Key Considerations

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  •  Insulation products come in two main categories — bulk and reflective — which are sometimes combined into a composite material.
  • To compare the insulating ability of a product, its Material R-value, which measures resistance to heat flow, must be considered. The higher the Material R-value, the higher the level of insulation. Products with the same Material R-value have the same insulating performance if installed as specified.
  •  Check the information supplied on the product, including the Material R-value and whether it must be installed professionally or can be installed as a DIY project. Ensure that it suits your particular application and fits within the space available.
  •  All insulation materials that are sold in Australia must meet Australian Standard AS/NZS 4859.1. Fletcher Insulation products have been rigorously tested to conform to relevant Australian Standards.
  • Compare the environmental benefits of different products. Ask about recycled content and how easily the product can be recycled after use. For example, Fletcher Insulation glasswool products are produced from 80% recycled glass content.
  •  The appropriate degree of insulation depends on climate, building construction type, and whether auxiliary heating and/or cooling is to be used. The National Construction Code (NCC) sets out minimum requirements relating to Total R-values for various constructions and climate zones.
  • The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance.
  • Material R-values are supplied with bulk insulation and refer to the insulating value of the product alone. The higher the R-value the better the thermal performance.
  • Total R-values depend on the product being installed as specified. R-values can differ depending on the direction of heat flow through the product. The difference is generally marginal for bulk insulation but can be pronounced for reflective insulation.
  • ‘Up’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow upwards (sometimes referred to as ‘Winter’ R-values) whereas ‘Down’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow downwards (sometimes referred to as ‘Summer’ R-values).
  •  Up and down R-values should be quoted when installing reflective insulation in roofs, ceilings and floors.
  • Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow and is essential for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A well-insulated and well-designed home provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills by up to half. This, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Climatic conditions influence the appropriate level and type of insulation. Establish whether the insulation is predominantly needed to keep heat out or in (or both). Insulation must cater for seasonal as well as daily variations in temperature.
  • Use passive design techniques in conjunction with insulation. For example, if insulation is installed but the house is not properly shaded, built-up heat can be kept in by the insulation, creating an ‘oven’ effect. Draught sealing is also important, as draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss from a home in winter.
  •  Insulation can help with weatherproofing and eliminate moisture problems such as condensation; some types of insulation also have soundproofing qualities.
  •  The most economical time to install insulation is during construction.
  •  Under the National Construction Code (NCC), the required Total R-values for the building fabric vary depending on climate zone and the building sites height above the Australian Height Datum. Ensure you comply with the NCC requirements for energy efficiency of building fabric. Fletcher Insulation’s FletcherSpec Pro app is designed to assist in determining the level of insulation required to achieve NCC ‘Deemed to Satisfy’ requirements.

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