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Swartland: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Insulation

Due to the ever-increasing cost of electricity, as well as the permanent pressure on the South African electrical grid, it is imperative that we all pursue ways to better insulate our homes.

Says Cobus Lourens from Swartland, the local distributor of world-leading Knauf insulation: “Making sure that your home is well insulated goes a long way to making it more of a comfortable space to live in. It also promises that you will use much less electricity to cool your home down in summer and warm it up in winter, which will not only save you a lot of money on utility bills, but by using less electricity is better for the environment as well. However, according to the SANS 10400-XA building regulations, proper insulation is not only a nice-to-have, but it is actually a legal requirement for any new building.”

As part of its new Summit range, Swartland has recently launched Knauf insulation to the local South African market. Cobus explains: “Knauf Insulation represents one of the fastest growing and most respected names in insulation worldwide. It manufactures glass mineral wool products that have set new standards in sustainable, high quality, yet affordable insulation that is sold in more than 70 countries around the world. The Knauf brand’s promise is very much in line with Swartland’s – offering best-in-market durability, sustainability, quality and technology, at the best possible price.”

There are a number of different types and makes of insulation on the market, which can make selection a difficult process if you are no sure what you are looking for. Cobus says that even though Knauf insulation is one of the most reasonably priced insulation brands currently on the market, it is unwise to make your selection purely on what’s the most affordable option. He offers the following five pointers that will help you make the right choice:

1.) R-values: When choosing insulation, its R-value is one of your most important considerations. R-value is a measure of the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow: the higher the R-value, the better the resistance. Insulation with a lower R-value tends to cost less, but if you don’t select insulation with the right R-value for your climate and circumstances, you will be wasting your money. Says Cobus: “Knauf rolls have better R-value ratings than any other major competitors – with values ranging between 1,25 (50mm), 2,50 (100mm) and 3,38 (135mm). It is also interesting to note that Knauf insulation boasts R-values that are approximately 22% better than any of its Isotherm counterparts.”

2.) How far does it go: Not all insulation is created equal – better quality insulation will go further, giving you more bang for your buck, says Cobus: “The rolls of Knauf glass wool insulation have more insulation in them per square metre than any of its competitors. For example, the Knauf 50mm roll covers 22,8m2, while its closest competitor’s 50mm roll covers a mere 12m2. Knauf’s 100mm roll covers 12,12m2, while its closest competitor only covers 9,6m2, and its 135mm roll covers 9m2, with its closest competitor covers a mere 7,2m2. Also Knauf offers a combi cut product, which means that its 1200mm-wide rolls can be used in multiple lengths of 2 x 600mm; 1 x 800mm, and 1 x 400mm. This makes them far easier to install and can save time and effort when installing them. Opposition products have no combi cut options, and are only available in1200mm widths.”

3.) Understand where to insulate: Although first prize is to insulate your entire home, some areas of your home are more important to insulate than others – with the ceiling being your top priority. Says Cobus: “Between 25% to 35% of heat gain and loss is through your ceiling – making it by far the most important area to insulate. By comparison, around 15% to 25% of heat gains and losses are through walls, while only 10% to 20% are through floors. You can radically reduce the need for expensive heating and cooling by insulating your ceiling, walls and floor, however, if you only have the budget to insulate one of these options, then you should insulate your ceiling first.”

4.) Green credentials: Apart from the environmental benefits of your home being insulated, you should also take a look at the green credentials of the material you are using to better insulate your home. Says Cobus: “Often, the insulation and fire-retardant qualities of insulation would be affected by its green credentials, but with Knauf insulation with Ecose Technology, this is no longer a problem. Ecose Technology means that Knauf insulation is manufactured from rapidly renewable natural materials instead of petroleum, and bonded using a bio-based technology that is free from phenols, acrylics, and it has no added formaldehyde, artificial colours, bleach or dyes.”

5.) Other beneficial properties: Apart from the obvious properties, insulation offers some other benefits as well, notes Cobus: “Insulation helps to better soundproof your home due to its acoustic insulation qualities. Also, any insulation needs to be fire-resistant, which helps protect your home in the event of a fire. Knauf insulation for example, has been awarded Euro Class A1, and SANS10177 – Part 5 fire certification. Also, Knauf insulation will actually improve the air quality in your home, as it emits virtually no dust or unpleasant odours. Unlike other competitor products, Knauf glass wool insulation does not make your skin itch, which means that it is pleasant to handle and to install – an important factor for workplace contact and DIY enthusiasts.”

For more visit Swartland.

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