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Why Insulate Your Home in Canberra?

Insulation is the most overlooked factor in Australian homes. In a region like Canberra, properly insulating your home is essential given its temperamental weather conditions.  

By efficiently insulating your home, we can keep you and your family comfortable all year round. Your home's temperature can improve by up to 10° warmer in winter and 7° cooler in the summer. Insulation also serves the practical purpose of reducing unwanted ambient and domestic noise. Perhaps the most important feature of all, you can save up to as much as 60% on your current energy bills - that's enough to pay for itself in 3-4 years - which adds to the overall real estate value of your home.

Honestly, it is hard to think of a better investment for your home.

Where Is Energy Lost / Gained in a Home?


For comfortable living, the environment of your home can be your worst enemy. If you're not already living it, recall those freezing winters - a massive 42% of your home’s warmth is lost through the ceiling and 24% is lost through your walls. An obvious and unpleasant truth is, the opposite occurs on those blazing hot summer days, with heat flowing in through your ceiling and walls. 

Our solution is Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation which stops up to 70% of all heat transfers. 

What is R Rating ?insulation house

When comparing insulation the properties of a products, we need to understand their R-value. 

R-value means the thermal resistance (m2K/W) of a material calculated by dividing the thickness by its thermal conductivity.

U-value (heat transmission) is the inverse of the R value. 

R-values are specified with insulation products. Products with the same R-value have the same insulating performance irrespective of the brand. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance.

Bulk insulation thermal resistance is expressed by material R-value.
Reflective insulation thermal resistance is expressed in terms of total R-value.
Reflective products have 2 x R-values depending on the direction of heat flow through the product.

  • ‘Up’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow upwards (sometimes known as ‘winter’ R-values).
  • ‘Down’ R-values describe resistance to heat flow downwards (sometimes known as ‘summer’ R-values).

Up and down R-values should be quoted when installing reflective insulation in roofs, ceilings, and floors.

Choosing insulation

Choice of insulation depends on:

  • Thermal performance
  • Condensation control
  • Fire rating
  • Moisture absorption
  • Acoustic performance
  • Expected life

What is the difference among Bradford, Fletchers, Knauf Insulation and GreenStuf® Insulation (Autex)?

Bradford, Fletchers and Knauf are all made of glass wool and all comply with Australian Standards.

Glass wool has 4 Zero fire rating. Autex made of 100% Pure Polyester (more information and prices of GreenStuff in ACT,NSW)

Bradford and Fletchers insulation are made in Australia, while Knauff insulation is made overseas. Knauff also uses a different binder.


Insulation products come in two main categories — bulk and reflective — which are sometimes combined with a composite material.



Any insulation you use in your home should have a guaranteed R rating. A guarantee shows that the insulation has been thoroughly tested and the manufacturer is certain that it meets R rating standards.

Do not accept any insulation products that cannot guarantee the R-value. CSR Bradford Insulation, Australia’s largest insulation company, guarantees all its batts will last the lifetime of your home. CSR Bradford Insulation complies to Australian Standard AS3742.


Time tests many types of insulation materials. Over several years, some types of insulation will settle or compress, causing a decrease in R value. As Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation cannot settle, shrink or compress, their R value is guaranteed to remain constant from day one for the life of your home. This guarantee, like all Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation guarantees, is given in writing.


When choosing insulation, always consider the possibility of a fire. A bale of hay, for instance, makes for a good insulator, however, it ignites easily and burns in seconds. Without the appropriate insulation, if one part of your home is ravaged by fire, it will quickly blaze through the roof space to other parts of your home. At Justrite, the safety of our customers comes first. We use Glasswool, made of 60% recycled glass, and Rockwool, made of basalt rock. The base materials of these products are extremely tolerant to high temperatures, above and beyond most residential fires. For grater peace of mind, feel free to contact us for a free quote.



All Bradford Glasswool batts are made from approximately 60% recycled glass, and our Rockwool product uses up to 15% of blast furnace materials that would otherwise become land fill. In fact, Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation is even better for maintaining a healthy planet than that. Studies show that home energy consumption is one of the prime contributors to the greenhouse effect. With the right insulation, you can reduce not only the greenhouse effect, but also the cost of your energy bills. You can expect, through energy cost saving, that the insulation will pay for itself within 3 - 4 years. By reducing your consumption of energy for heating and cooling, Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation doesn’t just save you money, they help save our planet as well.

CSR Bradford ComfortSeal Insulation and Bradford Rockwool are endorsed by The Allergy Research Foundation 

- for minimal VOC and dust emission in normal use.


Bradford Comfort Seal Insulation is now manufactured using the latest FBS-1 bio-soluble formulation and have been assessed as non-hazardous under the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission's guidelines.


For fast efficient installation by qualified installers RING NOW at: 02 6280 5300. We provide a free inspection of your home and advice on all your insulation needs.

Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow. It can make your home more comfortable by reducing the amount of warmth escaping in winter and reducing the amount of heat entering in summer. By insulating you can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The higher the R-value of insulation the more it slows heat flow and the better it works.

Why install insulation?

What sort of insulation should I use?

The important thing to remember with insulation is that R-value determines the effectiveness of the insulation. The type of insulation will depend on the circumstances of the project and personal preference. For example, wool batts rated at R2 will function exactly the same way thermally as Polyester Batts rated at R2. Check to ensure the insulation you choose passes Australian standards.

How much insulation do I need?


We recommend R 4 to R 5 in the ceiling; R1.5 to R 2 in the walls; and R 1 to R 1.5 under suspended floors or around slab edges. When installing, you should prioritise the roof first, then walls, then floor. You can lose up to 40% of the heat in your home through the roof, up to 25% through walls, and up to 15% through the floor.

Bulk insulation

Works by trapping tiny pockets of still air within its structure. This air provides a barrier or resistance to heat flow. Resistance to heat flow (R value) is not seasonally dependent for bulk insulation. See below for types of bulk insulation.

Reflective insulation

Works by a combination of reflecting large amounts of heat away from its polished metallic surface and/or by reducing the radiant heat being emitted from the surface. To be fully effective there needs to be an air gap of 25mm beside the reflective side of the insulation. Because reflective insulation works by reflecting radiant energy, it is more effective at higher temperatures and generally has a higher rating for summer R-values than for winter values. E.g. A layer of foil under roof tiles might be R0.23 for winter rating but R0.9 for summer.

Because Canberra has a climate that requires far more heating than cooling, it is generally easier to get adequate levels of insulation using bulk insulation rather than foil insulation.

Tips for installation

  • Fit: Avoid gaps in the insulation. When using bulk insulation, cut the insulation carefully to ensure good fitting around windows, ceiling fans, etc.
  • Keep bulk insulation dry at all times.
  • Have your wiring inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure it can be safely covered by insulation.
  • Avoid loose-fill insulation if your roof space is excessively draughty, unless a sealant can be added to bond its top surface.
  • Reflective foil should be installed with a still air gap of at least 25mm width next to the reflective surface. Tape up any holes, tears or joins in the foil.
  • Caution! Allow clearance around appliances and fittings. Do not install insulation within 90mm of hot flues, or recessed light fittings.

(Retain a clearance of 90mm for low voltage down lights). Restrain loose-fill insulation with non-combustible barriers
Retrofitting insulation to roofs with attic-type spaces is generally straightforward as access is relatively easy and there is adequate space for the bulk insulation. In general, it is a good idea to avoid covering ceiling joists as this may create a safety hazard unless a catwalk is installed.

Types of bulk insulation.

Cellulose fibre

Composition: Finely shredded wastepaper.

Borax and boracic acid are added as fire retardants and to deter insects and rodents. Cellulose fibre is pumped or blown into ceilings by contractors to the required depth for the R-value purchased. Depending on the installation method, this material may settle over time with an associated reduction in performance. It is recommended that your contractor cite installation to the Australian standard and guarantee the settled depth and R-value.

Glasswool (fibreglass) batts

Composition: Melted glass spun into a mat of fibres.

Batts with different R-values are available. Glasswool batts are flexible and easily cut and installed by a householder or a contractor. A dust mask, gloves and a long-sleeved shirt should be worn during the installation process. Fibreglass blankets with foil backing are also available and are typically used under the roof as insulation and a moisture (condensation) barrier. Gaps around and between the edges of batts can impact on the overall effectiveness of insulation. If you choose batts, make sure they are installed without gaps.
Once installed, it does not release dust or fibres and is not known to have any ill effects on health.

Polyester batts

Composition: Polyester fibres spun into a mat.

These are similar to fibreglass batts, except that polyester is not known to cause irritation during installation. Foil-backed polyester blankets are also available.

Polystyrene foam boards

Composition: Polystyrene shaped into boards.

These have excellent insulating and water resistant properties. They can be used in double brick and brick veneer walls and against solid concrete and rammed earth walls. They can be rendered so are an alternative to bricks for cladding.


Composition: Melted volcanic rock (basalt) spun into fibres.

Available in loose fill form for vertical wall cavities and as batts and blankets for ceilings and frame walls. Rockwool is denser than fibreglass and possesses superior thermal and acoustic insulation properties, but is usually more expensive. The same precautions should be taken when installing rock wool as when installing fibreglass.

Common problems that reduce the effectiveness of insulation

Down lights and Penetrations

As mentioned earlier, even small gaps in insulation can compromise the effectiveness of insulation. For this reason, penetrations in the ceiling should be kept to a minimum. Recessed down lights are particularly bad culprits in this area as a 20m2 room with 8 down lights would have an uninsulated area of only 1% by area, but this could increase heat loss by 15%, not including heat losses due to infiltration (warm air venting out through the down lights themselves).

Gaps and Cracks

Though it is not strictly speaking an insulation issue, many existing buildings, especially older ones, lose a significant amount of heat through drafts through gaps and cracks. Sealing these gaps and cracks is
Wall vents:

Canberra has a dry continental climate. There is no need for wall vents as witnessed by their absence in new houses. Remove and plaster over, or otherwise seal your wall vents for improved comfort.

Gaps around the skirting board:

This is particularly true for double brick houses but also holds true in brick veneer houses. A sizeable gap is often present where the wall meets the floor. Depending on the size of the gap, a silicon sealant, expandable foam, or additional skirting board will eliminate this problem.

Exhaust fans:

Are necessary for kitchen and bathroom ventilation but are typically open all the time. Installing a hinged cover in the roof cavity over existing fans or using fans that 'blade close' when not in operation will help reduce unwanted heat losses and gains.

Fixed Ventilation in bathrooms:

Many older houses have a hole or screened window that does not have any glass. Again, such permanent ventilation is not necessary. Consider replacing the screen or hole with glass or other suitable building material and crack open a window for low level ventilation at times when it is needed.

Gaps around Windows:

Especially in older houses, there may be gaps between the walls and the window frame. Treat these in the same manner as gaps between the floor and walls. In addition, windows may not seal properly due to wear or warping. It is usually possible to use weather-stripping (adhesive-backed foam strips) to improve the seal of existing windows. In extreme cases, window replacement may be appropriate.