What is the Best Insulation for a Home? Homeowners across the country know first-hand the consequences of insufficient insulation. Dirty, drafty windows, insufficient protection from the summer heat and winter cold, and overall high energy bills. Not only does this mean you are wasting money on your energy bills, but it also means your home is putting off large amounts of greenhouse gas, CO2. It’s simple – under-insulated homes are not sustainable.
Before you pull out those snow boots, puffy jackets, and hot chocolate recipes, you need to up your insulation game to something that will not fail you when the winter cold strikes.
Updating and improving your home’s insulation is one area where a little bit of investment can make a big difference in increasing your family’s comfort and reducing your energy bills.
Selecting the right insulation
What is the best insulation for a home? Homeowners have a lot of different options when it comes to choosing the best insulation for a house, and each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. We hope that through this article we have been able to explain some of these differences to help homeowners choose appropriate insulation.
The most common type of insulation is blanket insulation. This is the least expensive and easiest to install, which makes it a great option for DIYers.
Blanket insulations are sold at just about every hardware store and it comes in batts or rolls that are pre-measured to work with standard stud and joist spacing. It is available in all types of materials, the most common being fiberglass, rockwool (a man-made material consisting of natural minerals like basalt or diabase), plastic fibers, or natural fibers, including sheep’s wool, cotton, or blue jeans.
Blanket insulation is an affordable option, but it doesn’t provide the same level of energy efficiency as other types of insulation. That’s because it doesn’t have as much R-value as some of the other types on this list. And it must be installed properly – you can lose up to 30% of your heat or air conditioning if not installed correctly.
It can be difficult to fill all the spaces and gaps around your property. This is where loose-fill insulation comes in handy. Thanks to their small, loose structure, loose-fill insulation can fit into existing finished spaces, awkwardly shaped spaces, or hard-to-reach areas.
Loose-fill insulation is made up of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. The most common materials used in loose-fill insulation are fiberglass, rockwool, and cellulose (made from recycled paper products, primarily newsprint).
Foam board insulation is a great alternative to fiberglass batt. It has a higher R-Value per inch of thickness, meaning that less insulation is needed for the same amount of thermal protection; it’s resistant to moisture and easy to work with (and you’ll use less). Foam board insulation goes on walls as easily as wallpaper, requiring less effort than fiberglass batt insulation.
HowtoHomeInsulation.com says liquid spray foam is the best insulation for a house, hands down. “Only one kind of insulation… creates an air-tight seal in your floors, walls, and ceilings. This insulation is known as spray foam insulation and it is as revolutionary as insulation gets,” according to the website.
Spray foam, which is typically made with polyurethane, comes in two types, the less expensive open cell, which is filled with air and has a sponge-like texture, and the denser, closed-cell foam, which is filled with a gas that helps the foam expand to fill the spaces around it. Spray foam insulation works by acting as an effective air barrier and insulator all in one go. An airtight building envelope ensures warmth remains inside during winter and coolness outside during the summer months.
Mixing and applying liquid foam is a job best left to a professional who has the specialized tools necessary for this type of project.
What is the best insulation for a house? Two factors to consider
Not all insulation is the same. It’s important that you choose the right type. And not just any size; the amount you need to buy depends on several factors, including the place where you live and your home’s age.
Where you live
Not every climate is the same. Some places get a lot colder than others. Different climates also have different energy efficiency standards, such as R-values’-value refers to an insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
So, if you live somewhere cold, like the Northeast, you’ll need a higher R-value of insulation than you would need if you lived in the desert Southwest. EnergyStar.gov has a map that shows you the suggested insulation R-value for the best energy savings and comfort.
It’s vital you choose the right insulation for your Baton Rouge home. Get it wrong and you risk paying more in your electricity bills or facing problems with condensation or mold.
Your home’s age
If your home is more than 10 years old, you likely need more insulation. There are many ways to retrofit a home with insulation, according to the experts over at ThisOldHouse.com, including loose-fill, batts, spray foam, and foam board.
Conversely, if your home is new construction or in the process of being built, now is the time to consider installing structural insulated panels (SIPs), insulating concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks.
Insulate your whole home this winter
Winter is coming! The time when many people need to start worrying about whether their home will be able to stand up to the cold winter months ahead. The last thing you want to worry about is if your home will be ready for winter. But don’t worry – Roof Crafters Home Products is here to help.
Contact us today and we’ll inspect your house for drafts, insulation issues, and more. We’ll make sure it’s prepared for a heating season so you can enjoy the snow while keeping warm inside your home. In Baton Rouge, Hammond, Mandeville, and the entire Northshore of Louisiana call 225-667-1189.