Home insulation is an essential factor in keeping your home comfortable. In the summer, it helps keep the heat out, and in the winter, it keeps the warmth in. It would help if you considered a few things when choosing the proper insulation for your attic and walls.
Insulation reduces heat transfer between the inside and outside of a property, making it essential for increased comfort. A well-insulated home will also help you save money on electricity. There are many various types of insulation on the market, so it’s crucial to understand your options if you intend to install insulation in your home.
Why Is It Necessary to Insulate?
Aside from comfort, home insulation has several advantages. An adequately insulated home delivers the following benefits:
Insulation keeps your home warmer and cooler in the summer, lowering your heating and cooling bills.
Sound Absorption: Insulation absorbs sound, minimizing unwanted noise conveyed through your walls and floors from appliances, audio equipment, conversations, and other sources. Sound-control insulation in the inside walls will make your home quieter. You’ll notice a difference even if you merely insulate critical rooms.
Increased Energy Efficiency: Insulate any external walls and floors that separate air-conditioned spaces from regions without air conditioning, such as the attic, crawlspaces, and garage, to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Insulate any cracks or gaps in the house. To prevent heat leakage, apply caulk or foam sealants around apertures such as window and door frames and any areas where cables or pipes pass through.
Moisture Control: Activities like cooking, washing, and bathing add moisture to your home’s air in the form of water vapour. This vapour can become trapped inside walls, causing mould and mildew to grow, causing damage to your home and posing a health risk. Insulation acts as a barrier between the structure and the vapour.
Water Conservation: Pipe insulation can assist prevent heat loss and raise the temperature of water flowing through pipes by 2 to 4 degrees. It means you can adjust your water temperature and use less water.
Types of Insulation
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll most likely encounter:
Insulation Batts and Blankets
The most often utilized and accessible install types of insulation for unfinished walls, floors, and ceilings are batt and blanket insulation. This form of insulation, made of flexible fibres like fibreglass, rock wool, or natural fibres, can be cut to fit the space you’re filling.
Insulation That Is Blown-in or Loose-fill
Blown-in or loose-fill insulation is ideal for attics and other difficult-to-reach regions such as sloped ceilings or roofs. It’s also used to fill up gaps and add to existing insulation. This type of insulation, made of fibreglass or cellulose, can be poured or blown into cavities. Remember that blown-in and blanket insulation aren’t a replacement for air sealing.
Insulation Made on Rigid Boards
Rigid board insulation is a rigid board made of mineral fibre or foam polymers to insulate walls, roofs, and foundations. The foam material has a better insulating value for a given thickness. It is more water-resistant than fibreglass insulation, but it is more expensive than a blanket or loose-fill insulation.
Insulation Made of Foam
Spray foam insulation is an expanding foam sprayed into a surface or cavity before installation. This insulation is ideal for attic and wall insulation and other cavities that require tight air sealing.
Consider the Thickness of the Material and the Amount of It
When looking into insulation options, keep an eye on the R-value, which indicates how efficient the insulation is. The thickness of the material and how effectively it prevents heat transfer determine the R-value. The stronger the resistance to heat loss, the higher the R-value (and the better the savings, too).
The amount of insulation you require is determined by your location and the age of your home. Begin by determining whether your home is already insulated. If that’s the case, look at the R-value and see if you can improve it. As much insulation as the structure or space without inhibiting ventilation should be used.
Take Into Account the Space Available
After you’ve learned about your options, you’ll need to determine which part – or areas – of your home to insulate. Please choose a region of your home that loses a lot of heat to make it more energy-efficient.
Starting with your attic is an excellent place to start, and this is usually the most cost-effective and efficient space to insulate. Consider external insulating walls and barriers between heated and unheated living spaces, such as your garage, and floors above cold places like crawlspaces.
Remember that any insulation is better than no insulation, so you can’t go wrong in choosing an area. You also don’t need to do everything at once, so choosing a small area to insulate will still make a positive difference in saving energy.
When you’ve decided what space you want to insulate, do some additional research to help you identify what type of insulation is best for you based on the characteristics of the area you’re insulating.
Obtain an Unbiased Viewpoint
Contact a certified energy adviser (CEA) to acquire an independent perspective on your needs before proceeding with insulation. Your local hydro company can refer you to local pros.
A CEA can assist you in determining the best type of insulation for your home. The auditor can then estimate how much insulation you’ll need and where you should install it. It will ensure that you are well-informed when it comes time to purchase.
Obtain Numerous Quotations
If you intend to install the system yourself, make sure the supplier gives you a rundown of installation processes, directions, and any health and safety concerns.
Get numerous quotations if you plan to engage a professional to compare your alternatives and ensure you’re getting the best service and price for the demands you and your CEA have identified.
During the installation, inquire with your CEA about any discounts available.
Look for Different Strategies to Better Your Situation
While insulating your home is usually a good idea, it isn’t the only way to save money on energy. For example, if you have air leaks, you may need to use caulking or weatherstripping in some spots before you consider insulation. Air sealing is not a substitute for insulation.
A vapour barrier, a thin substance sandwiched between your inner wall and insulation that prevents moisture from damaging your property, maybe required if moisture is a concern.
What Is an Appropriate Level of Insulation?
Depending on how much attention was paid to energy-saving when the house was built, it may or may not have appropriate insulation levels. However, almost all older dwellings are likely to be deficient somehow. Calling your local utility company and requesting information about an “energy audit” is the most straightforward approach to find out if your home has adequate insulation.
R-values for dwellings are determined by how a house is designed and the type of heating used, and they vary with climate. A few general guidelines are as follows:
R-11 in the walls and floors and R-19 in the ceilings below ventilated attics are recommended for warm climates. R-19 in the walls and floors and R-30 in the ceilings below ventilated attics are recommended for temperate climates. R-19 in walls and under floors and R-38 to R-49 in ceilings below vented attics are recommended for cold areas.
Which Type of Insulation Is Best for the Attic?
Several types of insulation can be used in the attic, including fibreglass, cellulose, and spray foam. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.
Fibreglass is a popular choice for attic insulation because it’s affordable and easy to install. However, it isn’t as effective as some other types of insulation, so you may need to use more of it to get the desired results.
Cellulose is another common type of attic insulation, and it’s made from recycled paper products and is very effective at trapping heat. However, it can be challenging to install, and it’s essential to make sure that it’s installed properly to avoid any problems.
Spray foam insulation is one of the most effective types of insulation, but it can be more expensive than other options. It’s also essential to ensure that it’s installed correctly to avoid any leaks.
How Do I Know What Insulation Is Proper for Me?
There are various ways to insulate your home, and the right choice for you will depend on several factors. Some things to consider include:
The climate you live in If you live in a hot climate, you’ll want to choose insulation that will keep your home cool, such as spray foam or reflective foil. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to choose insulation to keep your home warm, such as fibreglass or cellulose.
The type of heating and cooling system you have- If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, you’ll want to choose an insulation that won’t block airflows, such as fibreglass or cellulose. If you have a radiant heating and cooling system, you’ll want to choose an insulation that will reflect heat, such as spray foam or reflective foil.
The type of home you have- If you have a traditional stick-built home, you’ll want to choose easy insulation to install, such as fibreglass or cellulose. If you have a log home, you’ll want to choose insulation that won’t hold moisture, such as spray foam.
Your budget- Some types of insulation are more expensive than others, so you’ll want to choose the one that fits your budget.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should be able to narrow down your choices and select the best insulation for your home.
What Is the Difference Between R13 and R15 Insulation?
There is a big difference between R13 and R15 insulation. R13 insulation is only 3.5 inches thick, while R15 insulation is 6 inches thick. It means that R15 insulation will provide more thermal protection than R13 insulation. Additionally, R15 insulation will also have a higher R-value, which will be more effective at insulating your home. If you’re looking for the best possible insulation, R15 is the way to go. However, if you’re working with a limited budget, R13 insulation can still provide good results.
What insulation has the highest R-Value per inch?
There are various insulation materials with high R-values, but the one with the highest R-value per inch is spray foam. Spray foam insulation can have an R-value of up to R-6, which means it’s twice as effective as fibreglass insulation, making it an excellent choice for insulating your home.
Should I remove old attic insulation before adding new?
It’s unnecessary to remove old attic insulation before adding new, but it can be helpful. Removing old insulation will give you a clean surface to work with and allow you to inspect the area for any potential problems. If you decide to remove old insulation, wear protective clothing and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to avoid spreading any dust or allergens.
Can you put too much insulation in an attic?
It’s possible to put too much insulation in your attic, but it’s not likely. The only time you might have a problem is if you use too thick insulation and blocks the flow of air from your vents. If this happens, your attic could overheat and cause damage to your home. To avoid this, consult with a professional before adding any insulation to your attic.
How often should attic insulation be changed?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on various factors, such as the type of insulation you have and the climate you live in. However, it’s generally recommended that you inspect your attic insulation every few years and make changes. It will help ensure that your home is adequately insulated and allow you to spot any potential problems.
How Long does Attic Insulation Last?
The lifespan of attic insulation will depend on the type of insulation. For example, fibreglass insulation can last for decades, while cellulose insulation may only last for a few years. Ultimately, it’s essential to inspect your attic insulation regularly and make changes as needed to ensure that your home is adequately insulated.
Home insulation is an essential factor in keeping your home comfortable and energy-efficient. The type of insulation you choose will depend on the climate you live in, your house’s construction, and your budget. This buying guide outlines the different types of insulation available and provides tips for choosing the right one for your needs. We hope you found this information helpful. Thanks for reading!