Insulating existing homes (retrofit)

If your house has no insulation at all…

If your home does not have any ceiling insulation (in particular), then please contact us regarding a competitive rate for retro-fitting insulation. Ceiling insulation is one of the “no brainer” big ticket items as it makes such a drastic and immediate impact on your comfort levels all year round, saving approximately 40% of energy related costs. Adding a good layer of insulation can:

  • Add 6 to 7 degrees to the ambient temperature of your home in winter, and reduce temperatures by approx 5 degrees in summer.
  • Dramatically reduce window condensation.
  • Control mould and dust mites.
  • Allow heat to travel further throughout the house.
  • Provide an additional star rating for your house, which can increase the value of your house by $5500 (based on an Australian Government study in the Canberra housing market, 2008).
  • Save $100’s annual on electricity bills (heating and cooling)
  • Give a return on investment within 12-18 months.

If your home has no underfloor insulation, particularly in homes with exposed floorboards, then you are probably losing 20-30% of energy leakage through your floor, depending on the design and construction of your home. In southern states of Australia, it is often floor heat loss and draughts coming up through the cracks in the floorboard that is remedied by underfloor insulation.

In most cases, you will have a 24 month return on investment (and warmer feet!). We recommend R2-rated insulation for Tasmania, typically glasswool batts or expanded polystyrene. With exposed underfloor areas, we often recommend breathable plastic sheeting or sisilation to underlay the insulation to protect against the wind.


If your house has some existing old insulation…

Prior to 2003, the standard for homes that had ceiling insulation was to add 10cm thick R2-rated glasswool batts (or the equivalent in loose-fill blow-in insulation), or R3.5 batts. The modern minimum standard for ceilings in the Tasmanian climate zone is twice as thick – 20cm thick R4-rated batts. Over time, the old fluffy insulation becomes compressed, which means it loses its insulating properties. We often find 5cm-thick insulation in the ceilings of customer if the insulation was laid 15  years or more ago, which is the equivalent of an R1 rating. At this level, it is only one-quarter the current minimum standard and not doing a very effective job at insulating, and should be upgraded urgently.

Diagram (from left to right) shows :

  1. Original batts 15 to 20 years ago;
  2. Cellulose blow-in insulation after a few years, with peaks and valleys in the insulation;
  3. Halogen downlight gap that needs to be left, lessening the efficiency of the insulation;
  4. An insulation top-up over the old insulation;
  5. New house insulation; and
  6. Cross-laid insulation

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