It is time to improve your home's insulation

With winter now making many Cape homes considerably colder and less welcoming than they were in summer, this is a good time to consider installing - or adding to - the ceiling insulation of most homes, says Cheryl Neave, PR Manager of Cape Town’s Building Centre.

Good insulation, says Neave, not only makes a house more comfortable both thermally and acoustically but it cuts down radically on energy costs.

One of the major insulation companies for which the Building Centre has a permanent display is Brits Textiles. Their main product, Isotherm, which is supplied in roles 750mm or 1,200mm wide and in thicknesses of 40mm to 100mm, can reduce energy consumption of between 40% and 70%, which in today’s escalating electricity cost scenario is something of which all homeowners should be aware.

“Isotherm,” says Neave, “is pleasant to handle, easily cut and eco-friendly in that it is made from recycled plastic bottles. It is highly resistant to condensation, bacteria and fungi and if burnt will not smoulder, smoke or give off toxic fumes. It is particularly effective in homes that are permanently or partly in shadow and tend to lose heat from early on in the afternoon.”

For factories, warehouses and lofts or any space designed not to have ceilings, Brits supplies Isofoil, another highly effective lightweight compressible material made from an outer layer of aluminium foil or polythene sheeting and polyester insulation.

Brits Textiles also produces another important energy saver, geyser blankets. These are wrapped around the geysers themselves and the inlet and outlet pipes. They give electricity savings of up to 27% on monthly bills.

“Again,” says Neave, “this is a particularly useful product in today’s energy cost scenario, because geysers are responsible for approximately 45% of the average household monthly electricity bill. This is an especially good product because the geyser blankets do not retain rust-promoting moisture and, being made of polyester, are, like the other Brits products, easy to install. They are also made of 100% recyclable products.”

Another Brits insulation product, Acoustisorb, is engineered to absorb sound but also has thermal insulation properties. Used in walls and partitions it can reduce sound penetration by 40%.

The Brits products are on display at the Building Centre, all of which, says Neave, have characteristics that suit specific tasks.

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