Adding a new layer of insulation is a great way to keep your home warmer this winter and reduce your energy usage and utility bills. However, not all insulation is alike. There are a variety of good insulation products on the market. The one you choose will depend on the space you want to insulate, your home and your budget.
Types of residential insulation
1. Rolled fiberglass insulation. The most common type of insulation, rolled insulation is made of fiberglass covered with a moisture barrier. This product is available in a variety of widths, many of which are designed to fit easily between standard wall stubs and ceiling joists. Depending on the thickness, rolled insulation has an average thermal resistance value (or "R" value) of between 11 and 38. This product, unlike most other types of insulation, can be installed as a DIY project.
2. Foam board insulation. Foam board insulation is a rigid product used for insulating air ducts in unheated areas of your home, such as a crawl space or attic, or in other places that need an insulation product that can withstand high temperatures safely. Foam board insulation is usually installed by an HVAC contractor.
3. Loose fill insulation. Loose fill insulation is made of small pieces of fiberglass, cellulose and/or mineral wool. This product is used to insert behind existing walls to add needed insulation in older homes without taking out the dry wall. This type of insulation has about the same "R" value as rolled insulation. One advantage to loose fill insulation is that, unlike rolled insulation, a majority of this product is made from recycled material.
4. Sprayed foam insulation. Sprayed foam insulation is an ideal product for adding insulation to hard-to-reach places or to areas of rooms that have already been finished. Spray foam, made of polyurethane, is sprayed into place by an insulation contractor using high-pressure blower. The liquid product expands and hardens once it hits the air, forming a barrier between the exterior and interior of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, some types of sprayed foam insulation have twice the R value of rolled insulation.
Fall is the perfect time to add new insulation to your home. Make sure that you choose the product that best suits your space and budget by taking time to weigh the pros and cons of rolled, foam board, loose fill and sprayed foam insulation before you commit. Consult with specialists, Thermo Seal Insulation Systems, with further questions.