Insulation batts are commonly used in home insulation around Australia. They are efficient and cost effective, but there may be other ways to enhance the insulation performance of your home. Here’s a useful guide to help you work out if batts alone are the best solution in your home.
There are two main types of insulation :
- Bulk insulation, which acts as a barrier and resists the transfer of heat. Batts are a commonly used form of bulk insulation. Made from materials such as glasswool, wool or polyester, air is trapped in pockets within the structure, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Reflective insulation reflects radiant heat. Commonly made from highly reflective aluminium foil laminated onto air bubbles or foam based materials, it reflects and reduces the amount of heat that is let into the home, thus reducing the need to turn your cooling appliances all the way up and saving energy.
To compare the effectiveness of different types of insulation, you can compare their R-values. The R-value is a measure of the insulation material’s resistance to heat transfer so the higher the R-value, the better the insulation.
With bulk insulation, the R-value is given for the material alone however with reflective insulation, R-values can differ depending on how and where the insulation has been installed. Reflective insulation is most effective at resisting heat flow downwards (known as the down R-value or summer R-value) but its up R-value should also be considered, and is often calculated as a total system value of RT.
Reflective insulation is most effective in hotter seasons as it reflects radiant heat, which is the most common form of heat gain. Reflecting heat away in the first place ensures that most of the heat doesn’t make it to your internal walls or ceilings, then radiate into your living spaces. Batts help to keep the heat in in the cooler months by preventing it from escaping. So, in order to get the best insulating performance, you can use a combination of bulk and reflective insulation products.
Batts plus a reflective foil installed in your home will help keep the hot air out in summer and the warm air in during the colder weather, keeping you and your family comfortable throughout the year.