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How Does Ceiling Insulation Work?

By on July 15, 2016 in Featured, Home Repairs

I was always taught that before you do anything, even if you are employing someone to do it, you should have at least a basic understanding of the process. This puts you in a much stronger position when it comes to discussing your options with a vendor, and hopefully ensures that you make the right choices and prevents you from getting ripped off.

ceiling-insulationEveryone knows that heat rises and as a result, the greatest heat loss in any property is through the roof. Now that we know and understand that, it makes total sense to target the roof as the first place to install insulation. Good roof insulation can reduce your heat loss by about 40 percent, which as energy costs continue to rise, is a significant saving. But how and why does ceiling insulation work?

Warm air always moves from where it is to where it isn’t. So if your home is nice and warm inside and outside the temperature is freezing, hot air will be attracted to moving outside. The purpose of insulation is to slow down that movement or transfer.

The first method of insulation is by reflection. Foil is normally used here and what it attempts to do is bounce the heat back towards its original starting point. So for our purposes, as the heat tries to escape through the roof, the foil would try to reflect it back into the home.

Air itself is a very poor conductor, which basically means it doesn’t transfer heat from one location to another. Now we know that ironically air itself makes for an excellent barrier to prevent heat loss and transfer. So for insulation purposes, insulating materials try to utilize this knowledge.

The insulating materials try to trap large pockets of still air, to effectively act as a barrier for the warm air trying to escape. The reality is that eventually the hot air and heat will manage to escape the purpose of insulation is to drastically slow down that process.

Now that you understand the theory behind roof insulation, you are now able to dig into more specific questions from your installer. There are lots of different materials used to try to achieve the best insulation. These will vary in cost, and not all may be suitable for your premises. When it comes to lighting in your ceiling, this will also be a factor in your choice of insulation, as building regulations state that electrical wires are not allowed to be buried in insulating materials for obvious reasons. So if you decide to have spot lights fitted in the ceiling/roof of your attic, then this will mean that there will have to be large areas of your roof that remain uninsulated.

There are also certain insulating materials that have been treated to make then fire retardant. If you decide that this would be beneficial to your home, then that will obviously affect your choices of material. Before you employ anyone to do the job ask for three separate quotes and ask them to explain their choices of material. Now you have a basic understanding you will hopefully be able to make the best personal choice for you.

The video below may assist with your understanding

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