Creating an energy efficient home
Inadequate insulation and air leakage are the leading causes of energy waste in most New Zealand homes. Heat naturally flows from a warm space to a cooler space. An estimated 60% of New Zealand homes have inadequate ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation. There is little to no point in these homes having expensive heating systems installed; a damp and draughty space would merely be filled with expensive heat that simply leaks away.
The ceiling, underfloor, walls and window areas form the thermal envelope in your home: the barrier between heated and unheated spaces. It is the invisible wrap which protects the inside of the home from the outside climate. The better insulated your thermal envelope is, the warmer your home will be.
To perform as it should, the right kind of insulation needs to be correctly installed. Fibreglass batts, blankets, loose fill, polyester and polystyrene insulation all work by limiting air movement.
Gaps, folds, tucks, compression of insulation material and spaces must be avoided. Poor installation affects the R value of the insulation which means it will not perform to Building Code requirements.
Always use a trained installer to fit or upgrade your insulation. Even small installation faults can affect performance.
When choosing installation you should consider the various forms available, their R-values, and the thickness needed. Where you intend to insulate in your home will be determine the forms of insulation required. For example, you can add batt or roll insulation over loose-fill insulation, or vice-versa.
Do You Need More?
The lack of insulation in New Zealand homes is a major energy and health issue. It only became mandatory in 1978. Present Building Code regulations mean that all new homes and additions to existing homes must now be insulated to a minimum standard.
However, homes built before this time often have little or no insulation. Industry experts estimate nearly 50% of all our homes in New Zealand have substandard ceiling or underfloor insulation.
Some products also degrade over time, so even if your house has been insulated in the past, it may need to be upgraded.
It is also estimated that proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act mean some 180,000 rental properties will require insulating before 2019. The new law will require that all landlords state in tenancy agreements the level of ceiling, underfloor and wall insulation in their properties, requiring the retrofitting of ceiling and underfloor insulation in the many New Zealand rental homes which aren’t adequately insulated already.
Ensure your home is well insulated. For a free no-obligation quote contact Rodney Insulation. They can carry out an assessment of your property and provide you with an independent, informed report of your property’s insulation levels. Rodney Insulation are trusted installers with over 25 years’ experience insulating homes and businesses throughout Rodney, the North Shore and Kaipara areas.