Proper insulation is an essential part of every home’s interior. It plays an important role if you want your house to remain warm during winter and block off excess heat during summer. Apart from having a comfortable environment, insulation helps to keep your energy bills at a reasonable level because you won’t be using the HVAC unit all day long to stay comfortable. So which insulation should you buy for your house?
Factors to consider when choosing insulation
The choice of insulation depends on which part of the house you need it for. The attic, crawl space, walls and all the different rooms in the house require a unique type of insulation. Another factor to consider is the R-Value of each type which is the maximum thermal performance so that you have the optimum comfort in every room.
Blown-in/ Loose-fill Insulation
As the name suggests, this type of insulation is blown-in into designated spaces such as wall cavities, unfinished attic floors and walls, enclosed walls and hard to reach areas using a tube. This type of insulation is very popular because it is easy to install and it is fairly affordable. Blown-in insulation completely fills the spaces between the walls and seals any cracks so it’s one of the best types for energy efficiency. It’s also a great to seal any spaces that let in air such as outlets, pipes and ductwork. The materials used for blown-in insulation is fiberglass.
Batts and Rolls Insulation
Batting is also known as blanket insulation and it is suitable for spaces that have no obstructions such as floors, ceilings and unfinished walls. The attic insulations looks just like a cotton candy blanket and it is spread out flat and fitted through beams, joists and studs. Batts slow down heat or cold from passing through and trapping air between the tiny fibers. The difference between batts and rolls is that batts are pre-cut to fit between those tiny places like studs while rolls come in a long continuous blanket. It is a very affordable type of insulation that lasts for many years if it’s well taken care of.
Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation is installed on unfinished walls and roofs during construction. You can also install it during a major renovation and put it on the outside of your home. Those who choose to install the foam boards after the construction usually glue or screw them directly to the floor in the basement walls and floors to keep the cold and moisture at bay and then seal them with spray foam or a special tape. Rigid foam boards offer an air-tight insulation at a very affordable cost. A more expensive but easier type of foam board insulation is foam spray which works the same way but it is in liquid form so you just spray it into the walls and floors.
Reflective insulation is typically installed in attic ceilings or under the roof. It works by reflecting heat from the sun instead of absorbing it hence keeping the house cool and comfortable. Materials used for reflective insulation include foil-faced kraft paper, polyethylene bubbles, plastic film and cardboard fitted between beams, studs and joists. While not all types of insulation necessarily require a contractor, it is best to hire one. Not only will they do a better job, they will also seal air leaks and do other repairs before installing the insulation. If you are building a new house or renovating an old one, you should obtain a few cost estimates from a few good contractors and consider every advantage and features of the insulation especially the R-Value.
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