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Winter Home Guide: The Best Ways To Insulate Your Home

Are you struggling to keep your house warm this winter? Perhaps it's time to check if your home is insulated properly. If you're not sure about what insulation is, or why it's important, keep reading for our full guide on the best insulation tips for your home! From ways to insulate your home while it’s under construction, to adding insulation to an existing home, there’s sure to be a way for you to keep your home warmer during the cooler months.

What is insulation?

Insulation is a special type of material that's designed to regulate the temperature of your home all year-round. As there are many types of insulation options for your home, it's good to know exactly what you need, and how the climate you live in will affect the temperature in your house. If done correctly, insulation can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on your energy bill each year!

Typically, more established homes have less insulation than newer homes. For older homes with insulation, it's important to check that the material is still in a good quality and working as it should. You’ll know if it’s not, as your home will be hotter than usual in summer and cooler than usual in winter.

If you’re building a new home, make sure to check with your building company whether insulation is included. If it’s not, make sure you organise to have it installed. Doing this at the construction stage means the quality of your insulation will be greatly improved and more effective.

Types of home insulation

There are many types of materials used to insulate your home.

Bulk insulation:

Bulk insulation is where pockets of air are deliberately trapped within the insulation product. Common types of bulk insulation include Blanket, Polystyrene boards, Cellulose Fibre Loose Fill (also known as Cellulose insulation or Loose Fill insulation) and more. The most common way to install insulation is through batts, which are long sheets of the materials.

Types of bulk insulation products include:

  1. Blanket insulation: Blanket insulation comes in the form of batts or rolls and can be made from various materials, such as Glass Wool (Fiberglass), Rockwool (also referred to as Mineral Wool insulation), or Sheep's Wool.

  2. Fiberglass insulation: Fiberglass insulation is made from very fine glass fibres and is most commonly in the form of insulation batts. The benefit of using fiberglass is that it’s a more affordable option and can often be installed without a professional.

  3. Rockwool insulation: Rockwool insulation is made primarily from organic substances and can withstand high temperatures. Commonly, it's used to prevent the spread of fires, but it's also a common material used for ceiling insulation. This material also has bonus soundproofing benefits.

  4. Cellulose Insulation: Cellulose insulation is made up of recycled paper and cardboard and is treated with chemicals. It is fire and mould resistant, as well as an inexpensive way to insulate your home. If you’re trying to be eco-friendly, this is the insulation option for you, as the products are all biodegradable.

  5. Spray foam insulation: Spray foam is a type of insulation material that's made from polyurethane foam or plastic and is a lightweight alternative to traditional batting insulation. It's used across a variety of structures, such as buildings, refrigerated units and large transportation modes (airplanes).

Where to install insulation in your home

For the most coverage, it is recommended that your roof, walls, and floors should be insulated. For wall and floor insulation, these should be done ideally as you're building a new home or are planning serious renovations to an existing home.

Roof insulation

Roof insulation is best installed during the construction of your home, however if you've bought an existing home, you can add or replace insulation if you have access to your roof through a manhole.

Wall insulation

Unless you're in the process of doing a major renovation to your home, wall insulation can't be done after the house is built as it requires the skeletons of the wall to be exposed, which is a costly process as you would need to demolish and then rebuild the walls.

Floor insulation

Floor insulation is one of the better insulation installations you can do to an existing home, as it's much cheaper to redo flooring than it is to tear down wall plastering.

Hot water tank

Did you know that you can insulate your hot water tank using a hot water tank jacket? This helps to prevent any additional heat loss that may occur while it's heating the hot water in your home, and is particularly useful for places prone to cooler temperatures. By using a jacket, you’re spending less money on heating and are using less water by not having to wait for it to heat up.

Adding insulating to an existing home

If you've bought an existing house with little to no insulation, it's still possible to add materials to increase the heat flow in your home. However, how it’s added will determine its effectiveness.

If you don’t want to renovate, there are other ways you can make improvements that will increase the amount of heat your home retains during winter.

Additional ways to insulate your home

  1. Double-glazed windows If insulation alone isn't enough to keep your house warm in winter, another insulation tip is installing double-glazed windows in your home. Double-glazed windows are a special type of window with two panes of glass instead of the standard one pane. They are either filled with a non-toxic gas or by a vacuum seal in-between the two panes to add an extra layer of heat trapping and to eliminate condensation. The downside of double-glazed windows is that they are expensive to purchase and install. While the main purpose of double-glazed windows is to keep houses warmer (particularly in cooler climates), there are many additional benefits to installing these windows!

  2. Improving your home security Due to the added strength of another pane of glass and the way they are designed, double-glazed windows are incredibly hard to break, making them an added security feature of your home.

  3. Noise reduction The thickness of double-glazed windows is also great for their ability to reduce excess outside noise.

  4. Reducing your energy bill Double-glazed windows are a great way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. By keeping more heat inside your home in winter and preventing excess heat escaping your home, you should ideally be spending less time running your heating, therefore saving money! To find out more about ways you can create an energy efficient home, head to our website.

  5. Choosing the right window coverings A less expensive way of adding insulation to your home is by making changes to your window coverings. By doing this, you can reduce your heating bill by not having your heater on longer than you need, as the heat will stay in your room. At ABC Blinds there are many options to choose from including curtains, blinds, and shutters. Blinds that have the best insulating properties include Blockout Roller blinds, Double Roller blinds or Blockout Roman blinds. Linen curtains are another great option as they are made of a thicker material and form a great barrier between your window and the rest of your home. These curtains are available in a variety of colours and are a child-safe option for your home. Shutters are also great for keeping the heat in your home as they are often custom made to fit the window recess providing a snug fit.

  6. Making your home airtight To minimise heat loss, make sure your windows and doors don't have any gaps in the seal where heat can escape from. If you have any gaps, you can replace the seals, fill them with some putty or sealer, or use door snakes that sit in front of your door. While the latter isn't a long-term solution, it's a great quick fix.

To arrange a free measure and quote with a highly-trained consultant in your own home, give us a call on 021 084 33156 or fill out this simple online form.

We provide this service to a wide range of locations around the Whangarei region, 6 days a week between 8am and 6pm.


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