Insulation for your house isn’t just a great way to make it more comfortable in hot and cold weather. It’s a way to save money on heating and air conditioning bills and protect the planet by reducing your carbon footprint, too. Time and again, comparisons of heating and cooling costs in uninsulated homes vs insulated homes show this. But attaining these benefits is only possible if the insulation is a match for your climate, home and energy efficiency goals. Here are our tips on choosing the right insulation to save money, stay comfortable and reduce your carbon footprint.

Types of insulation 

There are three key considerations when choosing insulation: material, method and form. 

The form is how those materials will be manufactured to best suit the method. Once you know the materials and method, you then select the form.

Insulation materials most commonly used in Australia

Materials should be chosen based on the type of heat you’re targeting.

  • Glasswool

Made from glass fibres bonded together to create a wool-like texture, Glasswool is a type of insulation that is used in both domestic and commercial buildings. It can be manufactured as either loose fill or in batts, and is a lightweight, flexible and resilient material popular throughout Australia. Glasswool insulation prevents heat transfer via convection because of the millions of tiny pockets of air trapped between the fibres of glass within.

Reflective insulation

  • Reflective

Reflective insulation is comprised of a foil-faced building membrane which is designed to reflect radiant heat from a highly emittant surface. It can be used on its own or in combination with another material like Glasswool or foam. Reflective insulation is typically installed in attics or ceilings because it effectively reflects 95% of the heat radiating from the sun back upwards and prevents it from transferring down into the house through conduction.

Methods of installation

The best method of installation depends on the type of walls and materials in your home. 

  • Bulk

Bulk insulation is the most popular and commonly used method. It is typically bulky (hence the name) and comes in batt, blanket, board or spray form. Bulk insulation works best for walls you have easy access to, like attics and crawl spaces. It’s possible for experienced DIY-ers to install it themselves.

  • Spray

Spray insulation used for homes in which accessing walls and ceilings is difficult, such as homes with double brick walls. Small holes are drilled into the walls, into which insulation is sprayed to fill the wall’s interior. The walls are then sealed shut with mortar. It cannot be done without special tools so requires professional assistance. 

Forms of insulation

  • Batts

Batts are a type of bulk insulation which are installed in pieces. This works best for small and oddly-shaped stretches of wall or ceiling, but runs the risk of temperature transfer through the small gaps between batts.

  • Blanket rolls

Suitable for insulating a large area, insulation rolls are rolls of material that provide full coverage for walls or ceilings.

  • Spray

Spray insulation is liquid latex or polyurethane foam that expands and hardens to fill gaps and provide a thermal barrier.

Whatever material, method or form you choose, insulating your home will pay dividends for years to come. It’ll keep you comfortable, save money on power bills and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. All you need to do is find the best match! 


Looking for more home improvement advice? Check out our article on Cracks in walls: when to worry and how to repair.