How to Choose the Right Insulation

How to Choose the Right Insulation

Insulation is an unseen, but a very important part of construction. It retains the heat that rises and travels up through your home, helping to regulate the comfortable temperature that you have set on the thermostat. Without proper insulation, heat can escape right through your ceiling and out any leaks or gaps in your attic. A little less than half (44%) of the energy used in the average American home goes toward either heating or cooling, estimates the US Department of Energy. But you can conserve energy and money with the right insulation. By replacing old insulation, a household could reduce heating bills by 10% to 50%! The question is, which insulation is right for you?

There are several different types of insulation that you can choose from to best fit the needs of your space. Use this guide to help you decide how to choose the right insulation.

Image of a man installing blanket insultation in a newhome

Blanket Insulation

Blanket insulation is can be made of Fiberglass, Mineral wool, Plastic fibers, or Natural fibers. This type of insulation is most commonly used on unfinished walls, such as foundation walls, or on floors and ceilings. When installed it is Blanket insulation needs to be Fitted between studs, joists, and beams and works best in spaces that are relatively free from obstructions. One advantage is that it is inexpensive, if you’re working on a budget.

Concrete Block Insulation

Concrete block is a foam board style insulation. It is normally placed on the outside of new construction walls or the inside of wall of existing homes. It is ideal for new construction projects or big renovation projects. Installing concrete block insulation is not a DIY project, it requires special skills, and you’ll need to reach out to local professionals.

Rigid Foam Insulation

Also a form board style insulation, rigid foam is made of Polystyrene, Polyisocyanurate and Polyurethane materials. It can be used to insulate unfinished walls, floors and ceilings and Unvented low-slope roofs, but needs to be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board for fire safety. Some advantages of rigid foam are that you get High insulating value for relatively little thickness and it can conveniently block thermal short circuits when installed continuously.

Image of a man blowing in insulation in an attic

Loose-fill and blown-in Insulation

Probably the most common home insulation, loose-fill style insulation is made of cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool. It is really handy for hard to reach places, such as an enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities, and unfinished attic floors. It is literally blown or poured in using special equipment- you’ll need a contractor for this job!

Reflective System

You’ve probably been in a basement and seen what looks like unfinished walls covered in tin foil. This is known as the reflective system, and it is, in fact, foil (sort of). Made out of Foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard, this insulation’s bubble-form can be advantageous if framing is off-kilter or if obstacles are in the way. It goes well in the attic because it is quite effective at preventing downward heat flow.

Fiber Insulation

Used mainly for insulating ductwork, fiber insulation is comprised of fiberglass or mineral wool material. It’s specialty niche is its ability to withstand high temperatures. This is not a DIY project, HVAC professionals will have to fit the insulation into ducts either at their shops or at the job location.

Spray Foamed-in-Place Insulation

Made up of Cementitious, Phenolic, Polyisocyanurate, and Polyurethane materials, this insulation type is good for insulating strangely shaped areas or adding insulation to existing finished areas where the old insulation may be too thin. Foam-in-place insulation is applied using small spray containers or if needed in larger quantities, a pressure sprayed product. Contact professionals at Green Rat Control to get quality service.

As you decide which type of insulation best fits your needs, there’s a few pointers to take into consideration. For starters, more insulation is not always better. Too much insulation can actually inhibit the overall performance of your home’s HVAC system and restrict airflow through the ducts, reducing proper ventilation. Another consideration is safety. Removal and replacement of insulation can be a very dangerous process; Risks include spreading airborne contaminants, mold spores and even disease. Rodent droppings are frequently found embedded within the insulation. Green Rat Control has the protective gear and the right expertise to do all you attic insulation removal and replacement services. Team up with them to start saving energy and money today!

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