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The science of insulation

How insulation works

The basic law of physics is hot things get colder, cold things get hotter and they eventually end up the same temperature. In winter, the heat inside an un-insulated home will escape outside and in summer, the heat outside will flow inside. Insulation acts as a barrier to the movement of heat. Tiny air particles trapped in insulation resist the transfer of heat (and cold) keeping house at comfortable and healthy temperature all seasons.

eco-insulation installation at a home

Did you know an un-insulated home uses up to 30% more energy to heat than one with correctly installed insulation?

Insulating your home is the most effective measure you can take to keep your home comfortable year-round and save money on energy bills.

To understand how insulation works, it is first necessary to explain the different ways heat flows.

Heat moves naturally in three ways, conduction, convection, and radiation. Physically, heat always moves from areas of high temperature to those at a lower temperature, which is why, in the cold external temperatures of winter, the warmth inside a building will try to escape through walls, windows, roof and floor.

  1. Convection:  Is the process by which heat travels through air, water and other gases and liquids.  A good example of this is air moving in a fan forced oven to create an even temperature.
  2. Conduction:  Is the process of heat transferring through the material of a substance without movement of the material.  A good example of this is the handle of a cast iron skillet getting hot without being in direct contact with the element.
  3. Radiation:  Is energy emitted from a surface that can be felt by another surface without direct contact.  A good example of this is the heat felt from the sun when standing out from the shade.

To create a great thermal insulation product you need to have a product that can combat heat transfer from all three mediums.

R-value and insulation

Heat can pass through any material, but some materials are more resistant to heat flow than others. Good resistance equals good insulation. That’s when R-value becomes important.

What is an R-value?

“R” stands for resistance to heat flow or Thermal Resistance Value (TRV), it measures how effectively a material slows the flow of heat from a warmer to a colder area. R-value level depends on several things such as the type of material, its density and thickness. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating.

Is all insulation product same?

No, different insulation products have different R-values. Some materials insulate better than others and others need increased thickness to reach the same R-value as a better insulating material. The graphic compares the R-value of common wall elements.

Why Cellulose Fibre insulation?

Cellulose Fibre is a grey-coloured fibre insulation material made from recycled newspapers.  It is manufactured locally in South Africa, made to the toughest SABS Standards and TIPSASA approved.  The product is 100% fire resistant and exceeds the highest of South African building codes.  Cellulose fibre is 100% non-toxic, environmentally friendly, safe to handle and allergy free.

The purpose of Eco-Insulation is to trap a dormant layer of air inside a stable fibrous insulation layer. This effectively stops convection and conduction by means of the entrapment of a large volume of air, a poor conductor of heat.

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  • Eco-Insulation has an Thermal Conductivity value of 0.040 W/m.K
  • Thermal Conductivity is the rate with which heat travels through a material. It is the reverse of R-Value.
  • Settled Density: 35 kg/m³


For further more comprehensive technical information Click here

Why is correct installation important?

Correctly installed insulation is a key factor in how well insulation works. Insulation’s benefits can be decreased by a poor insulation job – gaps, tucks and folds decrease your insulation’s effectiveness.

Using a professional installer can make all the difference.

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