What Is the Best Insulation for a Home? When the winter is coming, maintaining an optimal temperature in the home becomes one of the key requirements to keep our comfort. Usually, people tend to think about the winter clothing they’ll need and hot chocolate recipes. However, have you ever wonder if your house is ready for winter?
The first thing you must check is if your home has the proper insulation. This approach is the best way to avoid heat losses and save energy. But, maybe it will surprise you to know that most of the homes in the US are under-insulated. According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), only 1 out of 10 American homes don’t have proper insulation.
Curt Rich, president and CEO of NAIMA stated, “People don’t see insulation, so they don’t think about it”.
“They see windows and doors, so they think about those items. The reality is that insulation has a three times greater impact on the average home’s energy and comfort than windows or doors do.” Indeed, windows and doors play a major role in your home’s insulation system.
So, you can improve a lot your family’s comfort and reduce your energy bills. You only have to update and improve your home’s insulation.
Next, we will see the insulation options you can find so you can choose the best for you.
Choosing the Right Insulation
You’ll find several insulation options in the market. Each has its advantages and downgrades. So, you need to know the basics of each product you will find in the market before going to the hardware store.
- Blanket Insulation:
Usually, blanket insulation is available in fiberglass. But, you can find other types made of plastic or natural fibers, rockwool, cotton, blue jeans, and sheep’s wool.
This type of insulation is the most usual, and you can find it in almost every home center. Besides, it is somewhat cheap.
They come in pre-sized rolls or batts, with standard stud and joist spacing. Also, sellers can cut them to fit any special requirement. These advantages make it the most preferred option for those who enjoy DIY projects.
- Loose insulation:
You may need to insulate hard-to-reach or unusually shaped spaces. But, for these cases, blankets are not good. So, loose insulation is an excellent option for when you need to insulate existing finished spaces in your home. It has a small and loose structure that allows to fills spaces like these.
Elements such as foam and small-fiber particles shape loose-fill insulation. Traditionally, rockwool, fiberglass, and cellulose coming from recycled products are the raw materials of this type of insulation.
- Foam boards:
Foam boards are rigid foam panes suitable for ceilings, floors, and foundation walls. Commonly, they are made of polyisocyanurate, polyurethane, or polystyrene.
According to the Department of Energy, they “can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof down to the foundation”. “They are very effective in exterior wall sheathing, interior sheathing for basement walls, and special applications such as attic hatches.”
- Spray foam:
This insulation method implies using liquid polyurethane. Your contractor will spray this liquid on the wall cavities, sealing existing gaps or leaks. Besides, there are two types of spray foam. The open cell texture is like a sponge and is filled with air. This alternative is cheaper. Also, there is the closed-cell foam, where gas makes the foam expand, filling the spaces around it. This option provides high insulation but is more expensive.
HowtoHomeInsulation.com affirms that this is the best insulation for homes. According to its website, “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 is as revolutionary as insulation gets”.
If you choose this type of insulation for your home, you should call a professional with the necessary tools to do the job.
The best insulation for your house: two factors to consider
The right kind of insulation and the amount you require for your home depends on these two elements:
- Where you live:
Here we’ll consider a factor called the R-value. This factor measures how much a superficial barrier allows heat to flows through itself. This barrier can be a wall, a window, a roof, or an insulation layer. The highest the R-value, the greater the insulation will be.
Different climates demand different insulation R-values. Therefore, somebody living in the desert Southwest will require a lower R-value than somebody living in the cold Northeast.
For your convenience, you can use a map available on EnergyStar.gov. This map shows the recommended insulation R-value according to each region to maximize savings and comfort.
- Your home age:
Is your home a new construction? Is it in the building process? If you are in one of these cases, you should consider installing structural insulated panels (SIPs), insulated concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks.
“All of these materials are considered insulating materials as they are manufactured with the purpose of increasing R values on a building,” wrote author Juan Rodriguez on theBalance.com.
On the other hand, old houses built before 1960 commonly have no good insulation. Indeed, if your house is more than ten years old, it will likely need more insulation.
As the ThisOldHouse.com experts affirm, there are many ways to retrofit a house with insulation. Options include loose-fill, spray foam, batts, and foam board.
“If your house has some insulation in the finished walls but not enough to keep put the cold, you’ll need to remove it before you can add more because the old stuff can get in the way and lessen the effectiveness of new insulation,” says general contractor Tom Silva.
A whole-insulated home is very energy efficient and needs very little additional heating and cooling. But, your home can leave escape heat in several ways. Hence, it is critical to optimize insulation in every opening of your house.
Hot air tends to rise. So, if your attic doesn’t have good insulation, it will allow heat to escape through the roof. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners can save between 10 to 50% of their average heating bill when insulating their attics.
So, the Roof Crafters’ Integrity Roof System eases the air movement on the deck underside. It counts with a high-quality roof deck, a Diamond Deck high-performance underlayment, and a ventilation system.
- Doors and windows:
To ensure that energy doesn’t escape from your home, consider replacing windows and doors in bad condition. Thus, inspect your windows and doors, looking for leaks and escapes.
You may need to use a weather-strip. However, Energy Star suggests using fiberglass strips, caulk, or non-expanding foam sealant spray to get a good seal.
Roof Crafters provides top-of-the-line, all-weather windows, and doors. They are ENERGY STAR certified and are U.S. Green Building Council products.
The exterior siding of your home is the definitive protective layer against cold weather. Therefore, you must ensure your home siding has no undulations, cracks, or missing boards.
So, Roof Crafters offers the Solid Wall vinyl siding system. It features the thickest EPA foam insulation available (up to 1.5 inches). Moreover, it has a lifetime warranty.
Insulate Your Whole Home this winter
Don’t wait for the freezing winter season to arrive to protect your home. By doing so, you may expose your family to the harsh weather and see your energy bills skyrocket.
If you insulate your home now, you will begin saving money before winter arrives.
Call Roof Crafters to get a quote and check if your home is prepared for the next Arctic blast in Hammond, Baton Rouge, and the entire Northshore of Louisiana.