How Does Home Insulation Work?


Installing quality home insulation has tremendous benefits to your comfort and also your wallet. When done correctly, insulation helps to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Sure, a reverse-cycle air conditioner can do that too, but it’s far more expensive than using insulation.

Most people know that insulation in the home helps to maintain a comfortable temperature and it saves them money. However, the science behind how home insulation works isn’t so widely known. We won’t get too technical, but the following explanations should give you a good understanding of why insulation is so important.

Eligible households can apply for insulation grants to improve the energy efficiency of their house. Free insulation grants are available under the government ECO home scheme.

What are the different types of insulation?

There are several parts of the home that you want to insulate, and each requires slightly different products to be effective. Firstly, there’s ceiling insulation. This is pretty easy to install yourself because you can gain access to your roof cavity easily. Then there’s wall insulation. It’s not so easy to get too without stripping down your walls, but some people use blow-in insulation instead of batts. Finally, there’s underfloor insulation, which also has a role to play.

There are obviously different products out there by countless manufacturers, but they all have one thing in common. All insulation is graded with an ‘R’ rating. This refers to the capacity to resist heat loss. So, when you’re shopping for insulation, make sure you’re getting the correctly rated products. Wall, floor and ceiling insulation all require different ratings.

What’s the science behind it?

Firstly, we need to understand how air works. In really simple terms, heat naturally moves into cooler areas until the temperature is the same in both. So, if you’re trying to heat a room of the house but you’ve got a window open, all your heat is going to be drawn to the cooler area outside.

However, heat doesn’t need an open window to escape, because it can also move through surfaces like walls and ceilings. Heat rises too, which is why ceiling insulation is so important. But it’s this willingness of heat to escape into colder areas that makes insulation essential.

Home insulation forms a barrier between the area you’re trying to warm up, and the areas your heat is trying to go. This means the heat is held in your home longer.

In winter, the reverse is true. You’re trying to keep your home nice and cool, but that outside heat is always looking for a cooler area to warm up. Hence, it wants to get into your cool home. Your insulation forms a barrier to slow the heat down.

The benefits of quality home insulation

So, that’s how insulation works, but what are the benefits? Well, mainly it’s the comfort levels of your home. Insulation helps you maintain the desired temperature, whether that be warm or cool. The main benefit though is saving money on energy bills. If all your warm air escapes, your heating unit is working harder and harder to keep up, and this costs money. So, with great insulation, your air conditioners work less, and you spend less.