Home insulation: 7 tips on how to choose an insulation installer
With summer behind us, it’s time for the third blog post in our series helping our community be more informed about home insulation – this time, we’re helping you know what to look out for when choosing an insulation provider. Missed the first two? Check them out here and here.
With the Warmer Kiwi Homes insulation subsidies programme in full swing, and the looming deadline for landlords to insulate their properties, we are already seeing that 2019 is going to be an extremely busy year for Sustainability Trust, and the wider home insulation industry.
As a result, homeowners who wait to book a home assessment until April may have to wait until July until installation, which could mean a cold start to winter for some.
We suspect that there may be a few ‘cowboy’ providers that pop up over the next few months to take advantage of this surge in demand, who may present a ‘quick and easy’ alternative to a 2-3 month wait time.
We strongly advise our community to research before booking an insulation install. We frequently see insulation that has been inadequately installed, and are called in to get it up to standard to ensure the insulation works as it is intended.
This blog post contains our advice on how to make sure you are using a professional installer that will ensure your home stays warm and dry this winter.
What should you look out for when choosing an insulation provider?
Expertise – How long have they been in business? How many homes have they insulated? Choosing a provider with a solid history and experience makes it more likely that they will know how to do a good job, and be around long term if you have questions or need help in the future (e.g. if a tradesman messes up the insulation and it needs a fix up).
Partnerships – Who do they work with? EECA Energywise has a list of professional insulation installers that meet strict standards and criteria: Other trustworthy partners are councils, the government, housing providers, the Insulation Association of New Zealand (IAONZ), Community Energy Network, property management companies, and community networks.
Customer feedback – What do previous customers say? Check customer testimonials on their website, and popular review platforms like Google reviews, Yellow and Ecobuild. Don’t forget to check their Facebook and other social media channels to get a feel for how popular they are.
Products – What product and brand range do they offer? Why? Established businesses will have evidence-based reasons for offering specific insulation products.
Installation standards – All new insulation should be installed to the current insulation standard NZS 4246:2016. This ensures thermal protection in homes, alongside protecting the health and safety of installers and occupants. Ask your installers what standards they work to, and how they keep their standards. Professional installers like Sustainability Trust are independently audited for EECA and Council-supported installs. We install to NZS 4236 and provide a 3-year install guarantee of workmanship.
Advice and guidance - What information do they give to support home assessments and product quotes? Do they explain what you need, why you need it and how it can be achieved (e.g. insulation repair, top up or full install, segment or blanket). Professional insulation installers should be able to back up product quotes with data and building science.
Cost – Cheapest does not mean best. Insulation is an investment and it pays off in the long run to get good quality insulation that is long-lasting and installed properly. There are options available to help reduce the upfront cost of insulation, such as rates loan schemes. Funding and subsidies are options for low-income households, and some insulation companies have other special offers e.g. end of season sales, discounts for large order values etc.
If you follow the above advice, you should be able to rest easy that the insulation provider will ensure that the job is completed to a high standard.
If you’re thinking of booking a free home assessment with us, we advise getting in touch ASAP to ensure we can get the insulation (or heat pump) installed before it starts getting cold.
Don’t struggle through a cold June because you waited - get in touch today.