Insulation is essential in NZ’s houses.
Many houses built prior to 1978 will have zero or very little insulation. As of July 2019, insulation is compulsory in all rental homes.
Insulation is critical in preventing heat loss in cold weather, and preventing heat gain in warm weather.
It comes in many forms, and also works to reduce noise pollution.
Insulation selection tips: • Specify above the Building Code’s minimum R-value • Choose from natural or recycled materials • Ideally re-usable at end of original use • Isn’t harmful to install (doesn’t require PPE) • Keep performing through its lifespan (no sagging or degrading) • Insulation will perform better if it’s thicker and/or denser, and kept dry
Window selection tips: • Use at least double or triple glazed • Use a thermally broken window suite (this means there is a plastic strip between the outer faces of the aluminium to stop cold travelling through the metal and causing condensation) • Consider having argon or krypton gas added between glass panes for added insulation • Consider Low-E glass in combination with a gas to further optimise insulation • Consider Passive Trickle Ventilation. There are window systems which have heat reactive springs which automatically open and close slightly when ventilation is needed. No motor but continuous airflow. Ideally for opposite windows, to achieve cross ventilation only – not all windows. • Consider what frame material suits your aesthetic, performance and maintenance requirements best.