If blanket is installed it usually means you can install a lower rating batt on the ceiling.
Insulation is now also installed in walls, underfloors and between levels. Usually wall insulation is installed underfloors as the stiffener in the wall insulation helps prevent gravity induced sagging of the batts which reduces their benefit. Between levels acoustic sound insulation is recommended to be installed.
What "R" value is best for my home?
The building code of Australia has recently included energy efficiency provisions for new homes which serve as a minimum standard. These provisions are intended to bring new homes in Australia up to a minimum of the currently required star standard and therefore are a guide to existing homes also. These standards include a recommended minimum rating for walls and ceilings which are designed to work together to create a comfort level in your home.
While it is easy to include or upgrade insulation in the ceiling of existing homes it is very difficult to add insulation to existing exterior walls. If your home's exterior walls are currently uninsulated you are strongly recommended to use higher levels of ceiling insulation.
For the Mildura, Swan Hill, Broken Hill, Hopetoun and Riverland areas the minimum recommendations in this building code are:
Walls - with wall wrap (foil) R1.5 batts or without foil R2.0 batts
Pitched roof & flat ceiling - R3.5 batts
Our recommendation would be to upgrade your current ceiling insulation with this minimum suggestion. When upgrading insulation you place another layer of insulation over the already existing one. As the weight of the top batt can eventually slightly squash the lower batt and reduce its current rating it is always advisable to top up to a higher initial level than you want to sustain over the long term.
For example; if you currently have R2.5 insulation; dont want to put the R3.5 over the top but you wish to boost it to achieve a R4.0 rating the difference is R1.5. However we would recommend you upgrade with an R2.0 or R2.5 batt to ensure you have at least a minimum of an R4.0 rating over the life of the home by allowing for this squash factor.
What "R" ratings are available?
Australian made quality installers have a great range of options. However the most commonly used are purchased are...
R1.5 and R2.0 glass wool wall batts with stiffener for standard basic protection
R2.5 High Performance glasswool wall batts for additional protection or to achieve the required star rating.
Any of the above wall batts can also be used in an under floor application but only the R2.5 would be considered the basic possibility to be installed between levels in multi story homes. For this application you are advised to consider the acoustic range.
R3.5 and R4 glass wool ceiling batts for standard basic ceiling installations
R5.0 and R6.0 high performance batts for ceilings for extreme conditions or to achieve the required star rating.
Common uses for each "R" rating and guidelines to help you chose the rating you wish to achieve.
R1.5 & R2.0
Glasswool wall batts are most commonly used in both internal and external walls where acoustic protection is not also required. see our acoustic insulation page
However they are also used in cathedral ceilings where the cavity gap is not large enough to take a ceiling batt. In this instance many turn to either the High performance R2.5 wall batt or look into the acoustic insulation batt range for higher rating options. Even though they do not need the acoustic protection in this range you can obtain a higher thermal insulation rating in a thinner acoustic batt.
They are often used under wooden floored homes to cut winter chills.
The final application for these batts is to upgrade existing lower rating insulation to a more efficient level.
R2.5 High Performance batts are mainly used today in walls to assist homes achieve their star ratings. However they are also a great option for cathedral ceilings where the gap is not large enough to install a higher rating ceiling batt and to top up already existing insulation to higher and more efficient ratings. They can be used under wooden floors and are sometimes required for new or transported wooden floored homes to meet their star requirements.
R3.5 and R4
Glasswool ceiling batts are the most common choices today. R3.5 is considered your basic entry level insulation and most people are installing R4 or above according to budget limits or the minimum building requirements of your new home if you are building.
R5.0 and R6.0
High performance batts for ceilings have been around a few years now and are often required to meet a new homes star rating. Although less commonly installed in older homes an increasing number of people are paying the additional cost to upgrade to this different technology in a bid to reduce soaring energy bills.
The manufacture of these batts has been bought about by public and energy rating demand. As more and more people become environmentally conscious they request higher and higher ratings so they can achieve greater levels of year round home comfort. In addition the advent of a home having to achieve a minimum star home energy requirement has helped to create this need.
If a home is required to have a guaranteed R6 rating of insulation you needed to go even higher to ensure this in the long term if you were double stacking batts. Eg: 2 x R3.5. The height of these double stacked batts created issues for future trades peoples safety. This also contributed to the high density range being created.
The additional investment required to acquire these batts is due to the different technology required to achieve the density and guaranteed R rating in the thinner batt. These benefits help to provide greatly increased resistance to the transmission of heat by using a slightly different technique to the traditional glasswool.
However in saying that they are still a glasswool batt and achieve all the same safety ratings. If you have an existing very cold or very hot home it could be well worth the additional outlay with the long term comfort and energy savings gained.
You deserve the best....
When it comes to your comfort, don't compromise, choose Australian Made Quality Insulation. It will keep you and your family comfortable all year round, lower your energy bills and reduce your home's impact on the environment.
|Quality Australian made insulation has the following all important safety features;
- Four zero fire rating - the highest achievable
- Low allergen ratings - suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers
- Contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution as they save energy in Australian homes
- Are manufactured in a way that makes them safe for you to install in your new or existing home with confidence.
- Use large percentages of recycled glass thereby helping to reduce land fill congestion.
- Guaranteed to perform and last the life of your home when installed correctly according to manufacturers
- Do not rot or decay.
For more detail see our "safety and quality" page.
Australian Made Quality Insulation.....
Now... that's a smart choice!
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