Recognizing the fact that your home doesn’t stay keep your family warm the way it should is the easy part. Determining what type of insulation makes sense for your home is a little trickier. Allow us to break down the different types of insulation available to you and the must-know facts about them. But first, some helpful knowledge that applies to all types of insulation.
Why Should I Care About My Home’s Insulation?
A properly insulated home:
- Is more comfortable
- Lowers energy bills
- Provides a healthier home environment
- Minimizes outside sounds
How Do You Measure the Strength of Insulation?
The unit of measurement for insulation is called the “R-Value”. The R-value measures how well insulation is able to resist heat going through it. The bigger the R-value, the better it will insulate your home.
The 3 Main Types of Insulation:
The Material: Just as the name implies, this type of insulation comes in spray cans. It’s a combination of resin and chemicals such as polyurethane & isocyanides. As the insulation is sprayed, it expands and fills up the entire area it is being applied to.
Perks:This type of insulation dries quickly and can be trimmed to expand past the boundaries you have set for the project. It fills entire areas that might be missed with other insulation alternatives. Spray foam insulation also increases your home’s resale value. Because spray foam does not absorb moisture, mold cannot grow on it.
Consider This: While spray foam is the most popular type of insulation being used today, there are a few factors you should consider. The investment for this type of insulation is the most significant and it may take 2-4 years before your energy savings have paid for the project. It is highly recommended that you hire a trained professional. Because of the nature of the material being used, the installation process is messier and lengthier.
The Material: Cellulose is mainly comprised of recycled newsprint. It is treated to combat against fire, insects and mold.
Perks: Cellulose tends to be cheaper than fiberglass insulation and like, spray foam; it can be applied with a sprayer which allows it to get in areas that fiberglass insulation cannot. Cellulose insulation is also quite fire-resistant. It is made of sustainable materials; it’s often considered a “green” form of insulation.
Consider this: Cellulose can settle over time which can decrease its R-value even further away from that of spray foam. It’s also highly recommended that this type of insulation be installed by a professional. The installation process can also produce dust particles which can cause irritation during the installation process.
The Material: Fiberglass insulation is a man-made fiber comprised from a variety of materials including sand and reused glass.
Perks: Fiberglass insulation is designed to fit in standard spots between wall studs. It is made of recycled materials and therefore, environmentally friendly. It is also typically the least chemically treated form of insulation.
Consider this: Because fiberglass contains small glass particles, direct contact with the skin can cause itching and rashes. Inhalation of these fibers can lead to difficulty breathing. Fiberglass insulation can be tricky to fit in non-standard spaces. The build-up of moisture between fiberglass and the building’s exterior cannot evaporate which can cause mold & mildew. Pinching or smashing of fiberglass insulation during the installation process can decrease its R-value.