As the temperatures begin to rise here in South Africa, homes all over Johannesburg are looking for cost-effective ways to keep that cool air locked in.
There are, of course, plenty of solutions on the market that allow for this, from air conditioners and HVACs through to simple desk fans; and while these appliances help to cool our living environments in one way or another, they do so either at a cost, or ineffectively in the face of midsummer heat.
Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you to remain a temperate home no matter the season. Home insulation has come to be known as the single most effective and efficient way of doing this.
Here we will discuss how insulation can transform your home into something of a hot-box into a comfortable living environment for you, your family and your guest.
We will begin doing this by looking at how insulation combats the summer heat, and how it enhances your living environments all year round. We will also explore a few of the benefits and drawbacks to home insulation, as well as the viability of doing it yourself as opposed to hiring a contractor.
So, let’s begin with your most immediate concern: why summer is the best time to insulate your home.
Why Summer is the Time to Insulate Your Home
There are a number of challenges faced by homes in the Johannesburg summer months.
Our beautiful city has some of the harshest weather conditions in the country, and when summer comes, this becomes evident as the heat continuously rises while the rain falls.
Both of these weather conditions pose a challenge to the comfort of your home, but home insulation meets these needs amicably by locking cool air indoors, making your home more energy efficient by reducing your reliance on appliances, while also offering something in the way of waterproofing to ensure that no water damage occurs in your home, as a result of bad weather.
Locking Cool Air In
Let’s start with the central function that ceiling insulation offers to homes; the fact that they help you to keep your home cool in the sweltering summer months.
Insulation does an exceptionally effective job of limiting or even eliminating the transfer of heat through walls and ceilings.
In the summer months, when the temperature rises drastically here in Johannesburg, the correct insulation will ensure that no cold air escapes by limiting heat transfer between the air outside and the air inside.
This means that it effectively keeps your home cooler, even when the temperatures keep rising.
Becoming Less Reliant on Appliances
This has a further benefit for your home and one that will save you a fortune in the long run.
Since home insulation ensures that cold air is kept indoors during the summer months, it will also reduce your reliance on cooling appliances to control the temperatures in your home.
More often than not, investing in these appliances can be a remarkably costly affair, especially if you have a substantial amount of space that needs cooling.
This means that you won’t have to invest large amounts of money on specialised cooling systems, which will save you money in the long-run.
Waterproofing Through Insulation
There is an added, though not often spoken about the benefit to ceiling insulation particularly as far as our wet Johannesburg summers are concerned.
While insulation isn’t strictly a waterproofing solution for homes, it does add something by way of protection against rain.
This means that you have less chance of your structure and furniture being damaged by the damp, even if it is consistent.
However, while it does make your home more water-resistant, it shouldn’t be your only solution for waterproofing your home.
More Comfort All Year Round
Of course, insulation doesn’t only work to make living conditions more comfortable during the hot summer months but can be just as effective for keeping a home warm in the winter month, making it a solution that works to improve your living conditions all year round.
Locking in the Heat
Ceiling insulation works to keep your home warm during winter through the same principle of limiting heat loss and heat transfer between the air inside, and the air outside.
Remember that hot air rises, and in an uninsulated home, it will exit the roof as it does, making way for cold winter air to come into the home.
However, by insulating your home, you will be able to stop this heat from escaping, so that it can effectively heat your home.
An Energy Efficient Home
Tagging on to the benefit of not requiring additional appliances to keep your home warm in the winter (or cool in the summer), the reduced need for these appliances will amount to substantial long-term savings.
Not only will you be less likely to need to invest in expensive heating equipment during the winter months, but less reliance on them also means that you will be able to foster a more energy-efficient home.
This is because these heating appliances require vast quantities of power to run, especially when looked at over the long-term. If you aren’t using these appliances due to effective insulation, you are not going to be chewing through your electricity bills each month; which can save you a substantial amount of money.
Improved Sound Control
This reason for opting for home insulation isn’t just related to the winter months of course but is applicable wherever insulation has been properly done.
Sound carries through even the tiniest of spaces, so if you live in a noisy area, near the main road, or have reasons for wanting to lock sound in (perhaps you have a personal theatre in your home), then insulation will also offer you exceptional control over the sound that comes into your home, or exits it.
The Benefits of Insulating your Home
With these reasons for insulating your home either in summer or winter out of the way, let’s take a moment to explore some of the most obvious benefits to doing so.
Home insulation can bring a number of unique advantages to your living areas, no matter what time of year it is.
These benefits include improved indoor comfort, running a more energy-efficient home, not having to worry about maintenance, the fact that insulation is safe to use in the home, and that it won’t attract any pests.
Improved Indoor Comfort
The main advantage, and also the most noticeable one to enacting ceiling insulation in your home, is that it ensures that your home meets a certain standard of comfort.
This might be keeping cool in summer when temperatures begin to soar, staying warm when the temperature dips outside or enjoying a dry house when everything outside has become damp from the rain.
This also means that your home environment will be a safer one, where you and yours are less likely to take ill from pathogens or bacteria in the area since the air in your indoor spaces will be easier to control.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
As we touched on in some of the points above, home insulation offers an excellent way to ensure that the power costs of your home are kept to a minimum, at least as far as heating and cooling is concerned.
This is because, since it works to better control the temperatures in your home, it also leaves you less reliant on cooling and heating appliances, which, often enough, can take up the bulk of your energy costs to run.
Unlike just about anything else in your home, insulation materials pretty much never require any maintenance.
Under ideal conditions, insulation materials can actually last far beyond your needs for them, with some estimated to last up to a century (far longer than you will likely live in your home for), which means that once it’s done, it’s done.
This means that you won’t have to do any maintenance, repairs, replacements and the like. In the best-case scenario, you will simply need to have it installed once, and it will keep on serving you indefinitely.
A Safe Form of Comfort
Not that long ago, one of the most popular materials for insulation was chosen due to its effectiveness in terms of fire protection.
I am of course talking about asbestos, which, while an effective material for insulation, also proved to be remarkably bad for the health of those who inhabited buildings or houses where it was used.
Asbestos can break up into micro granules which can then be inhaled, once that happened, they would stay on the person’s lungs indefinitely, until many of these people began suffering from related, terminal illnesses and infections.
Fortunately, we have come a long way since then. These days, most insulating materials are made up of fibreglass which holds the same insulation and fire-retardant properties as asbestos, without the downside of eventually killing the inhabitants of buildings and homes.
These days, insulation is perfectly safe for use in any type of living and working environment, thanks to this very fact.
Will Not Attract Pests
You may be wondering why this is even a benefit, it’s not like you would insulate your home with bread!
However, you would be surprised how long it has taken us to come up with an insulation material that doesn’t attract pests.
In days gone by (and there are some products that still do it), insulation materials would actually contain some amounts of sustenance in their makeup, which often proved to be the perfect feeding ground for pests.
Since these materials were laid in between walls and ceilings, this often meant that pest problems would quickly get out of control.
Fortunately, however, these days most insulation materials are designed to contain no sustenance for pests of any kinds, which means that they won’t attract any stow-aways into your home.
The Drawbacks to Insulating Your Home
Of course, with everything in life, you have to take the good with the bad, which means that home insulation comes with a few disadvantages that you should be aware of.
For the most part, these drawbacks can be overshadowed by the benefits or ignored altogether under an ideal situation.
Still, it is good to know what they are so that you can work around them when insulating your home.
These drawbacks include the initial cost of insulation, the difficulty of laying it, as well as how costly mistakes can end up being:
The Initial Cost of Investment
While home insulation is by no means expensive, it does come at a cost; both for materials and labour. This might put some homeowners off getting it done.
However, when you consider the potential cost-savings that insulation can bring to the home, particularly where energy-efficiency is concerned, this initial cost of getting it is actually very low.
The Difficulty of Laying Insulation
The process of laying insulation is not particularly straightforward and should be conducted with exceptional care if it is going to be any kind of effect.
This is only a problem for those who would like to save a little money by taking the DIY route to insulation, which is never the best option.
Doing it yourself can also be dangerous since you will be working in the roof and in confined spaces. This, however, can easily be circumvented by hiring a contractor to do it for you.
Mistakes can be Costly
While we are talking about the pitfalls of going the DIY route to home insulation, let’s quickly point out that mistakes can be costly, especially if you need to replace any wasted materials due to mistakes made as a result of inexperience.
You may even cause damage to the ceiling if you make mistakes, which will incur even more costs. This can, however, be avoided by hiring a contractor to do it for you.
Contact Inulpro Today for Details
If you would like to know more about our services on home insulation, be sure to get into contact with one of our representatives at Insulpro today, or visit our website for additional details on our offers.