Draught proofing and insulating your home
Sealing up gaps around doors and windows can make a huge difference to your heating and cooling costs.
Checkout our guide to insulating your home
The average Victorian home built pre-1990 has draughts equivalent to having your front door open all the time. In fact, draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss from a home in winter.
Draughts come in many places around a home from chimneys, exhaust fans, walls vents, around doors and windows and cracks around skirting boards, floor boards, architraves and over the tops of windows.
The good news is that most draught proofing is easy to install and inexpensive.
Main benefits include:
- Saves you money in heating and cooling costs
- It’s the most cost-effective retrofit you can do
- Reduces traffic noise
- Stops windows rattling
- Stops insects and dust, pollen and pollutants (and even mice) from entering your home.
You may also be able to claim for rebates for draught proofing products
For more info:
A note on safety
Do not undertake draught proofing if you have an unflued gas heater or any open flued heater. In a tightly sealed home, the gases from these appliances can present a carbon monoxide poisoning risk. With other gas appliances, special care needs to be taken including regular servicing and cooktop extraction to outside.
Good insulation can make a big difference to your home’s performance all year round. A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
Ideally, insulation should be installed in the ceiling, walls and floors of your home to create a sealed envelope which acts like a thermos in winter to keep heat inside, and like an esky in summer, to keep heat out.
Ceiling insulation is the most important insulation you can install in your home. It is the best barrier against the summer heat and the winter cold, saving you up to 20% on your heating and cooling energy costs. Most Victorian homes already have some form of ceiling insulation, but if it has been in your roof for a while, it may not be performing as well as it could.
Even a very small gap (5%) in your ceiling insulation can reduce the effectiveness of your insulation by 50%. If you have had issues with rodents, moisture or mould in your ceiling, it might be time to have your insulation replaced.
Floor and wall insulation can also greatly improve your house’s energy efficiency.
There are several factors to consider when it comes to bulk insulation:
- Material (glass wool, polyester, cellulose, rockwool or sheep’s wool)
- R value (higher the value, the greater the insulating effect)
- Format (batts, blankets, loose-fill)
- Environmental impacts (does the insulation have recycled content and how easily can the product can be recycled after use)
For more detail on insulation options and what R value to choose, check out Sustainability Victoria
Depending on you level of DIY skills, you may like to install insulation yourself, or you can use a professional installer.
Additional info can be found here