What is insulation?
Insulation is a general term used to describe products that reduce heat loss or heat gain by providing a barrier between areas that are significantly different in temperature. Insulation also acts as a sound barrier by reducing the level of sound transmitted from one room to another via partition walls or ceiling voids. Insulation therefore reduces the amount of heat that escapes from a building in the winter and protects it from getting too warm in the summer. It also helps create quieter living environments thereby increasing the overall comfort level of building occupants.
Why is insulation required?
Insulation is the easiest and most inexpensive way to increase the energy efficiency of a residential home or commercial building. An energy efficient building is a cost-efficient building as well.
Take for example a residential home. Studies have shown that a home that does not have proper insulation will leak heat during the winter time. 30% of heat – heat that a homeowner is paying for – will be lost through the roof, 10-15% through windows, 20-30% through walls, and even 10-15% through the floor.
With a home that is properly insulated, that heat loss is stopped and the heating unit will not have to work as hard as it does.
Studies show that a properly insulated residential home will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter by an average of 8-12º C., and thus, simply more comfortable overall, with less energy cost.
Indeed, properly insulated homes will not need as powerful a heating/cooling unit as those that are not insulated, and so there is a saving there as well, as smaller and therefore less expensive units can be installed.
What is ‘glasswool’ insulation?
Glasswool is made from fibres of glass which are arranged using a binder which gives them a texture similar to wool – hence the name.
Glasswool can be manufactured as a loose fill material, or as batts. Regardless of the form it takes, the process of making this insulation material traps millions of tiny pockets of air between the strands of glass. Because the pockets of air are trapped in this way, there is little to no movement, and thus no heat transfer by way of convection.
Ceiling and wall glasswool batts are lightweight, flexible and resilient. They are specially designed to provide thermal insulation of ceilings and wall cavities in both domestic and commercial buildings.
What is ‘reflective’ insulation?
Reflective insulation prevents radiant heat gain. It does not particularly protect well against heat transfer via conduction or convection. All reflective insulation has an “R” or thermal resistance value. Heat radiated from the sun warms up the roof of a home or commercial building. The heat is transferred into the attic or other area of the building by conduction.
Reflective insulation in the attic or crawl spaces reflects 95% of that heat back up toward the roof, and the insulation material below the reflective barrier (foil) lets very little heat continue downwards.