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How to install ceiling insulation

How ceiling insulation works
Ceiling insulation is designed to reduce the transfer of heat through the ceiling. Heat naturally flows from warm to cool areas, particularly through ceilings.

During the winter months, the heat inside a home is lost through the ceiling, walls and windows and we resort to energy to heat a home. With the installation of ceiling insulation, an effective level of insulation reduces our demand for energy and lowers our monthly energy costs.

There is a right and a wrong way of installing ceiling installation.

If the material is too compressed it provides less resistance to heat flow. Properly installed ceiling insulation should be laid in its natural, fluffed form without potential air cavities.

As a DIY project, adding ceiling insulation is fairly simple to do and your local hardware store should offer standard material as well as the tools needed to set it up.

You will need:
Ceiling insulation – enough to cover the entire floor space*
Safety clothing – dust mask, safety glasses, long-sleeved T-shirt and pants
Utility knife
Tape measure
Knee board – large enough to span two tie beams or joists**
Portable light

Before you start…
*Glass fibres do not present a health risk. They may, however, cause itchiness (similar to that caused by grass). It is advisable to wear gloves when installing fibre-glass insulation. In the case of itching, wash affected area with warm, soapy water.

*Be careful where you walk. Only walk on larger tie beams or joists and use a knee board that spans beams for sitting.

*The easiest way to determine how much insulation is required is to measure the perimeter of the house. For example: If the house is 9 metres long and 10 metres wide = 90 square metres of ceiling insulation is necessary.

*A tie beam or joist is a horizontal span of timber that runs from wall to wall to support a ceiling or roof. An off cut of timber that spans two joists can be used as a knee board.

Here’s how:

1. Working with one roll at a time, and starting at a far corner of the ceiling space, you need to cut the ceiling insulation so that it fits between the tie beams or joists.

Measure the distance between beams using a tape measure. While still in the bag, cut insulation roll to the required size. The roll should be cut 50 mm more than the distance between the beams.

2. Remove the insulation from the bag and roll out between the tie beams ensuring that it fits tightly between the beams.

Do not press the material as you lay, simply place on top of the ceiling and allow it to retain its original form. This is important as pressing down will reduce the resistance. For the same reason, it is also important to ensure that there are no gaps between cut strips.

3.  Cut the insulation out around trap doors and fix the cut section to the trap door using good quality contact adhesive.

Leave a 50mm gap around motors, or electrical fixtures.

It is advisable to lay the insulation underneath any wiring and to cut around any down lights to allow heat to escape.

Article source: Women24


Tips to stay warm in winter and save

Keeping warm during the icy months from April till July can become expensive. We’ve grown accustomed to rely on appliances to keep us pleasantly warm 24-7. With winter here and temperatures getting lower we are reminded of the “cold realities” of the current cost of power. Not to mention load shedding.

However, there are practical ways to keeping warm and enjoy winter without breaking the bank. According to Wikus Olivier, debt management expert at DebtSafe, there are a variety of options available to individuals who want to warm up, and save up:

Gearing your geyser

Whenever there’s a talk, blog or list about saving energy you can bet your favourite winter jammies that the geyser will feature as one of the biggest culprits. That’s because your geyser makes up between 30% and 50% of your household’s electricity bill. So naturally we need ways to keep our geysers’ electricity usage to a minimum. Here’s how:

– Solar geysers. Most South Africans live in sunny parts, so why not opt to use the sun instead of Eskom?

– Geyser blankets. This additional layer of insulation is wrapped around your geyser and prevents heat loss through the steel casing.

– Geyser timers. A timer means your geyser only uses electricity during selected times instead of all the time.

– Heat pumps. Replace your geyser with a heat pump that uses up to 3 times less energy than a conventional geyser.

– Energy saving shower heads. The low flow shower head reduces the flow rate, which reduces water and electricity use.

Light up and save up

Another item you’ll always find when searching for ways to reduce electricity costs is light bulbs. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs may be costly, but in the long run it will make a huge difference on your electricity bill. CFL bulbs reduce power consumption by up to 75% and last 8 times longer, while LED bulbs are even more efficient than CFL bulbs and lasts up to 100 times longer than standard light bulbs.

Home sweet, warm and cost efficient, home

It’s safe to say that you and your family will be spending time in your home during winter. Making it necessary to find ways in which you can keep the heat up while keeping the costs down. Here are some simple, and creative, ways to do just that:

– Rugs, socks and slippers. You will be surprised how much warmer you will feel when you keep your feet warm. Plus, keep blankets in your living spaces to keep warm instead of using costly electricity to warm up the whole room.

– If you’re looking for room heaters which uses minimum electricity opt for panel heaters or oil heaters. If you are looking to use no electricity then we suggest using gas heaters.

– The sun. During the day make sure the sun gets into your home. Plus, if you are feeling chilly during the day go for a walk outside in the sun. In 10 minutes you will be warmed up completely and have gotten some valuable vitamin D.

– Thermal insulation. A popular option is to get ceiling insulation, which prevents the heat from escaping during the winter, and keeps the cool air from escaping during summer. Very nifty.

– Also, check where your house is leaking heat. For example, if there’s a window or door leading outside that doesn’t close properly, fix it. Even a quick fix like duct tape will work just fine until you can save enough cash to replace the door or window.

“Before spending money on any home improvements for heating, consider how you will be paying for it. Will you buy the items in cash? If so, is it cash that you have saved for this purpose or will you fall short the next month? If it turns out that you don’t have enough cash to go full out, simply divide your home improvements into phases by prioritising which spaces in your home needs heat,” says Olivier.

“If you use credit, whether it’s a credit card or loan, plan how you will go about to pay it back. Do you have the budget for the repayments, and do you know what you will be paying for interest and admin fees? Always keep in mind, a R500 heater could cost you R700 when bought on credit,” concludes Olivier.

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