With the sweltering heat of the current climate, there are many homeowners that are wondering how they can cool down their homes, without having to spend a fortune on installing and running an air- conditioning unit. The answer is as affordable as it is simple – ensure that you fit your home with good quality insulation.
“When most people think about insulation, they picture a heavy winter coat protecting them against the cold weather, or perhaps an insulated travel mug keeping their coffee warm. For this reason, many homeowners underestimate the importance of good home insulation in hot climates,” says Daneel Pretorius, Category Manager for Summit, the local distributor of the world leading Knauf mineral wool insulation.
He goes on to add: “In truth, insulation goes far beyond just keeping things warm – take for example refrigerators and freezers, which need ample insulation to keep food cold. It is the same for your home – good insulation prevents the heat from escaping your home during winter, and stops the hot air from getting in during the summer months.”
How insulation works
In order to understand the benefits of a well insulated home in a hot climate, it is essential that you first understand how insulation works, notes Daneel: “Insulation is a thermal resistant barrier that inhibits the migration of thermal energy into and out of the home. Put simply – insulation prevents heat from entering a home in the summer, and holds heat inside the home during winter.”
So how does it do this? Insulation works by trapping little bubbles of air within the structure of the material, explains Daneel: “Air is an incredibly efficient insulator when it is confined, and insulation works by trapping pockets of air in its makeup to provide an insulating effect. Since warm air always travels towards a cooler space, whether it is warm outside and cool inside, or cold outside and warm inside, the insulation will prevent the warm air from travelling across the barrier – thereby doing its job and keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.”
Saving on your energy bills
Daneel adds that the effect of insulation is twofold as it not only serves to stop the warm or cold outdoor air from getting into your home, but it will also prevent the cool or warm interior air from escaping, which means that your air-conditioner or heating appliances won’t have to work quite as hard: “Overall, a home with good insulation can save as much as 20% on the electricity required to keep the space at a comfortable temperature. The bottom line is that good insulation will help your home resist outdoor weather changes better – keeping the interior more comfortable to live in.”
Added benefits of insulation
Aside from keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter, an added benefit of insulation is that it can help fire-proof your home, notes Daneel: “Knauf mineral wool insulation has a Euro Class A1 fire rating, and a SANS 10177 Part 5 Fire-rated Certification. The non-flammable nature of Knauf insulation ensures that it also offers a level of fire protection to your home – the insulation becomes a “hard target” that the fire would have to burn around, thereby slowing the spread of fire by up to 57%.” Furthermore, Daneel notes that Knauf insulation is also resistant to insect, termite, rodent, vermin, mould, mildew and fungus, which provides even more protection for your home.
Consider the environment
By saving energy, you are reducing the amount of non-renewable resources being used, thereby doing your bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Says Daneel: “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 world-leading 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.”