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A Complete Guide to Home Insulation

March 24, 2022

home insulation

Gas prices aren’t the only commodities surging due to recent events. Heating and cooling bills are soaring, as well. Inflation is at 7.5% – a 40-year high- while energy prices increased by 27%.

Amid these issues, the majority of residences are still under-insulated. Without proper insulation, you’re more affected by the rising costs.

It might be time to upgrade your home insulation. To know more, keep on reading for our handy guide.

Why Is Home Insulation Important?

If your home has proper insulation, you can enjoy great benefits. Don’t worry about the initial costs. After all, you’ll get your money back as savings.

Cost-Efficient

The best benefit of proper home insulation is saving money in the long run. It reduces heat transfer and the risk of air leakage through cracks, windows, and doors.

Insulation keeps the heat inside during winter, while it keeps the heat out during summer. Your home becomes more energy-efficient, lowering your bills.

If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, the savings can add up quickly. You’ll notice a big difference in your monthly bills.

Increased Comfort

Better home insulation increases the comfort for everyone in your home. The reduced heat transfer maintains the temperature in the house to a comfortable level.

Another way it makes your environment comfortable is by keeping the noise level to a minimum. The insulation also cushions the sounds coming from the outside.

Materials for Home Insulation

The benefits you’ll get depend on the type you choose to install. Look for the R-value rating, which indicates the material’s capability to resist heat flow.

It all depends on the material, thickness, and density. The higher the R-value, the better its insulating properties. Check out the most common insulation solutions below.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a material spun from molten recycled glass. It has good insulating properties, but it doesn’t stop heat transfer completely. It acts as a filter, earning the nickname “filter glass.”

Fiberglass insulation can be tricky to install. As it comes from glass, its fibers can be sharp. When these touch your eyes or skin, they can cause rashes and itching.

Cellulose

Cellulose insulation comes from recycled paper fiber, such as newspapers and cardboard boxes. It has protective chemicals added to improve its efficiency.

It uses ammonium sulfate, fire retardant, and boric acid. These chemicals make the cellulose insulation resistant to fire and insects. Another benefit is that it’s resistant to rodents, too.

This type of insulation is a greener alternative to other materials. Aside from the recycling part, its manufacturing process takes less energy.

Foam

Foam has high R-values, but it comes with a high cost. It’s more flexible, and it comes in different varieties.

For one, injection foam consists of chemicals that you pump into walls and cavities to form an insulating material. It expands to fill gaps and hardens when it settles.

Another type is spray foam. It works by spraying liquid polyurethane into cavities and spaces to create insulation once it settles. It further has two categories: open-cell and closed-cell.

Open-cell foam is light and much cheaper. Beware of contractors suggesting it to unknowing homeowners. They turn a higher profit for using it, but it’s not the best choice of spray foam for you.

Closed-cell foam is much denser and with a higher R-value. It’s more resistant to temperature and weather changes. Although it’s more expensive, it’s worth it in the end.

Other Materials

Fiberglass, cellulose, and foam are the three most common materials used in homes. However, you have other choices that you might want to explore.

Rigid foam, for example, comes in sturdy sheets of different materials and thicknesses. It can be polyisocyanurate, expanded polystyrene, or extruded polystyrene. This type of insulation is more water-resistant and permeable to water vapor.

What the Home Insulation Installation Process Looks Like

If you’re getting new home insulation or dealing with problems, you might wonder about the installation process. It depends on your preferred materials.

Batts and Rolls

Fiberglass, cellulose, and rock wool come in batt form. Cotton and plastic insulation also comes in rolls.

This type of insulation is the easiest to install as its dimensions fit the standard measurement between attic rafters and wall studs. You only have to roll them out to the space. If you need less, make sure to cut it to the proper length instead of compressing it.

Loose-Fill

Fiberglass and cellulose may come in the form of loose fills. These consist of different recycled materials broken down into shreds and granules.

It looks as fluffy as cotton candy, although it’s not safe to eat. Loose-fill is best for installing home insulation for hard-to-reach places, like pipes and chimneys.

A machine blows the materials into place, making it a two-person job. One feeds the loose-fill insulation into the equipment while the other handles the hose.

However, you can do this process by hand for small projects. You’ll need proper equipment, such as an electric drill and drywall compound mixing attachment.

This material can irritate your lungs. It’s best to invest in respiratory protection, as well, if you want to do this project.

Spray Foam

Spray foam requires professionals for insulation installation. They mix chemicals on-site to produce thick liquid foam. It then goes into an exclusive applicator.

You also have to mind the gaps to increase the efficiency of your insulation. Check the utilities, fixtures, and openings in your house.

Batts and rolls work best with spray foam, which can fill gaps. Caulk is for smaller spaces, such as around electrical boxes.

Get Home Insulation Now

Home insulation is a vital process if you want a safe and comfortable environment in your home. If you’re thinking of installing one or updating your current set-up, go ahead. The savings will make it worth it in the end.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about home insulation methods and types before splurging.

Do you need better home insulation? If so, feel free to contact us today.

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