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Most people know about thermal insulation inside the home. You would know that it’s a great idea to insulate your walls. You’ve probably even had a go at installing ceiling insulation batts before. But have you ever thought about the science behind insulation?
Once you know a little more about how insulation works, it can help you make the best choices. It’s all about keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Let’s explore a bit more about home insulation.
The Basics of Thermal Insulation
When we talk about properly insulating a home, we need to understand a few key ways that different types of air will react in a home. Firstly, let’s look at how heat flows.
Heat will always flow from a warm area to a cold one. This is precisely the premise through which we insulate our homes. For example, if you’re heating your home, the warmth will try to move outside, or to a cooler room. It does this through walls, windows, the ceiling and the floor.
How we use this science: Insulation is used in wall cavities, your ceiling and the floor in order to prevent warm air escaping. In summer, heat from outside will try to get inside your cool home, so insulation also protects against this.
Conduction refers to the way heat will move either through materials, or from one to the other. When we look at a home, metal, concrete and masonry are the best conductors of heat. Consider sitting inside a metal backyard shed on a hot day. Heat will conduct through easily and excessively heat the inside of the shed.
How we use this science: Timber and insulation products are poor conductors of heat. We build homes with timber framing and inside these wall and ceiling cavities made of timber, we install insulation. It might be batts or insulating foam, but regardless of the type, these materials don’t allow for the easy conduction of heat to pass through your walls.
Choosing the Right Insulation
The information above is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the science of thermal insulation. However, these principles should help you understand what we’re trying to combat by installing ceiling and wall insulation in our homes. But how do you know which insulation is right for you?
Getting the right thermal resistance is the key to making your home comfortable all year round. The thermal resistance is how well a particular type of insulation can resist the transfer of heat. Usually, this relates to the thickness of the insulation. For household insulation, thermal resistance is measured by an ‘R’ value.
Glasswool products are also known to have better thermal performance, so this should be a consideration too. Ideally, you’re aiming to minimise heat flow and conduction of warm air through your home. With non-combustible products built for high thermal performance and great sound absorption, you can keep your home safe and comfortable all year round.