Types of Insulation for Your Home
Jun 19, 2017
Remodeling, restoring or adding onto an existing property requires many steps and there are many factors to consider. Features such as insulation might be an afterthought, but play an important role in keeping a home comfortable and livable despite its hidden nature. Installing or updating your home’s insulation can have a significant impact on your energy bills and overall electricity costs. There are many different types of insulation, each with different levels of thermal resistance and effectiveness.
Fiberglass insulation is one of the most commonly used materials in residential buildings. It comes in a variety of forms, including: rigid boards, soft blankets or loose fill. Every type of insulation is listed with its R-value, a measurement that determines how much heat can transfer through a material. The higher the R-value, the more a material prevents heat transfer. Standard fiberglass blankets usually have an R-value between 2.9 and 2.8 per inch of thickness.
Fiberglass is also non-flammable and very resistant to water damage, making it a popular choice for home insulation. However, the individual fibers that make up the material can irritate the skin and respiratory system. Installation should be performed by a professional or someone trained in the proper use of protective equipment.
Liquid insulation materials can be used and then sprayed, poured or injected into a space. The material then expands and hardens into place, creating a solid layer of insulation. Spray and liquid insulation conform to the shape of whatever area they’re sprayed into. This makes it particularly effective at insulating awkwardly shaped rooms or crevices. The foam seal also forms an airtight barrier. Foam insulation products tend to cost more than other varieties but have higher R-values than other materials.
Mineral wool, sometimes referred to as rock insulation, is similar to fiberglass. The material is available in blankets or free fill but is often more expensive. Mineral wool is made mostly of recycled materials such as slag and ceramics, making it capable of withstanding much higher temperatures than other forms of insulation. It is also free of the irritating properties for which fiberglass is notorious.
Cellulose, an insulation material composed primarily from recycled newsprint, has one of the highest R-values at 3.2 to 3.8 per every inch of loose-fill material. The material needs to be treated with chemical solutions to protect against pests, moisture and heat. Too much moisture can actually reduce cellulose’s effectiveness – it’s recommended the material be replaced every 5 or so years to ensure maximum efficiency. While installation should be performed by a professional, the process is comparatively quick and well-suited for filling irregularly shaped areas.
Insulation Services in California
Energy Saving Pros offers a complete suite of energy saving solutions, including comprehensive insulation services. After an energy audit our BPI certified technicians can help you decide what options are best for your home. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.