When it comes to insulating your home, you can choose from a number of different materials designed to improve your energy efficiency and comfort. Two of the most popular options on the market today are spray foam insulation and fiberglass insulation. Both materials come with their own sets of advantages and considerations, making your decision one of personal preference and specific requirements. Having installed both types of insulation in homes and businesses across Kansas City, here are our insulation installers’ tips and advice for helping you choose between spray foam insulation and fiberglass.
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam insulation has become very popular in recent years thanks to its exceptional insulating properties. It is a two-part mixture that combines isocyanate and polyol resin, creating a foam substance that expands upon application (which is fun to watch). The foam adheres to surfaces, forming a seamless barrier that effectively seals gaps and cracks, providing an airtight and moisture-resistant insulation layer.
Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation:
- Spray foam insulation boasts an impressively high R-value, which measures the material’s resistance to heat flow. Its high R-value results in better insulation performance compared to fiberglass, effectively reducing energy loss and lowering your heating and cooling costs.
- One of the greatest advantages of spray foam insulation is its ability to create an airtight seal. It fills even the smallest gaps and crevices, preventing air infiltration and enhancing the overall energy efficiency of your home. Bonus, it keeps out critters and bugs depending on where it is installed.
- Spray foam insulation acts as an effective moisture barrier, preventing water vapor from penetrating your home’s walls and causing damage such as mold growth. This “barrier” contributes to a healthier indoor environment and protects your home from water and mold damage.
- The dense nature of spray foam insulation helps minimize sound transmission, creating a quieter and more peaceful living space, especially if your home or business is located in a busy area.
Is Spray Foam a DIY Project or One for a Spray Foam Contractor?
Between mixing the materials, spraying it, the equipment required to spray it and the protection attire necessary, it’s recommended to hire a reputable spray foam contractor. Look for professionals with experience in installing spray foam insulation and proper certifications, like A+ Insulation. Ask for references and inquire about previous projects they have completed. A knowledgeable and skilled contractor will guide you through the process, recommend the appropriate type of foam, and ensure the insulation is installed correctly.
What is Fiberglass Insulation?
Fiberglass insulation has been around for decades and is popular for its affordability and ease of installation. It consists of glass fibers that are woven together and come in batts or rolls. Fiberglass insulation is widely available and can be installed in various areas of the home, such as walls, attics and floors.
Benefits of Fiberglass Insulation:
- Fiberglass insulation is generally less expensive than spray foam insulation, making it a smart, yet still effective, choice for business owners and homeowners on a tighter budget.
- Fiberglass insulation can be installed as a DIY project, if you’re confident in your basic handyperson skills. However, it can be frustrating and itchy to install, so it is recommended to have it installed by professionals to ensure proper fitting, coverage and just your overall comfort.
- Fiberglass insulation is inherently fire-resistant, since it is manufactured from non-combustible materials. This provides an additional layer of safety for your home or business.
Still not sure which one is right for your home or business? Understandable. Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you make the final call.
- What is your budget? How much you are willing to invest in insulation right now? While spray foam insulation may have a higher upfront cost, it can provide long-term savings on energy bills.
- Where is the insulation being installed? Spray foam insulation is ideal for sealing gaps and providing complete coverage, while fiberglass is versatile and can be used in various applications.
- Is being environmentally friendly a priority? Fiberglass insulation contains a significant amount of recycled content, making it a more environmentally sustainable choice compared to spray foam insulation, which requires the use of chemicals during the installation process.
Just remember, there is no definitive answer as to which insulation is better. Both types have their advantages and considerations. Spray foam insulation offers superior insulation, air sealing, moisture resistance and noise reduction, but has a higher upfront cost. Fiberglass insulation, on the other hand, is more affordable, easy to install and fire-resistant, but it may not provide the same level of air sealing and moisture resistance as spray foam. A+ Insulation’s spray foam insulation experts can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision based on your goals and home or business.