Choosing The Best Insulation For Your Home Or Building
With the soaring energy costs of heating and cooling your home today, it’s more important then ever before to ensure that it is properly insulated. In some older homes that were built back some seventy or eighty years ago, you may not have any insulation at all in the walls, and very little in the attic. Although the costs of re-insulating an existing home are much greater then new home construction, the long term benefits in reduced heating and cooling costs will make up the difference.
Today’s insulation comes in many different forms as far as the ways in which they are applied, and the materials that are used in their manufacturing. You can use the standard fiberglass pink insulation that is synonymous with Owens Corning who also offer attic blanket insulation for unfinished attics, to spray on foam, and rigid foam as well. Each type provides for different uses, and each type will have a different ‘R’ value. The ‘R' value is the rating system that determines the insulations over all heat reducing qualities. The higher the ‘R’ value, the better insulator it will be.
The classic fiberglass insulation comes in what are known as ‘batts’. Usually in four foot by one and a half foot strips. These are designed to fit nicely in between the studs of a wall. They should fit snuggly into the wall, but should never be compressed to fit. When you compress fiberglass insulation it loses much of its ‘R’ value. They are also very easy to cut to fit with the use of a sharp utility knife.
If you’re insulating a building or a basement where the looks are not important, such as a warehouse, then the best solution would be to use a spray on foam insulation. This foam can be sprayed overtop the existing interior of the building, it then expands and dries to form a well sealed surface. This is a nice option because it can get into all those small, unnoticed cracks and holes that may allow for heat loss. You can find spray foam insulation in an open cell or closed cell foam. While the open cell is less expensive, it is also less dense and therefore will have less of an ‘R’ value.
Rigid foam board insulation is often used on the exterior of the home or building. It is installed first, and then the siding is applied over top. Some siding companies like Alcoa, have designed a siding product that combines both. It has the foam insulation bonded directly to the siding itself. This will allow you to save a lot of time during the installation process.
Another common type used in attics is a loose fill, or blown in insulation. Blown in insulation can be made of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose. It is pumped in through a hose and blown in to the desired location. The ‘R’ value of this type is measured by how thickly it is blown in. Obviously, the thicker it is, the higher the ‘R’ value is. There is also garage door insulation as well as insulation for individual components such as gasket insulation.
In order to get the best possible insulating qualities that will serve your purposes, you’ll have to go out and do a little research. Going online is a great place to start, as you can have the information right at your finger tips for easy comparison. If you’re looking for ways to save money, not only in the cold winter months, but also in the hot simmer ones, then improving the insulation in your home is the first place you need to start.
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