b'order to obtain optimum insulation. There are also techniques for injecting water-resistant loose insulation or foam into holes drilled in the inner wall lining or exterior cladding. However this is less reliable because its hard to assess whether all the gaps have been lled. Denitely a job for the professionals. Of course, wall linings such as GIB Plasterboard are a key component in any insulation scheme, and if its noise control youre after, GIB Noiseline can be used. Reective foil is no longer used to insulate walls (it doesnt meet minimum standards) but is still effective as underoor insulation, particularly with blanket insulation attached. Like any insulation it needs a perfect t for optimum effectiveness, so all gaps must be sealed. Due to the possibility of electrical cables running under the oor, the laying of foil insulation can be riskycabling can be pierced, or if its incorrectly installed you may end up with a live oor. Hire a professional installer or get an electrician to inspect it. Expanded polystyrene, which comes in rigid foam sheets, is a popular choice for under concrete oors. Its also very multi-functional and can be used to insulate walls and ceilings. For the more rainy parts of the country, a well-vented underoor space with an additional layer of polythene sheeting on the ground is effective at keeping dampness at bayremember, damp under-oor timbers attract fungus.An uninsulated home will lose about 42% of its heat through the ceiling and roof, 24% through walls and 12% each through windows and draughty doors.If youre replacing old windows, think carefully about double-glazing, even if you dont live in an area where its now required. In Europe its widely used as a form of insulation (triple glazing is fairly standard in some Scandinavian countries) and for noise reductionyoull nd most houses by major roads in England have double-glazing. Not everyones budget will stretch to double-glazing, so cheaper options include the obvious, such as heavy, thermal-backed curtains that t snugly around window frames and pelmets that reduce draughts.Theres no denying that spending money on insulation reaps many benets. Not only will it give you a warmer, drier home with lower energy bills but it will, according to a recent Otago University study, enhance your overall health and well-being. To nd out more about insulation, take a look at www.smarterhomes.org.nz, www.energywise. org.nzandwww.consumerbuild.org.nz.OrforAustralia,seewww.greenhouse.gov.au/ yourhome/.top tipWhichever type of insulation you choose, the objective is a really snug t, because even the smallest of gaps will signicantly reduce effectiveness. For really cold areas, insulate cold water pipes separately (as well as hot water pipes) with special pipe insulation.'