Ceiling Insulation

Ceiling insulation like aerolite and isotherm become the heat flow barrier between your roof tiles and ceiling and prevents heat from passing through, keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Homes that have been well designed and insulated with insulation that meets the requirements, will give you year-round comfort and will cut the cost of heating and cooling your home by nearly half which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Climatic conditions will also influence the appropriate level and thickness of ceiling insulation needed to be installed. You will need to establish if you are trying to keep the heat in, out or both. Ceiling insulations are effective against daily temperature change as well as seasonal.

Design Techniques and Insulation

Another important factor when it comes to properly insulating your home or office is design technique. If ceiling insulation is installed in a place that does not have any shading or curtains thick enough to block out morning and afternoon sun, you could get a reverse effect, heat that comes in through the windows or doors can get trapped under the insulation and create an oven effect.

Moisture problems like condensation can be eliminated by installing reflective ceiling insulation and can help assist with weatherproofing your home or office. Aerolite and Isotherm ceiling insulation also have excellent sound absorption properties and is good for soundproofing a room or office. It is best to get ceiling insulation installed during construction, the new building regulations state all new homes must be insulated and achieve a certain R-value in order to be compliant.

There are many different insulation products in South Africa to choose from.
  • Ceilings, floors and roofs have a small thermal resistance on their own but not enough to be compliant with the sans 10400-xa building laws
  • Different climatic zones require different R-values needed to be achieved in order to be compliant with san 10400-xa building laws

Choosing Ceiling Insulation

When choosing the right ceiling insulation, there are two main categories to choose from – reflective or bulk insulation. In order to get even a greater insulating effect, reflective and bulk insulations are often combined. Examples of combined insulation would be factorylite which is aerolite combined with a reflective insulation or isofoil which is isotherm combined with a reflective insulation. The R-value of the product determines the products ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better insulating affect you will get out of the product.

Bulk Insulation

Bulk insulation is excellent for resisting convected and conducted heat. Heat is trapped in pockets within the insulations structure. Thermal resistance works the same way, and it makes no difference which way the heat flows through it. Bulk insulation and reflective insulation are the two types of insulations currently on the market. The Leading bulk insulations are think pink aerolite which is a glass wool product and isotherm ceiling insulation which is a polyester material. Bulk insulation comes with an R-value which differs according to which thickness of insulation you require.
  • 45% on cooling and heating energy can be saved with roof and ceiling insulation
  • 20% additional cooling and heating energy with wall bulk insulation
  • 5% on winter costs with the right floor insulation used on your home

Reflective Insulation

Radiant heat flow is resisted by insulations with reflective properties, this is achieved because the insulation is highly reflective and its ability to re-radiate heat. There is a 25mm layer of air that the reflective insulation relies on next to the shiny surface. Heat flows differently through reflective insulation depending on which direction the heat source is coming from.

Shiny aluminum foil that is laminated to paper or plastic is how reflective foil insulation is made. The performance of reflective insulation can be decreased by dust that settles on it over time. Dust reduces its ability to reflect. The shiny foil surface should always face downwards. The anti-glare surface of single-sided foil should always face upwards or outwards.

Up and down R-values are supplied with reflective insulation. The products R-value will differ depending on how and where the insulation is installed. Always make sure the values given by the manufacturer related to what you are looking for.

Gaps in Roof Insulation

When installing any kind of roof insulation, you need to avoid leaving any gaps. Even the smallest gap in the roof insulation can decrease the insulating value. Roof insulation needs to fit snugly between the beams and no gaps must be left around ducts and pipes. Joins and holes in reflective insulation need to be properly sealed and even taped up if necessary. A large amount of heat can be leaked through the ceilings, floors and walls, so make sure these areas are properly insulated. When installing roof insulation, there are minimum clearances that need to be left around objects like transformers and downlights because overheating can cause a problem in your roof.

Wall insulation needs to fit snugly around door and window frames and in really cold locations you should have thermal breaks around metal frames to reduce heat loss. Internal walls in a house or more often used in offices need should be insulated properly, this will also soundproof the room and give less echo.

Do Not Compress Roof Insulation

Never compress bulk roof insulation! This reduces the roof insulations ability to insulate properly. Tiny air spaces within the roof insulation traps the hot air. Sufficient space is needed for the roof insulation to maintain its thickness. Vapour barriers such as sisalation or spunsulation should be used to keep moisture away from bulk roof insulation, or you could get a decrease in the products insulating performance. Use reflective roof insulation vapour barriers where condensation may occur.

Loose fill roof insulation should not be used in a roof with a 25 degree slope or more. Due to it being loose and not in a roll for like aerolite or isotherm, you can’t maintain its thickness on angles. Roll form roof insulation is the best route to take when insulating your home or office, because the material installed can keep its thickness constant and not reduce R-values in curtain areas, regardless of slopes and strong winds that can blow loose insulation around your roof. Remember that loose fill roof insulation will settle by up to 25 percent over a period of time reducing its original thickness.

Source: www.homeinsulations.co.za

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