Selecting the Right Type of Insulation For Any Location
Installing insulation around your home is not a difficult job, but it can be time-consuming, messy, and costly. If insulation fails in your attic or another area of your home, you can expect your utility bills to go through the roof because the heat lost is not replaced by the same amount of energy used to heat the home. Insulation works on the same principle as air-conditioning, in that it captures small pockets of cold air to prevent the movement of warm air from inside the home to cause the same high temperatures that are found inside. How well insulation works in this regard is measured by some called R-value, which the higher the figure, then the better the insulation’s performance is at blocking heat transfer assuming that it’s installed properly.
The best way to tell if you’re having problems
with heat, flow is to check the heating and cooling system. Is the central air conditioning unit’s fan working correctly? Is the heat source (the furnace, water heater, etc.) shut off at the breaker box? If these things are functioning properly, then the insulation is probably not doing its job, in which case you’ll need to have it replaced.
In determining if the material
is doing its job or not, check for a reduction in air flux across your walls (the spaces between the studs and rafters). This means there is less air movement, which prevents heat transfer. With improved insulation, you should notice that the airflow is better at keeping the heat inside the room. You’ll notice a decrease in hair loss as well. Checking the r-value of your current insulation is a good idea too, because the higher the r-value, the more efficient the process is in trapping heat and slowing air transfer.
Other options for home insulation materials
include fiberglass and wool. Both can help reduce drafts, but so can metal sheeting and other types of rigid foam. Metal sheeting is probably the most efficient way to do so, but it is by no means perfect. For those homes in areas prone to cold climates, it’s definitely worth looking into. In areas where warm weather is more common though, it will not do as much to reduce air movement and may actually increase your heating bill! Therefore, it’s really a matter of how susceptible your area is to cold weather versus warm weather that determines the type of insulation you should use in your home.
If you live in an area of high humidity,
cellulose home insulation may not work for you. Cellulose absorbs moisture very quickly and it’s not uncommon to find water-soaked cellulose on walls after a few years. Other types of rigid foam also don’t perform as well in high humidity environments, so look for either blown-in insulation or energy-efficient cellulose alternatives. Energy-efficient cellulose blown-in insulation is superior to standard fiberglass.
the R-value of any insulation material you choose is important. The higher the R-value of insulation, the more it can effectively insulate a given area. Insulation with a high R-value doesn’t conduct heat well, but it does provide a moderate amount of cooling relief to occupants. Insulation with a low R-value tends to conduct heat poorly, so it is better to avoid insulating buildings with a low R-value.