Installing insulation in your home is highly beneficial, especially if it is done as part of the home building or home remodeling process. It helps keep your home at a comfortable temperature, keeps your energy costs down, dampens sound, and helps prevent allergens from entering your home. When selecting an insulation type, remember that the higher the R-value, the more effective it is. Here’s a quick guide to different types of home insulation materials, from a residential architect:
This is a very common home insulation material. Made of fine threads of glass, it comes in different forms including rolled blankets and rigid boards. It’s fairly eco-friendly as most manufacturers use between 40 and 60% recycled glass. It offers an R-value of between 3 and 4 per inch in terms of insulation. It’s important that this is installed professionally, or that you wear full protective clothing, including eyewear because the tiny glass fibers can be breathed in or irritate the skin very easily.
This form of insulation is becoming increasingly popular due to its high level of recycled content although it offers slightly lower R-values at 3.2 to 3.8 per inch. It’s made out of recycled paper products mixed with mineral borate (fire retardant) and requires no moisture barrier. It can be installed through damp spraying or packed in dry behind a net barrier.
A mix of recycled cotton (often from blue jeans) and plastic fibers is used to create this very eco-friendly insulation material, which requires minimal energy to produce. It tends to cost a bit more than fiberglass insulation and offers R-values of between 3.5 and 4 per inch.
- Spray Foam:
This popular home insulation consists of a plastic liquid that is sprayed into your home’s wall cavities, where it expands, fills the space, and dries. There are two main varieties, open-cell and closed-cell polyurethane spray foam. The closed-cell sprays offer the highest R-values of 6 to 6.5 per inch. However, it’s not the eco-friendliest choice as it releases VOCs, greenhouse gasses and chemicals before it dries, and it can cost a bit more than other options.
Building or Remodeling? Let a Professional Residential Architect Help You Realize Your Vision
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