Episode 16 :: Check your insulation
Nearly 60% of our houses don't have good enough ceiling and underfloor insulation, for a number of reasons. It can move around, get old and thin, and become damaged over time. Or, if you're in an older house, there may not have been any insulation put in when it was built.
Here's how to see whether your insulation is doing the job it should:
Signs that your ceiling and underfloor insulation need attention
If it's clear you don't have any insulation at all, the answer's simple - get insulated.
If there is some ceiling and underfloor insulation, here are some signs that it may need some attention:
It's damp. Damp insulation is much less effective. Get the source of the dampness repaired, and remove and replace the damp insulation.
It's not thick enough. It should be at least 12 cm thick in your ceiling (thicker than your ceiling joists), and at least 9 cm thick under your floor (unless you have foil)..If it's less, get your insulation topped up
It doesn't cover the whole area. If there are gaps in your ceiling and underfloor insulation, it won't hold the heat in properly. If your insulation has moved, reposition it - otherwise, get the gaps in your insulation filled.
It's on top of (or too close to) down lights. Insulation that doesn't have a 150 mm safety gap around down lights, or other heat sources, is a fire safety hazard - it's really important to get it sorted.
For a more comprehensive list visit our webpage about checking your insulation
Fixing, replacing or getting new insulation
If you're putting in new insulation or topping up your old stuff, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Good installation is crucial for performance. Poor installation can reduce your insulation's performance by up to 50%. EECA recommends getting it done professionally, but if you want to do it yourself follow the guidelines in the NZS 4246:2006 insulation installation standard.
Don't forget your heating. You can create a warmer, healthier home by matching good insulation with an efficient heating system.
Did you know?
In the average uninsulated home, around 40% of heat is lost through the ceiling.
- Learn more about reducing heat loss and insulating your home.
- Find out more about heating your home.
- Discover where the energy efficiency opportunities are in your home.
- Download an action sheet on making your home warmer and healthier.