Home Design Guides: Climate control

Safe installation and use of gas appliances

If you're planning on installing a gas cooktop or other gas kitchen appliance, it's important that it's installed properly, and serviced regularly by a qualified gasfitter. Here's what to look for.

Roof insulation

Your roof is extremely important when it comes to insulation. Not only does the sun beat down on it all day, but it also helps prevent warmth from escaping in winter. Find out how to insulate your roof.

Wall insulation

Thermal insulation is particularly important for walls too. How well your walls are insulated can make a serious difference to how hot your house gets - particularly for east and west facing walls.

Floor insulation

Find out how effective under-floor insulation and concrete slab insulation is for conserving energy and keeping your home cool or warm.

Door insulation

Not all doors are created equal - some will allow lots heat in or out of your home through the body of the door, and allow air to pass around the edges. Find out what makes for a well-insulated door.

Window insulation

Windows are responsible for most of the natural heat loss or heat gain in most homes. Find out how to effectively insulate your home's windows and glass doors.

Cellulose insulation

Cellulose insulation is made from plant fibres, and is used to insulate wall and roof cavities. Cellulose insulation does an excellent job of controlling heat at a good price, and is highly versatile.

Glass wool insulation

Glass wool is made from fibreglass, and is available either as rolls of insulation, or as batts or blanketing. Glass wool is relatively inexpensive, and as a result it's sometimes layered for improved insulating performance.

Rock wool insulation

Also known as 'mineral wool', this type of insulation is made from rock spun into thin strands and then bound together. It's normally sold in rolls or batts, is inexpensive, and is relatively effective and easy to install.

Natural wool insulation

The ability of sheep's wool insulation to provide effective soundproofing comes down to how thick it is. Find out more about how sheep's wool insulation can be used for soundproofing.

Polystyrene insulation

Polystyrene is an increasingly popular insulation material, used either as a part of structural insulated panels (SIPs) or as individual blocks or sheets. Polystyrene is an excellent insulator, and is relatively inexpensive.

Structural insulated panels (SIPs)

SIPs are wall materials comprised of polystyrene sandwiched between two rigid panels. While they're not cheap, SIPs offer additional advantages in terms of thermal performance that go beyond their R values.

Polyurethane foam insulation

In the right form and circumstances, polyurethane foam insulation can work well as a soundproofing material - particularly for muting midrange noises like music and voices.

Straw bale insulation

People have been making houses from straw bales for centuries. Straw bales can be remarkably effective insulators, but straw bale homes must be expertly constructed to avoid the risk of fire or rot.

Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC)

AAC is concrete that contains many tiny air bubbles, making it 20% of the weight of regular concrete. AAC is an excellent insulator, and can also be used as a structural material.

What are R values?

R values are a way to assess how well thermal insulation works. Find out what's considered high and low where R values are concerned, and why there's more to insulation performance than just R values.

Thermal performance of different materials

Not all materials are equal as far as insulation goes - and even different forms of the same material can offer vastly different benefits. Find out how different materials stack up.

Bulk vs. reflective insulation

Heat is gained in a home in a couple of different ways, and for that reason different types of insulation are needed for different purposes. Find out what the difference is between bulk and reflective insulation.

How to insulate for different climates

Different climates require different sorts of insulation to make homes comfortable. Find out what sort of insulation is appropriate for your home and location, whether it's up in the tropics or in cooler southern states.

Building envelopes, draughts and ventilation

Good insulation means ensuring that there aren't any gaps in your insulation for air to seep through. At the same time, controlled ventilation in the right places may also be important to maintaining your insulation.