HOW DOES INSULATION WORK IN MY NEW HOME?
We take insulation seriously.
A well-insulated home is not only a comfortable one, it’s a cost-effective one too. Every budget-conscious homeowner is keen to find ways to reduce overhead running costs, and the opportunity to create a house that’s energy efficient is yours when building a new home. At Hensley Park we build homes that are as efficient as they are beautiful. And to make sure we easily meet our standard 6-star energy rating, we take insulation seriously.
Let’s get back to basics and look at how a building heats up. In a nutshell, every day as the sun beats down on your home, energy is absorbed through the walls, windows and roof, to the internal structure of the home. As this energy is transferred through air, timber and plasterboard and you begin to feel the inside temperature of the home rising.
What is Insulation?
Insulation is simply a layer of material inside the walls, floor and roof space of your home which helps to moderate the internal temperature of the inside living zones. During the summer months it helps to keep the place cool and during the winter months, it helps to prevent heat loss from the house to the outside. Different forms of insulation are used to increase the efficiency of houses; to give you a better understanding, we’ve taken the time to explain the standard forms of insulation used in each of the Hensley Park designs.
Double Glazed Windows
Take a step back to your high-school days and you’ll no doubt remember your science teacher telling you that air is the best insulator! Energy, be it in the form of heat or sound, requires a medium through which to travel, and because air is comprised of a collection of gasses, it contains the least number of atoms for the conduction of this energy. Yes, this might sound a bit technical, but it brings us to a very important point: double glazed windows.
Glass is an excellent conductor of heat. When the sun beats down on the exterior of a single pane window, the energy is quickly transferred through the glass to the inside of the home. Most of us have had the experience of touching a window pane inside and feeling the heat on our fingers! On a warm day, it isn’t long before the internal temperature of the home rises and the room begins to feel hot and stuffy. Likewise, during cold weather, a lot of heat from the inside of the home is lost through the windows and disappears into the atmosphere.
Insulated windows, commonly known as double glazed windows, are simply two or more panes of glass separated by a vacuum or gas filled space. Energy from the sun is transferred through the first pane of glass, however, very little of it is conducted through the air to the second pane of glass because of the airspace between the two. Double glazed windows are a standard design feature of Hensley Park homes, and they assist greatly in maintaining an even temperature inside the home.
Why use Insulation Batts?
Simply put, an insulation batt consists of flexible fibers and air pockets. The fibers overlap and entwine around each other, creating millions of these separate air pockets, which greatly enhances the insulation property of the cavity (as opposed to leaving the wall/roof space empty). Insulation batts are supplied in different thicknesses or ratings, depending on the application: e.g. wall batts might be only 90mm thick while ceiling batts can be up to 240mm thick. Each batt has an optimal density, which simply means that it contains the most advantageous quantity of those tiny little air pockets for maximum insulation.
Naturally, we tend to think that the thicker the insulation, the more thermal protection it will offer. However, this generally isn’t the case. There’s no value in jamming a 110mm insulation batt into a 90mm cavity because the air pockets which are so vital to its function will be squashed and the insulation properties will be massively reduced. In fact, by squashing the air pockets inside the batt you are reversing the effect of the insulation and essentially creating a conductor instead! It’s important to remember that there is a science behind insulating your home, and every thickness of insulation has an optimal density and it must be installed correctly for it to work properly.
Roofing insulation is installed between the wooden trusses and the iron on all of our homes. The foil backing on the underside of roofing batts adds an extra line of defense by reflecting heat energy away from the inside cavity of the roof space.
Underfloor insulation is critical to maintaining an even internal temperature in your new home. At Hensley Park we use a product called Foilboard which is installed about 20mm below the chipboard flooring and sealed into position. Foilboard is a foam product and contains millions of very fine air pockets so this, plus the 20mm air cavity below the flooring, provide excellent insulation and a minimal amount of heat or cold is actually transferred through the chipboard to the inside of the home.
• Insulation must be installed correctly to achieve optimal results.
• Insulation does not take the place of common sense: e.g. leaving doors and windows open will let warm air into the home, regardless of how well insulated it is!
Keen to find out more?
Reach out to us. We’re here to help.