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Five things to consider when choosing insulation

by Media Xpose

Insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss and gain in roofs, ceilings, walls and floors. Here’s why you should consider selecting insulation for your home.

Due to the ever-increasing cost of electricity, as well as the permanent pressure on the South African electrical grid, it is imperative that we all pursue ways to better insulate our homes.

Making sure that your home is well insulated goes a long way to making it more of a comfortable space to live in. It also promises that you will use much less electricity to cool your home down in summer and warm it up in winter, which will not only save you a lot of money on utility bills, but by using less electricity is better for the environment as well.

There are a number of different types and makes of insulation on the market, which can make selection a difficult process if you are no sure what you are looking for.  

The following five pointers will help you make the right choice:

  1. R-values: When choosing insulation, its R-value is one of your most important considerations. R-value is a measure of the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow: the higher the R-value, the better the resistance. Insulation with a lower R-value tends to cost less, but if you don’t select insulation with the right R-value for your climate and circumstances, you will be wasting your money. Knauf rolls have better R-value ratings than any other major competitors – with values ranging between 1,25 (50mm), 2,50 (100mm) and 3,38 (135mm). It is also interesting to note that Knauf insulation boasts R-values that are approximately 22% better than any of its Isotherm counterparts.
  •  How far does it go: Not all insulation is created equal – better quality insulation will go further, giving you more bang for your buck. The rolls of Knauf glass wool insulation have more insulation in them per square metre than any of its competitors.
  • Understand where to insulate: Although first prize is to insulate your entire home, some areas of your home are more important to insulate than others – with the ceiling being your top priority. Between 25% to 35% of heat gain and loss is through your ceiling – making it by far the most important area to insulate. By comparison, around 15% to 25% of heat gains and losses are through walls, while only 10% to 20% are through floors. You can radically reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling by insulating your ceiling, walls and floor, however, if you only have the budget to insulate one of these options, then you should insulate your ceiling first.”
  • Green credentials: Apart from the environmental benefits of your home being insulated, you should also take a look at the green credentials of the material you are using to better insulate your home.  Often, the insulation and fire-retardant qualities of insulation would be affected by its green credentials, but with Knauf insulation with Ecose Technology, this is no longer a problem. Ecose Technology means that Knauf insulation is manufactured from rapidly renewable natural materials instead of petroleum, and bonded using a bio-based technology that is free from phenols, acrylics, and it has no added formaldehyde, artificial colours, bleach or dyes.”
  • Other beneficial properties: Apart from the obvious properties, insulation offers some other benefits, insulation helps to better soundproof your home due to its acoustic insulation qualities. Also, any insulation needs to be fire-resistant, which helps protect your home in the event of a fire. Knauf insulation for example, has been awarded Euro Class A1, and SANS10177 – Part 5 fire certification. Also, Knauf insulation will actually improve the air quality in your home, as it emits virtually no dust or unpleasant odours. Unlike other competitor products, Knauf glass wool insulation does not make your skin itch, which means that it is pleasant to handle and to install – an important factor for workplace contact and DIY enthusiasts.”
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