Experts urge home owners to protect against summer heat

Monday 8 October 2012, 12:31PM
By Gemma Stewart

Proper roof insulation and underfloor insulation will not only reduce heat lost from a building by more than 50%, it will also keep your house cooler in the hot summer months.

More New Zealanders than ever before are being diligent about insulating their homes, using different types of insulation to ensure a warm and dry home in winter.

But while roof insulation and underfoor insulation can reduce heat loss by more than 50% at a stroke, many of us don't think of how it will also keep our house cooler and more comfortable in the summertime.

The New Zealand Government's Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart program encourages home owners and landlords to insulate their homes, and Harrisons Home Energy Solutions alone has insulated more than 2,000 homes since the grants program began.

“Insulation works by trapping air within the building's ceiling, floor cavity, and walls,” says Phil Harrison, of Harrisons Home Energy Solutions. “Good insulation can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs – that is a lot of money.”

Harrisons recommends premium Enviroblanket insulation, a material made from recycled plastic, and which contains no chemical additives.

“This product is very efficient because it rolls out like a large blanket and covers the entire ceiling, including joists,” says Phil. “It really minimises hidden heat transfer, both in summer and winter.”

Home insulation is believed to provide significant health benefits for the occupants, especially those that suffer from respiratory illness, and for elderly and young children.

Harrisons Home Energy Solutions is a Kiwi owned family business that has been in operation since 1962. Harrisons consultants are fully mobile, and the company offers a 10-year installation guarantee and lifetime product warranty on Enviroblanket insulation, as well as a Best Price Guarantee.

Footnote: Five things to consider before you insulate: 
1. Clear out your attic or ceiling space before your insulation assessor visits – you'll save time on the insulation process, and you'll be helping the team do the most professional job possible.
2. Look for leaks – turn on all the cold taps in the house and check all pipes under the floor. Leaks will need to be fixed before underfloor insulation is installed. Check your hot water piping at the same time.
3. Loose wiring is dangerous for insulation installers – so consider having an electrician check that everything is safe and sound underfloor.
4. If it's a while since they have been used, check that your floor or ceiling trapdoors will open. If you don't have a manhole in the ceiling, ask a builder or handyman to cut one. The cost should be around $250.
5. Identify any recessed lights set flush with the ceiling, and extractor fans in the ceiling, and point them out to your installer, as they will need to be installed with a clearance gap to prevent overheating.