Insulating your walls saves you money on heating and cooling in the long term. It also provides sound barriers between rooms, and also from outside noise. Hence, this is a process you really want to get right.
If you’re building a new house or renovating, the process is much the same. If you’ve got existing walls and want a less invasive way of doing it, there’s options too. Here’s our handy guide on wall insulation.
Planning and Measurement
The gaps between wall studs are usually the same width in most houses. However, it may vary depending on what era your home was built in. With exposed wall cavities, this task is easy. Simply measure for the size of the batts, and count how many you need.
For established homes you may consider blow-in insulation. This requires less measurement, but we’ll touch on this later.
Choose Your Insulation Wisely
There are a few main things to consider when choosing wall insulation. Firstly, it should be optimised for high thermal performance. Also, you may wish to consider greener options. There’s plenty of eco-friendly insulation out there now, and it’s certainly high quality.
The best insulation also provides good sound absorption, and this is especially important for internal walls. It’s also wise to choose a product that’s non-combustible, because older types of insulation can represent a serious hazard if a fire was to break out in your home.
All insulation also comes with an ‘R’ rating, for ‘resistance to heat loss’. This rating is closely aligned to the thickness of the batts. For wall insulation, you should be using products with an R rating of 1.7 – 2.5.
Get the Appropriate Tools
Insulating or soundproofing walls isn’t particularly labor intensive, but you do need the right equipment. Firstly, you need a retractable knife for cutting your batts to the right size. Also, a staple gun will come in handy.
Furthermore, safety equipment is essential. You’ll want sturdy gloves, a face mask, and some form of long sleeves or pants. You can even buy a cheap, zip-up full bodysuit from most hardware stores.
Install the Insulation
This part is surprisingly easy. You may want to watch some tutorials before doing it, but the process is simple.
- Cut your batts to the right size
- Push the batts in between the wall studs
- Use a staple gun to secure the paper lining of the batt to the stud. Roughly every 15-20 centimetres is fine
- For extra efficiency, you can apply a vapor retardant film to the insulation on external walls
These are the basic steps, but if you’re not sure we recommend contacting a professional.
Blow-in Insulation and Spray Foam
The other methods for insulating walls include using spray foam or blow-in insulation.
Spray foam can be applied yourself. Generally, though, this is more appropriate for smaller areas, such as around vents and chimneys in the roof. For larger areas, batts are more cost-effective.
Blow-in insulation however, involves blowing insulation into the walls using a special machine. It can be done through small holes in the wall, making it less invasive if your walls are already in place. For this method, we recommend contacting your local trusted experts. They have all the right equipment to get the job done properly.