Living in the tropics is a constant battle with the elements. It’s always either too warm or too cold. Worse still, homeowners such as those who live in the Northern Territory are often fighting an unwinnable war between balancing air conditioning and monthly electrical bills. There are a number of ways in which you can utilize insulation in your home, so that the property has the optimum levels of both heat retention and loss.
Windows and Doors
Choosing the correct type and style of windows for your location is essential. Some windows, such as louvre style windows, are ideal for controlling airflow throughout the home. Installing folding doors, such as bi folds, further increases the airflow throughout your property. Installing windows and doors which suit the location of your property has the potential to save you thousands. During the day, your home will retain enough heat to keep the property warm. However, when night time arrives the walls of your home will slowly release the heat, insuring that you are kept warm throughout the night.
Basements and Cellars
Insulating a basement or cellar is a bad idea. The transference of heat is such that the heat travels up, warming the higher floors of the property. If you insulate a basement, however, you are effectively cutting off the source of heat transference. An insulated basement will feel humid, damp, and there will smell like mouldy old socks. The smell alone won’t cause any issues for those living in the home; however, they will begin to smell the resulting stench of wood and other structures which have been allowed to rot. Left unchecked, this kind of insulation has the potential to bring your entire home down.
Again, it’s important to understand that wall and ceiling insulation can either make or break a property. For instance, there is absolutely no good reason to have insulation in the walls of your home which get the most sun. However, if your home has certain areas which remain cool throughout the year, you can help retain heat by insulating those walls. When the sun goes down, those are the first walls from which your home will lose heat. That heat can either dissipate quickly or slowly spread throughout your home. A good builder will be able to tell you where the most heat is either being retained or escaping, as well as providing you with recommendations on how to best utilize wall insulation.
Insulation is designed to allow for the retention or release of heat. Heat rises naturally, so it is important that you think carefully before insulating your ceilings. When a ceiling is insulated, the rooms below will retain heat much better. However, rooms above the insulation will not gain as much heat from lower floors as they normally would. That is good news for homeowners who like a cool, damp, bedroom to sleep in. However, the reality is that you will lose a significant amount of heat through an insulated ceiling. You also have to consider that, when heat is contained, it promotes dampness and condensation. Any kind of moisture build up in your home is an invitation to pests such as termites and also increases the chances of wood rot.
Roof insulation is, perhaps, the most important type of insulation. As heat rises, it is reflected back into your home through adequate roof insulation. Roll out insulation is the typical choice for roof spaces. However, you should probably choose a thickness which will allow you to upgrade, rather than downgrade. Foil insulation is ideal for tropical climates, as it acts as the perfect conduit for convection, radiation, and conduction. The radiation property of insulation is especially important to keeping tropical homes warm during the winter months. Heat is reflected back into the property, allowing the temperature to gradually drop throughout the evening and into the night. When installed correctly, ceiling insulation will – without a doubt – save you money on your monthly electricity bills.
Insulation – An Overview
There are lots of different types of insulation. However, each is suited better to different climates. When you live in a tropical area, the idea is to retain as much of the day’s heat as possible, so that you don’t freeze during the night. Take stock of the position of your home, in particular, where you get the most sun. Once you have an idea of where your home is taking in the most heat, it is much easier to determine how to best insulate your home. When you have a building inspection on a prospective home, you can ask which rooms are more likely to lose or retain heat. Once you know which rooms require the most insulation, you can save a lot of time and effort by ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible.