Different Types of Home Insulation
By providing resistance to heat flow, insulation lowers your heating and cooling costs, improves the comfort level of your home, and acts as a line of defense against home health hazards like mold and mildew. Insulation is considered one of the single most effective strategies for saving on heating and cooling costs, and is nearly universally considered to be a good investment. Adding insulation to a home can often pay for itself in reduced heating and cooling costs over a number of years.
But what types of insulation are available, and which are the most effective? Where can they work best in a home?
We’re here to help. Below you’ll find some of the most common types of insulation, their benefits and drawbacks.
Invented in the 1930’s and popularized in the ‘40’s, fiberglass insulation was formerly the preferred insulation material due to its ease of installation and low cost. It typically comes in precut sheets or rolls known as batts and is often pink in color.
While fiberglass is inexpensive and easily available, it has some serious drawbacks. First, it only provides it’s full benefit when installed properly and under perfect conditions. it loses its insulation efficiency if it becomes wet, if there are tears or gaps in the vapor barrier, and if installed improperly. This means if a roof leaks or a water pipe breaks, or the insulation is damaged or installed poorly, it is very possible your insulation will need to be replaced. Mold and pest infestations can be a concern with fiberglass as well.
Fiberglass is also a serious irritant, and can be hazardous to the lungs when installed, moved, or touched. Worse yet, if the fibers become airborne and are breathed in it can be dangerous. While no insulation is 100% environmentally friendly, fiberglass is the poorest choice for those who prioritize environmentally friendly products, long-term savings, dependability, and durability.
Cellulose insulation has been around for decades, and is one of the oldest modern forms of insulation. In recent years it has been vastly improved for better performance and safety.
Today's cellulose insulation is made of recycled paper that has been treated with a fire resistant chemical. It is most often mechanically blown into cavities where insulation is desired and spray foam is not ideal or practical. This makes cellulose a great choice for hard to reach areas, but less effective in vertical spaces like in walls, as it can settle, leaving an uninsulated gap in upper cavities.
Cellulose is often the best choice in spaces like attics where large amounts of insulation are required and settling is less of an issue. An added benefit is it’s very cost effective.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation was developed by the military in the 1940's but didn't enter the housing market until the ‘70's. Over the years different formulas have been developed to improve its effectiveness, and spray foam is generally considered to be the most effective insulation on the home market today.
Unlike other forms of insulation, spray foam is not only used to create a barrier that stops energy loss, but exchange of air as well. Spray foam can fill and make airtight tiny gaps and cracks that add up to huge losses in savings. As an added benefit, some spray foam can even add to the rigidity of the structure of your home. There are two types of spray foam insulation, closed-cell and open-cell, each fulfilling specific needs. We offer both.
Premier Home Solutions uses a proprietary water-based mixture that fills 100% of any cavity that it is applied to. Unlike fiberglass and cellulose insulation, spray foam does not settle making it the best choice for vertical spaces like walls and roofs. It is the most environmentally friendly choice and offers the best insulation value to American homeowners today.
Need Some Advice?
Our team of home energy efficiency experts is here to help. If you are not sure which area of your home needs to be addressed or which type of insulation might be best for you, our team will complete a free home energy audit and create a plan that is right for your situation and budget.
Call to schedule your free consultation today. Our staff is available by phone Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm EST: (517) 742-2424.