ecoinvestor.com.au June 2015
Investing in Home Insulation Saves Money
Australian homes have poor thermal insulation so there is plenty of room
for improvement, says Energy Freedom, a group of leading renewable energy
and energy efficiency companies and organizations.
While some say Australia doesn't experience the same extremes of temperature as many of those countries, money spent on ineffective heating and cooling should be a concern to households trying to balance their budget while making their home comfortable.
Brick veneer is Australia's most common type of residential construction
yet its thermal performance is poor across most climates. With only 18
per cent of Australian dwellings having some form of wall insulation,
this means many brick veneer and timber homes have an uncomfortable internal
The benefits of insulation include: a significant reduction in the amount
of artificial heating and cooling needed and thus a reduction in heating
and cooling expenses, improved comfort, insulation has a long life and
is low maintenance, and reduced noise.
"After the ceiling and wall insulation, I found we could relax the air conditioner/ heater set point by about 2°C in both summer and winter. The house is noticeably warmer in the bedrooms on cold winter mornings, even when no active heating has been used overnight.
"Measurements of air conditioning and heating energy used from month to month show that in winter 2013 (with walls insulated) we used 25 per cent less heating energy than the preceding year (with ceiling and floor insulated, but not walls). In 2013, overall energy use was an impressive 75 per cent less than in our baseline year of 2006," said Mr Keech.
Insulation comes in a variety of materials. Among the more environmentally friendly is high performance bulk insulation made from recycled glass bottles, naturally occurring raw materials and bonded using a bio-based technology with no added formaldehyde, phenols, acrylics, artificial colours, bleaches or dyes.
Other forms of insulation include foam injection, reflective materials, spray foam and bonded bead insulation.
Often, the best type of insulation will be dictated by the type of structure and whether it is a new construction or an existing house.
Energy Freedom was founded by Beyond Zero Emissions in partnership with foundation members Energy Matters, Cherry LED, Knauf Insulation and Apricus Australia.
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