How To Decide What Insulation Is Best For Your New Home
Becoming a first-time homeowner is the beginning of a grand adventure, one full of choices and surprises, with no shortage of work to be done.
One of the most important considerations to make when moving into a new home is ascertaining its level of energy efficiency and overall comfort. Depending on the age of construction, the needs of the home may vary--with newer construction tending to need less in the way of insulation and air sealing than older construction, which often requires new or added insulation after a certain amount of time. But, as a new homeowner, how does one know which type of insulation their home needs?
As a first-time homeowner, there are many aspects of maintaining a healthy and comfortable home that was never quite as important before as a renter or member of the family household. Things like “how often should the gutters be cleaned?” or “what type of insulation goes where?” Here’s a rundown of the most common types of insulation:
- Batt Insulation -- Sometimes referred to as “rolls”, there are several types of batt insulation: rock or mineral wool, cellulose, and natural fiber with the most commonly used insulation around the country being fiberglass batts. Well-loved for its cost-efficiency and high performance, batt insulation is often found in walls, floors, ceilings, and attics.
- Blown-In Insulation -- As with batt insulation, there is a variety of materials that blown-in insulation can be composed of. Fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and natural fiber are all available in the form of blown-in insulation material. Slightly more expensive than batts, this type of insulation is commonly recommended for attics and crawl spaces due to its filling nature, not leaving much room for walking.
- Foam Board Insulation -- Also known as “Rigid Foam Insulation”, this type of insulation material consists of a solid board, usually made of polystyrene with a radiant barrier on one side. It’s extremely durable and non-degrading, making it an ideal choice for garages, basements, and crawl spaces.
- Spray Foam Insulation -- Spray foam insulation can be costly, but has the longest lifespan and best energy-efficiency capabilities on the market. Made from an expanding chemical compound, it is unique in its air sealing properties, easily filling small gaps and cracks in building material, as well as being waterproof, pest resistant, and extremely durable. Spray foam can be used in virtually any area of the home.
Which Insulation Is Best For My Home
There are many factors that contribute to what insulation is best for the home, and how much you may need in any given area. Some of these factors include the age of construction, common weather patterns in your area, and your personal budget.
With older homes, insulation has had more time to settle, degrade and lose its overall effectiveness. In some cases, with a truly old home, there could be areas that were neglected altogether. This can become a serious drain on money and resources during the winter if you happen to live in a colder climate, leaving the home uncomfortable and racking up heating and cooling bills through the seasons. The best way to choose the proper insulation for your home is, of course, to reach out to a professional home insulation contractor for an experienced opinion.
Common Insulation And Home Energy Efficiency Questions
- Where does a home need more insulation?
Heat naturally rises, this is a fact that we all know well. As such, the area that tends to lose the most heat during the winter and collect the most heat during the summer is the highest point in the home--making the attic space one of the most crucial areas to ensure is properly insulated--as well as exterior walls and windows.
- What is R-value?
R-value is defined as the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater and more effective the insulating power of the material.
- How much insulation should be installed?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question, however--a professional home insulation contractor will be an excellent resource for you in this matter.
- What is a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit is a series of tests done around the home to form a better idea of energy usage and subsequent wastage, air leakage, and poor insulation. A home insulation and energy efficiency contractor will identify the problem areas and help you to plan a proper solution to your energy and comfort concerns.
- What is Air Sealing?
Air sealing is a process by which expanding foam--much like spray foam insulation--is injected into small gaps and cracks that contribute to air loss within the home. Common places to be air sealed include window trims, around doors, vents, fireplaces, and furnace flues among other areas.
Learn More About Insulating Your Home Today!
Here at Dr. Energy Saver of Hudson Valley, we know just how daunting it can feel to settle into being a new homeowner. That’s why we make it our business to provide not only top-quality customer service and trusted workmanship--but a wealth of readily available information as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about the various types of insulation and home energy efficiency services we offer, give us a call at 1-845-361-1110, or visit us at drenergysaverhv.com to schedule your no-obligation consultation today!