Different insulation types-Forbes consultants

2021-11-11 07:27:36 By : Ms. Joey Wang

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If owning an energy-efficient home is important to you, then you definitely need to consider insulation and the various iterations it brings. Insulation is a system designed to reduce the heat that enters your home when it is hot outside and the heat that leaves your home when it is cold outside.

Insulation is measured by a system called R-value, which determines the resistance of different types of insulation to heat flow, while taking into account the thickness and density of the insulating material. The higher the R value of the insulating material, the better the energy efficiency and climate control of your home.

In other words, when considering an insulation system for your home, you don't necessarily need to choose the system with the highest R value. The basement floors and attics of many houses are already insulated to at least some degree.

Before deciding which type of insulation is best for your home, you should determine if and how your home is currently insulated. Then, use the R value calculator to determine the current and required R value of your home.

There are several different types of insulation materials on the market, and which one you choose depends on your budget, R-value requirements, DIY capabilities, and current insulation system. Below is our guide to various insulating materials and when to use them.

Blow-in insulation, also known as loose-fill insulation, uses a machine to blow or spray insulation material into the space you want to insulate. The paper-like substance used in blow-in insulation is usually made of glass fiber, rock wool or cellulose, making it flexible enough to adapt to almost any location, including tricky corners and crevices.

Therefore, this method is very suitable for attics, areas with strange shapes and places that have been insulated but require further attention.

The R value of the blown insulation material is different, the glass fiber is about R-2.2, and the cellulose is about R-3.8. This project is DIY friendly, but it requires you to rent an insulation blow molding machine. For best results, you can also hire professionals.

Batting insulation materials include blankets made of glass fiber, cellulose, mineral wool, natural fiber or plastic. These materials can be easily installed on unfinished walls, ceilings and floors, making it a DIY friendly project. This is also an economical insulation option, and the average cost of DIY work is approximately between US$1,000 and US$2,500.

For each inch of thickness, fiberglass mats usually have an R value between R-2.9 and R-3.8. High-density insulating batting, such as batting made of cellulose or wool, may have an R value close to R-4.3 per inch.

The batting insulation material is designed to fit the standard width between wall studs, attic rafters and floor joists, making this method ideal for traditional design areas in your home. These materials are either pre-cut into blankets or uncut into rolls. If you choose the roll shape, you must cut it yourself with a utility knife before installation.

This process may reduce the insulation effect, so be careful when completing these steps.

Speaking of caution, you also need to remember that fiberglass can severely irritate your skin and lungs, so if you are handling batting insulation made of fiberglass, be sure to wear protective equipment and clothing.

Spray foam insulation made of liquid latex or polyurethane foam is designed to fill gaps and cracks in walls and other surfaces. When spray foam insulation is sprayed into a cavity, it expands and then hardens to completely fill each gap.

There are two types of spray foam: open cell foam and closed cell foam. Open-cell foam is the less dense of the two, and the R value per inch of thickness is about R-3.7. The density of closed-cell foam is significantly higher, with an R value of about R-6.2, so the price is significantly higher.

If the problematic insulation work is just sealing small gaps or leaks, you may be able to use open-cell spray foam and do the work yourself. This will cost you $1.00 to $1.20 per square foot. If this is a larger job, you may need to use closed-cell spray foam and/or hire a professional.

Due to its flexibility, spray foam insulation is very suitable for hard-to-reach and strangely shaped areas, as well as small gaps, cracks and cracks. It solidifies quickly and can be painted, trimmed or dyed.

Foam board, also known as insulating board or rigid foam board, is a strong structure used to reduce heat conduction through wood, wall posts, and roofs. Foam boards are usually made of polyurethane, polystyrene or polyisocyanurate, and can be used almost anywhere in the home for indoor and outdoor insulation.

This method is known for its reliability and effectiveness. The R value of the foam board is between R-4 and R-6.5, depending on the thickness and quality of the material. A piece of polystyrene foam board with an R value of approximately 1 inch x 4 feet x 8 feet costs approximately $14.

Radiation barriers, also known as reflective barriers, are different from most other types of insulating materials: instead of reducing the flow of heat from the home, they work by reflecting heat away from the home. This type of insulating material is made of a base material, such as kraft paper, foam board or polyethylene, covered with a reflective material, usually aluminum foil.

Radiation barriers are suitable for both DIY and budget, and have proven effective in attics and garages of homes in warm climates. This method is not measured using the R-value system.

When it is cold outside, the vapor barrier prevents water vapor from passing through the ceiling and walls of your home. Even if you already have an insulation system, the moisture inside and outside your home will still accumulate around it, resulting in a decrease in the R value of the insulation material.

Vapor barriers, usually large pieces made of plastic or foil, can prevent this by reducing the amount of moisture passing through the insulating layer. The system is not measured by the R value, it is suitable for both DIY and budget, and is most suitable for families experiencing cold weather in humid climates.

Rebecca Brill is a writer whose articles have been published in Paris Review, VICE, Literary Center and other places. She runs Susan Sontag's Diary and Sylvia Plath's Food Diary accounts on Twitter and is writing her first book.

Samantha is an editor, covering all home-related topics, including home improvement and maintenance. She has edited home repair and design content on websites such as The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also hosted videos about DIY home tips and solutions, and launched a number of home improvement review committees equipped with licensed professionals.