December 1st, 2018 by
November 1st, 2018 by
We all know that ceiling insulating your home keeps it cool in summer and warm in winter, but how exactly does it do this? To fully understand the science of ceiling insulation, you need to have a basic understanding of heat flow.
Heat flows in one of three ways – via radiation, convection or conduction.
Conduction is the way in which heat moves through materials – think of how your saucepan conducts heat to its handles while you cook, for example. Convection is the way in which heat circulates through gases and liquids, while radiant heat simply moves in a straight line, heating anything in its path that is solid and absorbs its energy.
Heat is thermal energy, and the laws of science dictate that it must move from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a difference in temperature. Picture, then, your home in winter. Heat flows directly from all the rooms you’re spending a fortune to heat to all the unheated spaces, such as the roof space, adjacent garage, cellar or basement, and even to the outside. In the summer, the heat can’t wait to move right back in – coming in from outside where it’s hot, to inside, where you have the air-conditioning on. The heat will only be happy once the inside is the same temperature as the outside.
Heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference. In your home, this means that in winter, heat flows directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors–wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the interior of a house.
This is why you need ceiling insulation?
Most insulation materials work by slowing down conductive heat flow. Air is a poor conductor of heat, so the tiny pockets of air trapped in the insulation material minimise the amount of heat which can pass between the inside and outside of your house. Properly insulating yours provides an effective resistance to the flow of heat, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.
Aerolite ceiling insulation provides a high resistance to the flow of heat throughout the building envelope of your home. This significantly limits the impact of the outside temperature, helping to maintain a stable and comfortable living environment. Find out more at www.aerolite.co.za or at
August 1st, 2018 by
We all know that CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming. But what you may not know is, by the simple and inexpensive act of properly insulating your home, you can help significantly lower the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. Proper insulation reduces our demand for electricity and gas because we don’t have to use as much to cool or heat our homes. As South Africa relies heavily on burning fossil fuels, such as coal, to generate electricity, reduced demand means less of these fuels are burned, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that humble insulation actually has the greatest potential to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas.
Houses that aren’t insulated properly – or at all – use more energy to keep either warm or cool. Not only does this mean costlier electricity bills for you, it also means you generate a much larger carbon footprint. The amount of energy saved by proper insulation far outweighs the energy used to manufacture that insulation in the first place.
Choosing The Right Ceiling Insulation
When looking at insulation for your home or office, the most important aspect to consider is its performance. Will it consistently provide the required resistance to the passage of heat throughout its lifetime? It’s also important to consider how easy the material is to install, as this affects the ultimate performance of the insulation. Can it be installed, for example, without any gaps between strips of material, and can it be used over joists or rafters? Any gaps allow for the passage of air, which reduces the overall efficacy of the insulation.
It’s also vital to make sure that insulation materials that are compacted for packaging and transport puff up to their desired width during or after installation. Compacted material is not as effective an insulator as thicker material, which contains lots of air pockets.
South Africa has twice the global average of carbon dioxide emissions per person, meaning it’s even more important for each and every one of us to do what we can to reduce our emissions. Insulating your home with Aerolite is a great place to start. Aerolite is a non-combustible, glass wool ceiling insulation material that reduces the energy needed to maintain a comfortable living environment. It is made of 80% recycled glass in factories that are CFC and HCFC free. In addition, Aerolite saves more than one hundred times the energy consumed and CO2 emitted from manufacturing, transporting and disposing – putting you on the right side of a sustainable future. For more information, contact us today.
June 1st, 2018 by
As of January 2013, in accordance with legislation concerning energy efficiency in new buildings, it is compulsory for all new homes built in South Africa to have roof insulation. This new legislation is overseen by the South African National Standards (SANS) and was put in place to help South African homes reduce energy loss. SANS regulations state that all roofs must be insulated with a material that has a minimum R-value of 1.5, and all exposed hot water service pipes with a diameter greater than 80mm must be clad with insulation with a minimum R-value of 1.
For insulation purposes, South Africa has been divided into six climate zones, based on their temperature and humidity variations. Each zone has different minimum R-value requirements for certain walls and ceilings. When correctly installed, the appropriate thickness and R-value of insulation for your climatic zone protects your home against the cold and heat. It also saves electricity, providing a comfortable, healthy, safe and quiet space for you and your family.
SANS Regulations On R-Values
• Zone 1 (cold interior): R-value requirement of 3.7
• Zone 2 (temperate interior): R-value requirement of 3.2
• Zone 3 (hot interior): R-value requirement of 2.7
• Zone 4 (temperate coastal): R-value requirement of 3.7
• Zone 5 (sub-tropical coastal): R-value requirement of 2.7
• Zone 6 (arid interior): R-value requirement of 3.5
How Aerolite Complies With SANS Regulations
Aerolite insulation has one of the highest R-values in its class and offers excellent thermal insulation benefits, as well as great noise reduction capabilities. For Climate Zones 1, 2, 4 and 6, 135mm Aerolite is recommended, while 100mm Aerolite is ideal for Zones 3 and 5.
In addition to keeping your home between four and eight degrees warmer in winter, and four to eight degrees cooler in summer, Aerolite has a fire rating of A/A 1/1, meaning it will not burn. It is also SABS approved and has a lifespan of between 25 and 50 years. As an added advantage, Aerolite insulation doesn’t house rodents and other vermin, nor does it provide food for them. It’s also the perfect insulation for your hot water pipes.
To discover the benefits of Aerolite insulation for your home or office, contact us today.
April 1st, 2018 by
Houses, like people, have to breathe. If there isn’t a constant flow of air in and out, pollutants can enter our homes, stay, and ultimately affect our health. Moisture, in particular, can build up, creating mould, which can cause chronic respiratory problems.
Condensation is by far the most common cause of dampness inside our home. It occurs when moisture (or water vapour) in the interior air – caused by something as simple as our breathing – comes into contact with a colder surface, such as a mirror, window or wall. The temperature of the vapour then drops, causing beads of water to form on the surface. On a wall, this water soaks into to the paintwork or wallpaper, creating microscopic mould spores.
Condensation occurs most frequently on or near windows, on north facing walls, and in room corners. You’ll also often find it in places where it’s difficult for air to circulate, such as behind freestanding cupboards or beds – particularly when they’re pushed up against external walls.
Although all homes are affected by condensation to a lesser or greater degree at some point, some are more susceptible than others, and this is largely due to lifestyle factors. If you habitually dry clothes indoors, for example, or do a lot of cooking, or have hot showers without adequately ventilating your bathroom. In addition to these factors, the amount of condensation in your home also depends on:
• How warm or cold your home is
• How much ventilation there is
• How well your property is insulated
How Does Insulation Help Eliminate Condensation?
Essentially, keeping your home warm when it’s cold outside reduces the likelihood of mould growing, simply by reducing or eliminating the number of cold surfaces. Insulation is the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure your home stays comfortably – and healthily – warm during winter.
Aerolite insulation limits the impact of the outside temperature, helping to maintain a stable, comfortable and healthy living environment. Talk to us today about making your home happy and healthy.
March 23rd, 2018 by
Most people know that insulation helps to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. But did you also know that the right insulation is also highly effective at dampening noise?
Every insulation product has to have what’s known as a Noise Reduction Coefficient, or NRC Value. The NRC measures the build-up of noise within a space and uses a single number index rating to measure how effectively material absorbs sound. NRC ratings range from 0 to 1. This may not actually sound like much of a range, but each point between 0 and 1 represents a percentage. For example, a product with an NRC of 0 doesn’t absorb any sound, while one with a rating of 0.45 absorbs 45% of the sound in the space. Insulation with an NRC of 1 absorbs 100% of the sound.
All buildings have at least some acoustic properties, meaning they will either absorb, reflect or transmit any sound that strikes them. However, just like heat, sound waves always follow the path of least resistance. If there are any leaks or gaps in the acoustic insulation, sound will find them!
How Does It Work?
When a sound wave strikes the insulation, the sound wave causes the fibres of the insulating material to vibrate. This vibration creates heat – albeit in tiny amounts. Sound absorption is thus accomplished by way of energy to heat conversion. The more fibrous the insulating material, the better the absorption of sound.
Frequency also significantly affects how well sound is absorbed. Generally speaking, low-frequency sounds are very difficult to absorb because of their long wavelength. This is not usually a problem for humans, however, because at very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), the sensitivity of our hearing, and, therefore, perceived loudness, is poor.
For most insulation materials selected for acoustic purposes, the thickness of the material play the greatest role in how well, or not, it absorbs sound. Aerolite’s 135mm insulation has an NRC Value of 1.1, making it ideal for soundproofing applications. Contact us today to find out more.
When we talk about an insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow, we talk about its R-value. “R” stands for Resistance to heat flow. It is also sometimes referred to as Thermal Resistance Value (TRV), and it measures how effectively a material slows the flow of heat from a warmer to a colder area. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation capability of the material.
It’s important to remember that the R-value of a particular insulation material is the R-value of the product only – not the total insulation of the building as a whole. The walls, ceilings and roof of the building do provide some insulation on their own, which should be added to the value of the insulation material to obtain a final R-value. In addition, the pitch (or angle) of the roof, also affects the overall insulation. Walls have a different R-value to ceilings or roofs because they don’t experience thermal bridging (the phenomenon by which heat flows more easily through studs and joists).
The R-value of new insulation material is calculated according to several factors, including its thickness and density. The basic formula is: the thickness of the insulating material divided by its thermal conductivity. When looking at the R-value of insulation that has already been installed, additional factors – such as how old the material is, how much moisture it’s accumulated, and the ambient temperature – are also taken into account. R-value is measured through a series of industry standard tests – always look for insulation companies that have had their values certified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
Legislation Affecting R-Values
Three years after the near collapse of our energy grid in 2008, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) published legislation governing the energy use in new buildings. This new legislation took the form of SANS 10400-XA, an amendment to the National Building Regulations. From a building perspective, this new ruling divided South Africa into six climate zones, each one with its own minimum R-value required for thermal insulation in all new buildings.
These zones are:
• Temperate Coastal
• Arid Interior
• Cold Interior
• Temperate Interior
• Hot Interior
• Sub-Tropical Coastal
The R-values were calculated according to each climate zone’s temperature and humidity variations. Since the passing of SANS 10400-XA all insulation products must state the R-value of the product on their packaging.
Aerolite has a variety of thicknesses according to the R-value required for your climate zone:
• Aerolite 135mm – Temperate Coastal, Arid Interior or Cold Interior
• Aerolite 115mm – Temperate Interior
• Aerolite 100mm – Hot Interior, Sub-Tropical Coastal
In addition, Aerolite 50mm and 75mm can be installed as a top-up for homes that already have some insulation, but do not yet meet the minimum requirements for adequate insulation. For more information on the different climate zones, click here to see a handy map. And if you’d like to know more about calculating the R-value of your home, talk to the experts at Aerolite.