Do you want a home that’s more comfortable, more efficient, and that will help you save your hard-earned cash? Insulation is the solution.
Insulation. It’s not glamorous, and for many, it’s something we don’t want to have to even think about handing over a big, fat check for. It is, however, an essential part of your home or renovation. Insulation fills in spaces, like the cavities in walls and attics, where air might escape. Good insulation will save the average homeowner 15% on heating and cooling expenses and, as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, 11% on overall energy expenses. That’s an average of $200 for each homeowner every year.
So it’s surprising that, considering the financial (and comfort) benefits of a well-insulated home, that the vast majority of U.S. homes are under-insulated (the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association pegs the number at 90%).
One thing you want to consider when choosing an insulation product is the R-value, a measure of the product’s “resistance to heat flow.” The higher the R-value, the more effective that insulation is at preventing energy loss. We can explain more about R-values as we have many years of working experience with homeowners. We can answer your questions you have about insulating your custom home or making insulation a part of your renovation or remodeling project.
While there are several insulation options available, most have specific uses, and not all will be appropriate for insulating your residence.
Blanket Batts and Rolls
R-value = 2.9 to 4.3 per inch of thickness
Fiberglass blanket batts and rolls are a popular form of home insulation (and may also be available in cotton, mineral wool, natural fiber, and plastic fiber versions). Manufactured to fit between standard-sized joists, rafters, and studs, installation is an easy job. Most feature vapor or air barriers. Some are available with flame-resistant facings.
R-value = 3.7 to 6.2 per inch of thickness
Spray foam insulation is a liquid polyurethane-based product used to seal leaks and gaps in existing spaces (think window and door frames and plumbing and electrical entry points). It is available in two formulations, closed-cell (which provides the highest R-value of any commercially available insulation) and open-cell.
(Spray foam insulations manufactured with chlorofluorocarbons or hydrochlorofluorocarbons—both of which are damaging to the earth’s ozone layer—are a thing of the past.)
While spray foam sounds like an easy DIY project and is frequently advertised as such, it can be more complicated than expected. Spray foam insulation is a job best left to the professionals.
R-value = 2.2 to 3.8 depending on contents
Blown-in insulation typically consists of fiberglass, reclaimed (or recycled) materials (like newspapers and cardboard), or rock wool. During the application, small particles capable of filling every nook and cranny are blown into open spaces and can conform to areas of any size or shape.
Reflective or Radiant Barrier
This type of insulation works by reflecting heat away from a home, preventing heat gain and transfer. Since it works so differently from other insulation products, its performance is not measured in R-values. It is used most often in warm climates and isn’t recommended for cooler climates.
Foam Board or Rigid Foam Panels
R-value = 4.0 to 6.5 per inch of thickness
Foam boards and rigid panels are among the best insulating options available for reducing energy consumption. Not only can they be used to insulate every part of a home—from the foundation to the roof—they minimize the loss of heat that may occur through structural elements such as wood or steel. This kind of insulation is also used in exterior applications like sheathing.
If you want a home that is comfortable, efficient, and cost-effective, insulation is the key. We can help you determine which insulation option is right for your home.
For more information, call us or click here to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.