What is Insulation & How Does it Work in a Home?
I'm hiding in your walls, silent as a secret, and you don't think about me until you need me. What am I?
It's something that we're around everyday, but we rarely think, or talk, about it -- even though it's one of the most important parts of our homes.
So what the heck is it?
Insulation is a material used to fill all of the cracks, crevices, hard to reach places, and gaps of your walls and ceilings. It's used to reduce heat flow by absorption / reflection. There are different types of insulation that can be used such as:
Thermal insulation increases energy efficiency and comfort levels specifically in when talking about insulation for your home. This type of insulation is a product that reduces heat loss / gain by creating a barrier between areas that differ in temp. Types of thermal insulation, like cellulose and fiberglass, will also provide slight soundproofing.
How many different types of insulation are there?
Again, because insulation isn't something that most people tend to talk about often, a lot of homeowners want to know the different types. And there are a lot.
Fiberglass insulation: This is one of the most popular types of insulation. It can be installed as a type of blanket system of rolls.
Cellulose insulation: If you want to be environmentally friendly, this is the insulation for you! Cellulose is up to 80% recycled material and it's also one of the best types of insulation for soundproofing.
Spray foam insulation: This is what you want to use for small cracks and gaps behind your walls. Plus, it can help get rid of air leaks which can raise your energy bills. No bueno.
Radiant barrier insulation: This type of insulation is best used for warmer climates. It's installed under the roof to help your home reflect, rather than absorb, heat.
Rigid foam insulation: Rigid foam insulation is a foam panel that can be cut. It’s mostly used in new construction.
Rockwool insulation: This is made of rocks and minerals and is used in a variaty of projects.
Icynene insulation: Icynene is a spray foam insulation that's great for energy efficiency. It's typically installed between floor joists or tight spaces.
A lot of insulation is designed to absorb heat, but there are types that reflect heat to keep your house cooler -- this is especially helpful in warmer areas such as Arizona or Texas.
Where can you insulate?
Attic: Attics are usually where you lose the most energy loss -- start here!
Wall: Walls are another way that homes lose energy -- walls need to be insulated for energy efficiency.
Basement: Even an unfinished basement can be a great place for you to conserve energy - if you do it right, you'll save hundreds of precious dollars a year.
Crawl space: Insulating your crawl space can help keep heat from leaking in or out of your home. You might not think about it everyday, but like the basement, you'll be saving money if you insulate this space.
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