Home Insulation: What You Should Know
Insulation is one of the most important home improvements you can make. It will save you money in your home energy bill, reduce your home’s carbon footprint, and protect your home from moisture damage. There are many different types of insulation available for purchase at a variety of price points – so it’s not difficult to find an option that fits into any budget! This blog post will answer all of your questions about home insulation.
What does home insulation do?
Insulation slows down heat transfer between two surfaces by trapping air particles like a sponge. This will reduce home energy bills by up to 20% as well as increase your home’s comfort level!
Insulation doesn’t “heat” an area, it simply slows down heat movement through building materials. Since heat will always move to a colder source, in cold climates, insulation slows the heat from leaving the house and in hot climates insulation slows down the hot outside air from entering the cool inside. The result in both climates is energy saved by keeping the air conditioner or the furnace from operating as often. There are many types and forms of insulation, and some are better than others at insulating; however, all work by using dead air spaces or cells to slow heat flow. As an example, one of the most common insulating materials, fiberglass, is made from spun glass, and the actual material has very little ability to slow heat transfer. However, spun glass, or glassfiber, is a good insulator because it creates millions of tiny air pockets between the tiny pieces of glass that slow the movement of heat. In cold climate, it keeps the heat in your home from leaking out (making your home feel warmer and causing your heating system to run less). To compare the insulating quality of insulations, look for the “R-value per inch.” The R-value relates to the resistance the material has to the flow of heat. The higher the R-value per inch, the better the insulating performance. In order for insulation to be effective: – The proper insulation must be selected for the appropriate application – It must stay in place – It must be installed without gaps, voids, compressions, and low spots. — Source
What type of home insulation is best?
Unfortunately, there is no single best type of insulation. Insulation comes in many forms and selection of one over another will depend on your home’s specific needs. The most common kinds you’ll likely encounter are described below:
Blown-in or loose fill insulation is usually made of fiberglass or cellulose (recycled paper fibre). It’s blown or sprayed into place with a machine and is ideal for use in hard-to-reach areas, such as attics. It can also be used to fill wall cavities or to top up existing insulation.
Batts are pre-cut sections of fiberglass or rock wool insulation that are designed for easy handling and use between framing, such as studs and joists. They can be used in floors, walls, attics and ceilings.
Foam board insulation, or rigid panels of insulation, can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof to the foundation. Polystyrene and polyurethane are the most common materials used in making foam board. Foam board insulation sheathing reduces heat conduction through structural elements like wood and steel studs.
Latex or polyurethane spray foam insulation can be used to fill small gaps and cracks and is ideal for sealing around doors, windows and vents. It sets quickly, and can be trimmed, painted or stained. Special equipment may be needed to apply foam to larger areas.
Vapour barriers help control the amount of moisture that passes through insulation and are commonly used when framing the exterior walls of a house. If moisture from either direction is allowed to build up within the stud or cavity walls, the heat-conducting moisture will cause the insulation to lose its R-value and allow mould and rot to set in over time.
Radiant barriers deflect radiant heat, which can pass through other types of insulation to further increase your home’s energy efficiency.
What does home insulation cost?
The right home insulation for you will depend on what qualities are most important in your situation. In order to determine the cost to install or upgrade your attic & crawlspace, we need to know a few things:
- square footage of attic & crawlspace
- type(s) of insulation that are in the attic & crawlspace
- depth of the existing insulation
- does your home have insulation stops in place
If you know the answers to these questions, we can provide a free estimate for you over the phone. If not, we’d be happy to arrange for a free in-home attic & crawlspace inspection and estimate.
How long does home insulation last?
The life of home insulation is dependent on a variety of factors, and can vary anywhere from less than two years to more than 20. In order to get the most out of your home insulation it’s important that you maintain its condition by checking for leaks or damage regularly!
How can I improve my home insulation?
One way to increase home insulation is through a sealing spray foam. This option can be applied to both the interior and exterior of your home, as well as in crawl spaces or attics!
How can I check my home insulation?
There are many ways to check home insulation, such as by purchasing a home energy audit or using an infrared camera. These will help you identify any home insulation issues that need attention!
Where can I buy home insulation?
Insulation is sold at home improvement stores, home supply stores, and hardware stores. You can also purchase insulation online if you don’t live near any of these types of locations.
What is an insulation R-value?
R-value measures how well certain building insulation materials, such as foam insulation, can resist heat. The higher the R-value, the greater the performance of the insulation. Keep in mind that if insulation is compressed, the R-value will decrease. The higher the number, the more energy efficient it will be and vice versa. In general fiberglass batt insulation has an R-Value range from about 13 to 36 per inch; cellulose ranges from about 11 to 18 per inch; while spray foam starts at around 20 and can go up to 50 or more.
Your Free Estimate
I’ll follow with a more detailed FAQ regarding advanced concerns, such as “What is the best home insulation for sound proofing?” and many more in the next few posts. For now, feel free to inquire about a free estimate regarding your own home insulation needs! Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with our exclusive product & service offerings and latest news!