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It’s time to rethink how we insulate our homes against draughts. Expanded polystyrene insulation is one of the most effective materials for sustainably insulating draughty houses. Unlike many of our Northern Hemisphere counterparts, in Australia we tend to build houses with plenty of draughts.

In colder climates, it is essential to control draughts in housing because the heating costs would be prohibitive. But here in the Southern Hemisphere we’re still learning about the merits of insulating our draughty homes sustainably to cost-effectively reduce the amount of cool air that can enter.

Michael Ambrose, CSIRO’s Senior Experimental Scientist and a former architect, says unintentional draughts are particularly an issue in southern Australia, where they can add up to 20 per cent to home energy bills. He also notes that older homes leak more than newer homes.

“Leaky houses tend to go with age,” he explains. “The older the home, the leakier it is. Old weatherboard houses from the 1950s are very leaky, especially if they’re on stumps. You don’t get leakage through concrete slabs.”

He also says that there is currently no specific level of air tightness that new homes must achieve. The building code states, “sealing of the building envelope against air leakage” is required for compliance. But there is no measure as to what is an appropriate level of sealing.

What is draught proofing?

Draught proofing is finding and fixing draughts to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient. Draughts are similar to ventilation, in that both let fresh air into your home. Good ventilation helps reduce condensation and dampness and can help cool down a hot house. Draughts, on the other hand, are uncontrolled – they let too much cold air in and let too much hot air out.

Draught proofing, such as installing expanded polystyrene underfloor insulation, stops warm air from escaping in winter and hot air from entering in summer, saving money, and making homes more comfortable.

According to Sustainability Victoria, up to 25 per cent of winter heat loss from existing houses is caused by draughts, while nine out of 10 homes in Victoria have unwanted draughts. In the extremes of summer and winter, it is more difficult to lock in comfortable temperatures because indoor air can easily be lost outdoors through the multitude of draughty areas.

How to eliminate draughts with Foamex expanded polystyrene

Insulating and draught-proofing homes can significantly lower the carbon footprint and introduce a whole new level of thermal comfort all year round.

Foamex supplies many polystyrene products to the building and construction industry and a great place to start is insulating walls, floors and the ceiling. Quality insulation materials, such as the range of expanded polystyrene products manufactured in Australia by Foamex, are the cornerstone of energy efficient homes.

Expanded polystyrene insulation is the most cost-effective and effective ways to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of homes. Adding insulation, either to new or existing homes, creates a more comfortable home year-round by virtually eliminating condensation on walls and ceilings. And it pays for itself – and then some – over time in energy savings.

We’ve found that homes with timber floors could be losing up to 20 per cent of their heating via the flooring. While carpet and underlay help to provide some insulation, to maximise heat retention, underfloor insulation helps create an effective thermal barrier. Expol Underfloor Insulation from Foamex creates a warm, dry, and healthy home while reducing the energy footprint.

The benefits of Expol Underfloor Insulation for effective home insulation

Available in a range of sizes and lightweight, and quick to install, Expol underfloor insulation by Foamex is an easy DIY project and a smart way to start saving money on your energy bills. It is perfect for new homes as well as existing homes.

Foamex's Expol Underfloor Insulation comes with a 50-year limited product warranty and conforms to the minimum thermal resistance rating, with an R-value of 1.4 for timber floors. Expol Underfloor Insulation is available at a range of leading home hardware retailers across Australia and is great for DIY installers because it’s easy and quick to install.

Interested in learning more about how Foamex can supply Expol underfloor insulation for your next project? Visit the Expol website to find your closest stockist.

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