The most common insulation, blanket insulation, comes in flexible rolls or batts of fiberglass, wool, cotton, and plastic fibers. How your batts are installed determines the energy efficiency of your home.
Care is Needed During Installation
Precise installation of fiberglass batts is a must to get the best insulation. With careful installation, an optimal R-Value is achieved while avoiding the most common errors common when installers leave gaps around electric outlet fixtures.
Fiberglass batts are popular due as they are available in different thicknesses and widths which makes them a natural choice for different purposes. Additionally, fiberglass batts are easy to get at low costs.
Other Types of Batts
Over the last couple of decades, other materials besides fiberglass are frequently used as batts. These include repurposed cotton and mineral wool. While fiberglass batts have an R-Value of 3.8-4.0 per inch, cotton has an R-Value of 3.7 per inch and mineral wool has an R-Value of 4.3 per inch.
When installing faced batt such as cotton or wool, foil-faced Kraft paper and plastic are excellent vapor retarders. Faced batts are mostly installed in the attic, basements, floors, ceilings, and knee walls. The face of the batt insulation acts as a vapor retarder reducing the amount of moisture condensing into the protected area. This helps tremendously with heat retention and dispensation, saving you quite a lot in energy costs.
When installing a faced batt, the side with the face should always face the protected area as opposed to the exterior of the house. Faced batts, unlike unfaced batts, are attached to the framing member by joining them through the flanges. Here, careful installation is required to guarantee energy efficiency by avoiding gaps as well as avoiding the faced batts from slipping off from their framing members. This is where a majority of errors occur during batt installation due to corners and crevices. These obstacles eat away at the R-Value of the insulating material by as much as 50%.
Moisture, together with the expansion and compression of the structure can also reduce the R-Value of batt materials. To avoid these problems, it is necessary to fill in crevices and corners prior to installing batt insulation. If you have existing batt insulation installed, you can place the new insulation around it or inject a special form that fills up wall cavities increasing the R-Value of the new insulation as well as sealing any cavities. Additionally, cellulose or Blown-IN fiberglass can be added over the batts once the area is air-sealed.
To guarantee the best energy efficiency, a professional insulator should insulate your home from the roof down to the basement. This covers the attic, HVAC ducts and vents, walls, ceilings, floors, and the foundation. If any of these areas are missed or improperly insulated, your home’s cooling and heating systems will be considerably strained, leaving you with high utility bills every month.
Contact Home Insulators for a no-obligatory extensive evaluation to determine if your home needs a batt insulation. Call or contact us by e-mail for a free consultation and estimate for your batt insulation.