Installing insulation remains one of the easiest, most efficient and cost effective ways of better insulating your home. We speak to Cobus Lourens from Swartland, the local distributor of world-leading Knauf mineral wool insulation, about why installing insulation is one of the best home improvement projects you can do.
Insulation is beneficial to your home all year round – keeping it warm in winter, and cool in summer. Cobus Lourens from Swartland, the local distributor of world-leading Knauf mineral wool insulation, adds: “The are many benefits that come with properly insulating your home, which include reduced energy bills, a reduced carbon footprint and more obviously, a more comfortable home. Many homes in South Africa are very inefficient in terms of heat retention and energy consumption. Installing proper insulation is a cost effective solution to this problem.”
As much as 25% of your home’s heat is lost is through the roof, explains Cobus: “By properly having insulation, such as Knauf mineral wool insulation for example, fitted in your home’s roof and ceiling, you could see a potential reduction in heat loss of as much as 75% in that area of the building. You will then be able to use much less energy when heating your home and it will take less time to warm up, and it will retain more heat for longer after the heating is switched off. You will also have the benefit of a cooler home during the summer months.”
He says that there are a number of benefits to installing insulation in your home, including:
Increased in-home comfort
Insulation works to reduce heat loss or gain by providing a barrier between areas that are significantly different in temperature, says Cobus: “Ideally, properly installed insulation keeps your home warm in winter by reducing the amount of heat that escapes from your home’s interior spaces. It also keeps it cool in summer by preventing cool air from escaping and warm air from entering your home, so that your air-conditioning unit doesn’t have to work overtime. An efficiently insulated home will maintain a comfortable ambient temperature all year round, no matter how sweltering the heat or harsh the cold.”
Maximise energy savings
Because properly installed insulation keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, once you have installed insulation in your home, you should notice a significant decrease in your energy bills. Cobus explains: “Basically, installing insulation means that your heating and air conditioning units won’t have to work as hard to maintain an even temperature throughout your home. In fact, properly installed insulation offers an unbelievable return on investment – it has been proven to reduce a home’s heating and cooling bills by as much as 40%, which equates to an enormous saving over the year.”
By saving energy, you are reducing the amount of non-renewable resources being used, thereby doing your bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Says Cobus: “If you are interested in living a ‘green’ lifestyle, insulation can go a long way to help you achieve this. Since insulation allows you to use less energy and in return, produce fewer emissions, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment.” He says that selecting earth-friendly insulation, such as Knauf mineral wool insulation for example, also helps to maximise the eco-friendliness of your home: “Knauf mineral wool insulation boasts a high recycled content that is mainly derived from naturally occurring materials. It also features a revolutionary binder technology called Ecose Technology, which has cemented its place as a truly sustainable building material. It offers reduced impact on the environment through lower embodied energy, as well as diminishing pollutant manufacturing emissions and workplace exposures. In fact – just by installing Knauf insulation, you will improve the overall sustainability of any building.”
When paired with proper air sealing techniques, insulation can help control moisture levels in your home. Cobus explains that maintaining efficient moisture control contributes in part to your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency: “When a home is not properly insulated, condensation and leaks can become a problem. This will slowly and steadily cause persistent damage, which can be very expensive to repair. It can be prevented by sealing, checking and changing out old insulation that has passed its sell-by date.”
When it comes to insulation, not many people think about its resale value. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next five years, updating your insulation can be the difference between a fast sell and a slow sell. Cobus notes that the main reason for this is that homeowners are becoming more demanding, and are increasingly aware of energy efficiency and the benefits thereof: “Energy efficiency and green living are at the top of consumers’ minds, and many people are very passionate about opting for eco-friendly options whenever possible.”
Homeowners are also becoming increasingly aware of promoting general wellbeing, says Cobus: “In the modern world, asthma rates have increased, allergies are a bigger problem than before, and homeowners are aware that their home can contribute to their health and wellness… or detract from it. In the residential building space, this means prospective buyers want to be given confidence that their new home was built with products that are safe for their families and keep harmful pollutants, allergens, and chemicals out. As such, choosing insulation, such as Knauf mineral wool insulation for example, which is free from any harmful materials is imperative.
“Knauf mineral wool insulation is free from phenols, acrylics and it has no added formaldehyde, artificial colours, bleach or dyes. The bio-based materials that are used to manufacture Knauf mineral wool insulation, means that it doesn’t itch or give off any inpleasant odours – making it easier to work with when compared to other insulation products. Furthermore, it gives off virtually zero dust, so it will contribute to improved indoor air quality compared to other conventional insulation,” concludes Cobus.