Value of insulation reaffirmed yet again
The perception of Australia as a hot country is set to shiver this week. A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet states exposure to cold temperatures contributes to 6.5 percent of deaths in Australia. To put this into perspective, cold temperatures contributed to about 3.9 percent of deaths in Sweden. Another finding of the study indicates that cold claims more lives than heat in Australia.
The cold blooded truth is constant exposure to cold temperatures is bad for our health. Poor insulated homes have high energy bills, are chronically cold and unsurprisingly, detrimental to health. Many homes in Australia barely scrape the 2 star standard, which is the equivalent to leaving a window open all day.
The residential sector contributes to nearly 20 per cent of greenhouse emissions every year, with poor thermal comfort being a major contributor to high energy usage. Moving away from this “glorified tent” model would mean warmer homes and reduced emissions, tackling both climate change and improving our health.
The solutions are straight-forward and they’re already standard practice in countries like Sweden. Australia needs to warm to basic energy-saving measures which would significantly improve thermal performance; simple solutions including improving ceiling insulation, draught-sealing, and energy efficient lighting.
If you’re building a new home, it’s really important to ensure it’s at least 6 star energy efficiency rated. Given that raising performance to 5 stars can cut household energy bills by about 40 per cent, a comprehensive retrofit can usually pay for itself in bill savings in five to seven years.
Australia’s high death rate from cold weather is a wake-up call – particularly for our relatively chilly southern states. Click here to find more information on why insulating with Bradford can help save you money, make you more comfortable and improve your health.