There are all sorts of insulation materials on the market today, and some are more effective than others. But each of these materials has its up and downs, so it’s best to be informed about the best materials you can use, and how and when to use them. We understand this may be a bit difficult, which is why we created this brief but still comprehensive guide on insulation materials.
What Parts of the House Need More Insulation?
The attic is the first place you’ll want to have insulated. This is usually the coldest place in the house in the winter and the hottest in the summer. This is why you need to ensure no heat is lost in the winter and no warmth gets in your home in the summer.
What Type of Insulation Works Best?
The only way you can truly know what kind of insulation works best for your specific needs is to employ an expert professional contractor. Since we work with these materials and install them on a regular basis, we will always be able to pick the right materials for you.
How Much Insulation Do I Need?
This is yet another question best answered after a thorough assessment by an expert contractor. Insulation is chosen based on the recommendations of the Department of Energy but also depending on R-values and the available budget.
Best Types of Insulation Materials
1. Rigid foam insulation (R-4 to R-6 per inch)
Rigid foam is, in most cases, the best option out there. It’s used for walls, foundations, roofs, retrofits, and new constructions. It’s available in several thicknesses, and it’s usually made by special order. Rigid foam doesn’t lose its R-value and will not be affected by high humidity of water.
2. Spray foam insulation(R-4 to R-6.5 per inch)
Spray foam insulation, or SPF, is sold in disposable cans and as single part foam. It’s created by isocyanate and polyol, two materials that when mixed together, expand up to 60 times their liquid volume. This is why spray foam is usually is usually preferred for sealing cracks and gaps.
3. Loose-fill fiberglass(R-3.4 per inch)
Loose-fill insulation is made of tiny particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. It’s suitable for retrofits and places where other types of insulation are difficult to install.
4. Fiberglass batts(R-3.2-3.8 per inch)
Fiberglass batts are some of the cheapest and easiest to install. They come in different thicknesses and widths and are perfect for basements and crawl spaces. However, they are often installed poorly, which reduces their efficiency. They also lose their R-value because of humidity or compression.
5. Cellulose Insulation (R-3.8 per inch)
Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspapers heavily treated with ammonium sulfate, boric acid, and borax. These are effective flame retardants and help prevent mold. Cellulose insulation is usually used in attics but can be used for walls and floor assemblies.
How Do I Choose Insulation
When choosing the type of insulation you need, an expert will consider:
– Location. Depending on the area you want to insulate, you will need a specific type of insulation.
– Composition. Each type of materials has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are cheaper while others are more expensive depending on what they contain.
– Type of foam. If foam is the desired material, one will also need to pick between batts, blow-in, loose fill, spray foam, and rigid foam.
– R-value. This is the insulation material’s resistance to heat transfer. The greater the R-value, the most effective the material is. To learn the total R-value, simply multiply it by the thickness of your favorite insulation material.
Insulating your home is always a great idea. This will help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, ensuring no heat is lost or gained. Furthermore, with proper insulation, you may save hundreds of dollars on air-conditioning and heater costs annually.
To ensure your home gets the best type of insulation and that it’s correctly installed, you should always contact an expert. They’re the only ones that know best what to work with and where to install the ideal materials.