Purchasing Insulation? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you’re looking to purchase insulation in Melbourne, then there are some rules you’re going to have to keep in mind when finding the perfect fit. There are several types of insulation available (each with their own pros and cons) as well as several types of varying R-values which denote how well their thermal resistance is. In today’s blog, we’re going to be exploring the various factors you should keep in mind when purchasing insulation for your home.


Insulations ability to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is denoted by its R-value – its total thermal resistance. It’s important to note that your homes exterior material also has an R-value – though it’s usually quite small – and will contribute to the total thermal resistance of your home. Depending on the type of insulation, there will be different ranges for the available R-values. For example, ceiling batts are available in values ranging from R2.5 to R7.0 and wall batts are available in values from R1.5 to R2.7.

When we break it down, R-values are split into both up and down values – which signify how effective insulation is at keeping heat within your home and keeping it out respectively. Generally though, when shopping around for insulation, you’ll just predominantly be dealing with the total R-value – which is the up and down values combined. Another thing to consider is which zone you’re in – as each zone in Australia requires you to meet the minimum R-value requirements.

BCA requirements

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has divided Australia up into eight different climate zones that act as a guide and reference for what the minimum R-value people should be aiming for is. Melbourne, for example, is zone 6 – “mild temperate”. You’ll need a minimum ceiling R-value of R4.1 and R2.8 when it comes to the walls. Note: These are overall ratings and include things like brickwork or cladding on your walls and roofing materials that may give a slight thermal rating. Keep in mind the guidelines set out in AS/NZS 4859.1 should also be followed to the letter to ensure your insulation is manufactured in accordance with the legal requirements and codes.

Something else that needs to be considered when installing insulation is electrics. These can cause fire hazards if the correct regulations aren’t followed so it’s important to make sure your electrician is following the correct guidelines. For example, you’ll need to leave gaps for certain types of lighting (downlights) as they can be a major source of heat loss (this is particularly true for older incandescent options). 

This can sometimes mean up to 200mm clearance in all directions for downlights. There are specially rated IC downlights that – if certified by the manufacturer – are able to come into close contact with ceiling insulation. This is a desirable option as it mitigates the number of gaps you’ll have in your ceiling.

Getting the right fit

Insulation is the best way to regulate your home’s temperature – but the insulation you purchase is only as good as the way it’s installed. All insulation batts must be snuggly installed between all wall cavities and joists to prevent air draughts. This is a crucial step in the process and why when you cut insulation batts or are measuring to purchase them you should always be looking at batts that are a bit larger than what you need. The end result should have no gaps. If there are odd shapes that you can’t fill with the pre-cut insulation batts then you’ll need to cut out the appropriate shapes to fit them.

Are you looking for quality insulation products in Melbourne?

Whether you’re doing it yourself or a hiring a professional – installing insulation is a critical stage in any home construction project and will define your home’s future ability to keep you and your family comfortable against the outer elements. Luckily for you, Insulation Essentials can help you when it comes to installing insulation. 

As trade-professionals, we understand the ins and outs of insulation and have over 35 years of construction industry experience in Melbourne & regional Victoria. We guarantee fast turnaround times on our installation and delivery services so you can get your home completed as soon as possible. We also stock a vast range of insulation batts and rolls in varying R-values – in addition to various accessories.

If you’d like to talk to our experts about the installation process or what sort of insulation will best suit your home, then please don’t hesitate to contact us using the contact form on our website or by calling 03 8339 7111.