Victoria is currently the only Australian state or territory with a minimum insulation requirement, but installing high performance insulation is well worth it in the long run. Here are some examples of what insulation can do in your home:
- Improve energy efficiency
- Keep heating and cooling bills down
- Regulate ambient temperature
- Soundproof between rooms
- Act as a fire retardant
Insulation can be made from many different materials. The more common fibres are glass wool, rock wool, natural wool, Styrofoam, polyester, polystyrene and cellulose. Some less common insulating fibres are wood, cannabis, cotton, flax, cork and straw. Aerated concrete and soil can also be used. Insulation comes in batt, blanket, board and loose fill form.
If your home is already built but you would like to improve its insulation, you can easily have extra insulation installed in two ways. You can either have your interior wall cladding removed and have insulation batts, blankets or boards installed, or have loose fill insulation blown into wall cavities through small holes. Blowing in loose fill insulation tends to be the more cost effective method - the price of removing your wall cladding is likely to be expensive, negating future energy savings.
Hire a professional
Insulation must be installed by a professional tradesman, who will first carry out an inspection of your walls to ensure they are strong enough to support the extra weight. They will also evaluate which type of insulation is best for your home - for example, damp climates require insulation that won’t submit to mould. Professional installation will also prevent damage to wiring, and help prevent the risk of fire (especially in roof cavities).
Insulation is a very easy way to improve the comfort of your home. Regardless of the minimum building requirements, allocating part of your budget to the best insulation you can afford will definitely pay off in the long term.