Types of Insulation and Their Disadvantages

There are several types of home insulation and each of those has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we are going to tackle the disadvantages of the five most common insulation types.

 

Blanket or Batt and Roll Insulation
Blanket or “batt and roll” insulation is the most common home insulation as it is the most economical among all types. It is typically made of fiberglass. When talking about insulation, fiberglass is not as ideal as it may seem because it is itchy to install and is also a threat to one’s health since its fibers could cause cancer.

 

Loose-fill Insulation
Loose-fill insulation is best to use for attics that have irregular shapes or have a lot of nooks and crannies. However, it can compress at some point hence losing its effectiveness. Also, the main component of loose-fill insulation is cellulose which is too hefty for some attics.

 

Spray Foam and Foamed-in-place Insulation
Spray foam insulation has a high R-value and is suitable for super light areas. When the liquid foam dries out, it provides a significant air barrier which makes your house cozy. But this insulation type is costly and installing it requires special skills.

 

Rigid Foam Insulation
Rigid foam is easy to install as it can be cut to size and glued in place so it will not move out of place. But it is expensive and difficult to fit in curvy areas and spaces with obstructions.

 

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
SIPs are prefab panels that can be mounted in walls, floors, and ceilings. The good thing about the type of insulation is that it can assist in sound control. On the other hand, these panels are so high-priced and are only fit for a newly constructed house or building and cannot be used for all types of homes.

Home Insulation Advantages

Proper home insulation is undoubtedly an efficient way to save energy. With insulation, you will no longer need to heat or cool your house as frequently as an uninsulated house needs. This way, your total energy cost will decrease hence, you save a percentage of your total heating and cooling bill.

Having your home insulated not only helps you save money but also provides more living convenience. Insulating your home improves thermal comfort throughout the year as it helps in maintaining heat within your house during the cold season and slowing the flow of heat into your house during summer.

Continue reading “Home Insulation Advantages”

Areas of The House Where You Can Insulate

Your home should be insulated appropriately from the roof down to the basement to ensure optimum energy efficiency. Aside from insulation, you also need to consider moisture and airflow control in each space.

Which part of the house can you insulate?

ATTIC INSULATION

The most common insulation types installed in the attic are loose-fill and batt insulation. Loose-fill insulation is generally cheaper to mount than batt insulation. It offers better coverage when fitted correctly. Before you start insulating, cover any air leaks and do other necessary repairs.

Insulate and air seal any knee walls in your house as well. Furthermore, when you’re constructing or remodeling a new house, make sure any attic flooring that gives extra storage space is raised above the ceiling joists to leave room for suitable insulation. Lastly, if you live in a warm environment, consider mounting a radiant barrier in your attic to moderate summer heat gain.

 

EXTERIOR WALL INSULATION

Blow-in insulation is ideal for an existing home. It will provide significant air sealing when installed with the dense pack system. Also, it can be added to exterior walls without much trouble to finished areas of your house. If you’re remodeling and your wall cavities will be open, consider a two-part spray foam or wet spray cellulose insulation. But if your wall cavities are going to be closed, you may opt for an injectable spray foam insulation. If it will be a do-it-yourself project, then blanket (batt and roll) insulation is perfect.

When insulating a new house, you may want to look for any guidelines for insulting a new home. If you’re still planning the design of your new house, consider structural insulated panels, insulating concrete forms, and insulated concrete blocks. These literally have insulation built in, and houses built using these products often have premier insulating qualities and least thermal bridging.

 

INSULATING FLOORS ABOVE UNCONDITIONED GARAGE

The first thing to do when insulating floors above an open-ended garage is to seal all potential causes of air leakage. This approach has an additional advantage of reducing the danger of contaminants — from car exhaust, paint, gardening supplies etc. — in the garage moving into the conditioned space. Also, set up an air barrier to stop cold air in the garage from “short-circuiting” the insulation beneath the subfloor.

 

BASEMENT INSULATION

A well-insulated basement can save you money on heating and provides a cozy living room. Typically, a basement with insulation mounted on its exterior walls should be considered a conditioned area. Even in a home with an unconditioned basement, the basement is more attached to other living areas than to the outside, which is why insulation of basement walls is preferable to ceiling insulation.

All About Home Insulation

Insulation is done in order to improve the energy efficiency of one’s home. Home insulation makes use of various materials, depending on which part of the house it will be installed.

When insulating your home, the first thing you should do is to identify the following:

  • Where you want to set up insulation. There are five areas of the house where you can insulate: attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspace.
  • The R-values for the areas you want to insulate. R-value refers to the maximum thermal performance of insulation. This specifies your insulation’s heat flow resistance.
  • The type of insulation to be used.

You can begin insulating your home by sealing the openings such as windows, doors, vents, and ducts. Several homes do not have a proper seal. A typical home has leaks and sealing those will prevent the heated or cooled air from being wasted.

TYPES OF INSULATION

Insulation is made from materials such as rolls and batts, loose-fill, rigid foam, and foam-in-place.

 

ROLLS AND BATTS

batt-insulationRolls and batts, or blankets, are made from fiberglass, natural and plastic fibers, and mineral (rock or slag) wool. These can be installed in floors, ceilings, and unfinished walls which include foundation walls. This type of insulation is the easiest and is suitable for do-it-yourself home insulation projects. Rolls and batts are appropriate for standard stud and joist spacing that’s free from obstructions.

  • Fiberglass blankets
    R-value: 3.0 – 4.0 per inch
  • Rockwool blankets
    R-value: 4 – 5 per inch
  • Cotton batts
    R-value: 3.5 – 4 per inch

 

LOOSE-FILL INSULATION

cellulose_cimaLoose-fill insulation is typically made of cellulose, fiberglass, and rock or slag wool. It is applicable in enclosed walls or open wall cavities and uncompleted attic floors. It is blown, sometimes poured, into place with the use of a special equipment. This is ideal for insulating an existing or finished areas, around obstructions, and irregularly shaped areas.

 

 

FOAM BOARD OR RIGID FOAM INSULATION

maxresdefault (1)Foam boards are used to insulate any parts of the house. This type of insulation is more expensive compared to rolls and batts but is more efficient in thermal resistance and in reducing heat conduction. The most common materials used in making foam boards are polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane. Rigid foam insulation R-values range from 4 to 6.5 per inch — about 2 times greater than other materials of the same thickness.

 

FOAM-IN-PLACE INSULATION

maxresdefaultThere are three ways in which foam-in-place insulation can be installed: blown into walls, on attic surfaces, or under floors. To reduce the air leakage in windows, doors and other holes and cracks inside your house, you can use the small pressurized cans of foam-in-place insulation.

Foam-in-place insulation comes in two types— closed-cell and open-cell. Both of these are usually made with polyurethane. With closed-cell foam, the high-density cells are closed and occupied with a gas that supports foam expansion to fill the spaces around it. This is the most effective as it has an R-value of about R-6.2 per inch of thickness. While open-cell foam cells are lighter and are filled with air. Open-cell foam R- value is just 3.7 per inch. Open-cell foam insulation is less expensive compared to the closed cell type.

The insulation type you choose will depend on your budget and how you will use it. Consult a skilled insulation installer to pick the right insulation type that’s best for you.

 

HOME INSULATION TIPS

Here are some helpful tips that you might want to consider before and during the installment your home insulation:

  • Upon choosing the insulation type for your home, take into consideration the following: climate, home structure, and budget.
  • When insulating exterior walls, make sure to use higher R-value insulation like spray foam to get more insulation with less thickness.
  • Set up wind baffles as wind barriers in the entire attic eave to ensure proper airflow. There is no need for you to ventilate your attic if you have insulation underneath the roof. Better yet, ask an experienced contractor for references.
  • Be cautious of the insulation placement. If you install it next to a recessed light fixture, you need to ensure the distance in order to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines and wear protective paraphernalia when installing insulation.