Previously, we discussed how insulation works and why you need to install proper insulation in your home. In this article, we are going to expand upon that idea and look at the different types of insulation out there on the market. After all, not all insulation is created equal. And while a good home improvement contractor can help you make the right decision when it comes to insulating your home and increasing your energy efficiency, it is always handy to educate yourself prior to any home consultation.
Suffice it so say, home insulation helps act as a barrier to trap heat inside of the home making it so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work quite so hard to perform its function.
What Types of Insulation Are There
There are many types of insulation you can use in your home to help increase comfort and energy efficiency. Each type has its own function, works in certain areas of your home better than others, and is more suited for a particular type of environment. Below is a quick breakdown of each type of home insulation.
The most widely used and common form of insulation you will find in the home improvement realm is blanket insulation. It comes in the shape of rolls – or batts as you may also hear – and is usually made up of fiberglass, though you can also find it made from materials such as mineral wool and natural (think cotton) or plastic fibers.
R-Values – the measurement of insulation’s thermal resistance (the greater the number, the more effective it is) – for blanket insulation range anywhere from R-2.9 to R-4.3 depending upon type and performance factor, with higher performance R-Values ranging in the higher end of those numbers.
Blanket insulation is best installed in unfinished walls, foundation walls, ceilings, and floors.
Foam Board and Rigid Foam Insulation
Foam Board – or Rigid Foam – is basically a “rigid” panel of insulation. Typically foam board insulation is made of a poly, such as polyurethane, polystyrene or polyisocyanurate. It is used practically everywhere in the home, most commonly in unfinished walls, foundation walls, ceilings, low-slope roofs and floors.
Loose Fill Insulation
Another type of insulation is known as Loose-Fill or Blown-in insulation. As the name suggests, this form of insulation takes the shape of small pieces of fiber (fiber, foam, fiberglass, cellulose or mineral wool) whose purpose is to fill spaces without harming the existing structure.
Loose Fill insulation is perfect for walls, attic floors and any pre-existing areas or strangely formed areas where other types of insulation would not fit. Another benefit to this blown-in insulation is the fact that it is made of recycled materials, making it somewhat eco-friendly.
Rigid Fiber Board Insulation
In situations where high temperatures are a concern, you will want to consider rigid fiber board insulation. The main function of rigid fiber board is to insulate air ducts that are part of an HVAC system.
Other Types of Home Insulation
The insulation listed above is only part of the insulation options you will have at your disposal. Other methods of insulating your home that a contractor might suggest, depending upon your comfort and home heating needs, include:
- Concrete Block Insulation
- Insulating Concrete Form Insulation
- Radiant Barriers and Reflective Insulation Systems
- Spray Foam Insulation
- Foamed-In-Place Insulation
- Structural Insulation Panels (SIPs)
If you are in need of an energy audit, are planning on getting insulation installed in your home, or replacing old insulation, why not give Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodel a call? Even if we cannot help with your specific project, we will be glad to give you a referral to someone who can!