Thermal insulation is a great solution to reduce energy consumption by preventing heat gain or loss through the building envelope. This reduction of unwanted temperature changes decreases the energy demand of heating and cooling systems.
Since 2011 it is mandatory in South Africa to install thermal insulation in all new domestic residences. SANS 10400-XA Energy usage in buildings clearly indicates the required level of thermal insulation to be installed according to the Energy Efficiency Regulations.
Unfortunately, this is still not adhered to by some developers and contractors, and often the homeowner has to incur additional costs to comply with the regulations as it is ultimately the homeowner that is ‘responsible’ for the building after the project has been signed off.
In an existing house, one can easily retrofit thermal insulation by either installing it on top of the ceiling, or if there is no ceiling, insulation boards over rafters or trusses as a 2-in-1 solution, ceiling and insulation.
Thermal insulation is not only used in roofs. Standard opening sections (top, bottom and side hung) of steel windows are not designed to be draught proof and are most certainly not. In retrofit situations, a sealer strip (foam insulation) can be applied. This can be bought at any DIY retail store. Just follow the manufacturer’s installation specifications.
Most geysers are installed in the roof of the house where cold winter air can cool down the hot water. A geyser blanket can be installed around the geyser to insulate the hot water in the geyser from the cold air outside. A geyser blanket helps keep the water hot.
Ensure that the correct R-value (thermal resistance) for the product and application is in compliance with the Energy Efficiency Regulations.
“Since 2011, it is mandatory in South Africa to install thermal insulation in all new domestic residences.”
When in doubt, contact the Thermal Insulation Products & Systems Association SA (TIPSASA) on 0861 000 334, to assist with any questions concerning thermal insulation.