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Terra Lana Insulation

terra lana insulation installersFor eons, man has trusted wool for warmth. Completely natural, wool is nature’s answer to heat regulation, keeping sheep comfortable through a dramatic range of temperatures, warm in the harshest of winters, cool in the most unbearable of summers. Terra Lana is New Zealand’s premier wool insulation. Wool insulation is naturally warmer than polyester or fibreglass, providing a natural, breathable insulation that moderates against both cold and hot weather, helping to keep the home at a steady, cosy temperature throughout the year.

Made in New Zealand, for New Zealand homes, Terra Lana insulation is perfectly designed to maximise the benefits of insulation in New Zealand’s unique climate, defending the home from the large temperature, humidity and pressure fluctuations we encounter each year. Innovated specifically for New Zealand, and made from New Zealand wool, Terra Lana makes a home a home. The whole Terra Lana insulation range comes with BRANZ appraisal, outperforming many synthetic insulators on R Rating, and far outperforming them on comfort.

Air Moderation Properties of Terra Lana Insulation

Wool fibres are the only fibres used in insulation in New Zealand that have hygroscopic properties – absorbing and releasing water vapour into the air. This moderates the natural fluctuations of humidity in the home. The wool fibres in Terra Lana insulation act like natural lungs, stripping the air from excess water vapour during humid months, and ‘topping up’ dry air. Regulating the home’s internal air means that the lungs do not have to work so hard, reducing the likelihood of developing respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma. New Zealand’s high asthma rate has been attributed to the high percentage of poorly insulated homes for this reason.

This also further acts to regulate air temperatures, with heat from the air causing the wool to release water vapour, having a further cooling effect. In cold months, the wool has the opposite effect, absorbing moisture and releasing latent heat in return. This ‘double action’ property of natural wool means that Terra Lana insulation creates the most comfortable conditions in the home. In removing the moisture, wool also naturally removed airborne toxins from the home. ‘Sick building syndrome’ does have a cure. (Sick Building Syndrome is a genuine medical condition – toxins and poisons used in the manufacture or treating of many household materials (formaldehyde in wood treatments) are released into the air slowly as the materials degrade, causing illness in residents). Steady conditions in temperature and humidity are recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Financial Benefits of Terra Lana Insulation

The dehumidifying effect of using wool fibre insulation has beneficial effects beyond the comfort of the home and the health in the lungs. Damp conditions within the home are a financial nightmare. Firstly, the mould and mildew that thrive in damp conditions can create structural and aesthetic damage to a property, with repair costs depending entirely on the length of time it is left. On a second financial stand, heating damp air in winter costs a lot more than heating dry air. This means that winter heating bills are vastly reduced. It costs much less energy to bring a dry house up to temperature, and when it is there, the wool insulation prevents heat from escaping, meaning less energy is required to maintain the desired temperature.

To this extent, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have calculated that an insulated home can save up to 20% of annual energy bills. A saving of around $300 per year on average New Zealand energy bills. Statistics New Zealand’s 2007 Household Economic Survey put this figure at $500 a year, calculating that by cutting the cost of heating the home (which is 40% of total energy spend), by 30-40%. Whichever statistic you choose, the cost of Terra Lana instillation can be completely recovered within just 3 – 7 years -the cost of instillation depending on a number of factors. With a lifetime of well over 50 years (and a manufacturer’s guarantee of 50 years), the return on investment from installing Terra Lana insulation is clear, even when only financial benefits are considered.

Due to the natural loft of wool, Terra Lana insulation maintains its structure across the lifetime of a home. This means that gaps, cracks and creases do not form between the insulation and the solid structure over time. These gaps can be the cause of some 50% of heat loss through man-made insulation, made from fibreglass or glass wool. The natural ‘spring’ in Terra Lana wool means that the insulation never condenses, pushing out the air pockets that are essential in maintaining a moderating effect on heat. If there are no air pockets, moisture and heat cannot be transferred as effectively, and therefore the insulation degrades.

Terra Lana Insulation Product Range

The Terra Lana insulation range covers the whole house. The main areas for heat loss from the home at well documented; 30-35% through the roof and ceiling, 18-20% via the walls and a further 12-14% through the floor. Other areas for heat loss include the area around boilers and pipes, as well as from doors and windows. Terra Lana have specially designed insulation products to ensure that heat loss from each of these areas (except doors and windows) are vastly reduced.

The largest area for improvement in heat loss is the roof. Terra Lana standard rolls are thick, and incredibly easy to install; install simply by unrolling onto the required area. It is best to use the largest rolls available. Gaps between insulation sheets have a large impact on insulating performance, and should be avoided where possible. Ceiling insulation tiles also come in non-standard sizes, and can be further cut to size to ensure that there are no gaps or cracks on the final instillation.

The Terra Lana underfloor range far outperforms their polyester rivals, largely due to their breathable properties. This allows air to flow, stripping it from excess moisture and retaining the heat. The product range itself largely mirrors that of the loft insulation range, with large rolls to be ‘topped’ up with segment pieces, themselves wonderfully easy to tear or cut to fit even the most unconventional of underfloor spaces. These are extremely easy to cut to fit, but for the best finish, custom pieces can be ordered to completely fill any space.

Terra Lana’s wall insulation range is specifically designed to fit into standard 2.4. and 2.7m stud walls, common in New Zealand homes. Again, customised pieces can be ordered to snuggly fit nooks and crags, or the rolls can be easily manipulated to shape. An expert fitter will be able to advise and fit, whilst also ensuring that the correct R Rating has been selected for the climatic zone. (There are three climatic zones in New Zealand with regard to Insulation Building Standards. More can be read about Insolation Climatic Zones).

Included in the Terra Lana insulation range are a number of specialist products. For home insulation, pipe lagging and cylinder wrapping products keep heating systems efficient and economical, meaning the money that does go into heating the home is not lost in transit. There are also acoustic insulation products for noise isolation, keeping unwanted noise created outside the house from disturbing the internal peace, as well as keeping internally produced noise contained!

Installing Terra Lana Insulation

Terra Lana is completely safe to handle, without the need for gloves, goggles or masks. There is no need to cut it size, the wool can be torn to size by hand, or, if you need to cut across the fibre, wool shears or a sharp knife will work. Terra Lana can be installed without fear of loss of performance. Gaps and folds in the insulation layer will have a negative effect on performance, but with a little care, these mistakes can be easily avoided. If required, our expert fitters can very quickly insulate your whole home, meaning that a quality, high performance finish is guaranteed, and you can start saving on the energy bills with immediate effect. Despite the ease with which Terra Lana products can be installed, it is advisable to contact an expert insulation installer. They will be able to ensure that the correct products, in terms of fit, building standards and performance are chosen, and that the fit is exact, ensuring that the Terra Lana 50 year guarantee conditions are met.