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Insulating an older home – Jo’s story

While many of us are adding extra blankets at night to beat the winter chill, Jo’s place is so warm that even without the heating on, they’re taking blankets away.

After installing ceiling and wall insulation in her older brick veneer home in Melbourne’s north, Jo Pianta couldn’t be happier with the warm results.

“We can have the heating on from 6pm to 10pm and at 3 in the morning it still stays at 19 degrees.”

While her home is warmer in winter than it’s ever been, her gas bills have also gone down, dropping by about 20 per cent since the same period the previous winter.

“The wall insulation, made of rock dust, has made a big difference . It’s magic stuff,”

With a triple-fronted brick veneer home, Jo was faced with a common question. How do you get insulation into the gap between the bricks and the plaster of a home that’s already been built? That is, without having to tear it all apart.

With a little help from the Australian Energy Foundation, she found that with blow-in wall insulation, there’s no need to remove any inside or outside walls at all. 

Specially designed for existing homes, installers just lift a roof tile, insert a pipe in the wall cavity and pump in the insulation in granular form – like sugar. Made from the same material as insulation batts, it then finds its way into all the available air pockets. For difficult to reach spots, such as under windows, a small two centimetre hole can be drilled into the mortar. Any holes are just re-filled, matching the mortar colour.

Jo then benefits from a more comfortable home, year-round.

“Sitting in our lounge, watching TV, is so much more comfortable now, summer and winter. And we’ve actually had to go back to using our lightweight doonas because otherwise it’s too hot.”

Jo Pianta, Coburg, Melbourne

To learn more about insulation, explore our introductory guidecontact us or get a quote for your home.