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> The importance of roof insulation

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article imageLast updated 10:50 am, Monday 11th January 2010

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I bet you didn't know that upto 40% of your heating cost is attributed to the fact your roof is not insulated?

Also did you know that upto 40% of your cooling cost relates to the fact your roof is not insulated?

Why is this?

Well once you know its quite obvious. Warm air, without something blocking it and left to its own devices, will tend to raise upwards. Whereas colder air will tend to drop. Pretty obvious so far.

Now think how this simple physics interacts with a roof or ceiling without insulation. If your heating a room, that heated air will tend to 'sit' against the ceiling - warming the ceiling. So if it is not insulted that warmth gets transfered into the roof space and outside your house! Also the loss of the heat results in the cooler air 'dropping' in the room, so you end up with a thermal cycling of the warm air to the ceiling until all the available warmth is lost..  This is very expensive..

A similar thing happens when you try to cool a room but in reverse. During a hot day the roof space gets very hot, and given its a roof with no real holes in it you get a 'stack' of hot air sitting in your roof space heating up everything it touches; including the ceiling. So then the ceiling starts to get warm and in turn heats the air against it...  Now where are most fixed aircons in homes?..  Yes, right up high on the wall, so they are then trying to cool down already warmer than normal air... Its actually worse than this, as the temperature guage in the aircon unit is constantly measuring the temperature at its on the wall location and not that at floor level, so it will try to 'over cool' when it does not need to....

Put both of these together and you will find 40% of both your heating and cooling costs are going out of the roof!

What can I do about this?

Firstly, get your roof insulated. The cost of this is not high compared to the savings you will make, think over a 10 year time framework. Also if you live in Australia you can now get generous grants towards the costs.

Secondly, have a look at your doors and windows. Especially the doors and windows in the rooms where you spend your most awake hours (don't worry about the bedrooms).  Make sure  that there is sufficient draught proofing, as this is another way your loose money through heating or cooling rooms you do not use.

NEW Online Insulation Batts Coverage Calculator - use this to work out how many packs of Batts you need to insulation your ceiling.

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