If you can’t stand the heat, it’s time to insulate.

By Shoko McKay
January 24, 2020

Increasing your comfort levels in summer and reducing energy consumption can be achieved in a weekend.

Traditionally, insulation has been something home owners think about during colder months, as we head indoors and seek ways to stay warm.

However, insulation can play a significant role in summer, cooling your home and helping to reduce energy bills.

Knauf Insulation, a global manufacturer of insulation materials for residential and commercial buildings, has started to see an increasing number of people insulating their homes during summer, says marketing manager Claire Cunliffe.

“After Christmas is a peak season as people tend to spend a bit more time in their home over the festive period and experience the heat extremes,” Cunliffe says.

Insulation can be installed in walls, ceilings and floors and “helps to keep a house cool by acting as a barrier to slow heat from entering the home,” she says.

Once installed, home owners may rely less on artificial forms of cooling, and heating in winter, which can help lower energy bills, she says.

Cunliffe says insulation requires no maintenance and will perform for the lifetime of a building, with home owners starting to see a saving on energy costs.

In 2013, the benefits of insulating for Australia’s climate were put to the test in the remote Queensland town of Birdsville.

The town had made headlines around the world for breaking record top temperatures as thermometers reached 49 degrees. For 31 consecutive days, Birdsville recorded temperatures of 40 degrees or more.

To ‘help Australia’s hottest town keep cool’ Knauf Insulation decided to insulate every Birdsville home, business and community building for free.

More than 8000 square metres of Earthwool insulation – the size of a football field – was transported 1500 kilometres by road train from Brisbane.

“The Birdsville initiative was a great opportunity for us to show how insulation can help keep a home cool in summer,” Cunliffe says. “It also allowed us to help home owners realise the benefits of installing insulation in their homes to make them comfortable, energy-efficient and healthy.

With buildings insulated, Cunliffe says Birdsville residents “certainly felt an improvement in the comfort of their home and saw energy bills reduce by about 20 per cent”.

Knauf Insulation offers a range of glass wool batts, the most common material used for home installation.

Earthwool insulation is popular with DIYers as the material is soft and easy to handle. Made using recycled glass, it has a high thermal performance, absorbs sound and contains no added formaldehyde.

A ceiling can typically take about half a day to insulate, depending on the size of the space, Cunliffe says.

Glass wool insulation being itchy is a misconception, she says.

“Earthwool insulation is made using an advanced technology that produces insulation that is softer and more comfortable to handle.”

As well as instructions on the packaging and web site, Knauf Insulation has DIY videos for installing insulation in walls, floors and ceilings.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald and The Age - 19th January 2020