Three Types of Insulation, Which Is Best for Your Home?

If your home is very cold in the winter or overly hot during the summer, you may want to upgrade your insulation. Ensuring your home is sufficiently insulated is a cost-effective way to increase your home’s comfort and energy savings. There are several different types of materials you can use when upgrading your home’s insulation. In this article, we will go over three common types of home insulation.

Material Type 1: Fiberglass

When people think of insulation, they think of fiberglass because it is the most common type of insulation. It consists of very fine, flexible glass fibers and generally comes in the form of a blanket (also known as batts and rolls) but is also available in loose-fill and rigid boards. Laying fiberglass batts is the easiest method for a DIY job. Loose-fill fiberglass insulation requires the use of a blowing machine that you can rent from a home improvement store. The downsides to fiberglass insulation are that it can irritate your skin, lungs, and eyes, as well as underperform if not properly installed.

Material Type 2: Cellulose

Made from recycled paper products, cellulose insulation is a safe, greener alternative to fiberglass. It comes in loose-fill as well as dense-packed and is treated with minerals to provide resistance to fire, mold, and insects. It can be installed in new or existing homes and applied dry or damp-sprayed (damp-sprayed helps the material adhere to building cavities). The cost can be higher, and machinery is required to install loose-fill and damp-sprayed cellulose insulation, but it doesn’t have the previously mentioned downsides of fiberglass.

Material Type 3: Spray Foam

Spray foam’s ability to expand makes it a great choice for filling spaces that fiberglass batts cannot reach. There are two types of spray foams:

  • Open-cell spray foam contains small pockets that are not completely closed. It remains flexible after it dries and can expand a great deal, which can make it difficult to apply multiple coats.
  • Closed-cell spray foam is the most common due to its high R-value (a rating that measures how efficiently a material insulates). The individual pockets are closed and densely packed, which makes it moisture resistant. It dries harder than open-cell foam and is easier to apply additional coats.

Ready to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient? Focus on Energy offers DIY rebates for self-installed, qualified projects such as attic insulation and air sealing. Some home improvement upgrades are simple to do yourself, however you may want to contact a professional Trade Ally contractor for more complicated projects.

Focus on Insulation

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