There are many types of insulation available to make your home more energy efficient. So how do you know which type is best for certain areas of your home. While rolled or batted fiberglass insulation may be the easiest type to work with, it’s not always the best choice for ultimate efficiency. The insulation experts at A+ Insulation have created this quick guide to help you know which type of insulation is best whether you are adding it to your attic, walls, basement, or crawl spaces.
Which Insulation Is Best for Walls and Vaulted Ceilings?
Walls and vaulted ceilings are best insulated with blown-in fiberglass insulation or spray foam. For existing homes and businesses, it is best to drill a hole and fill the space behind the walls with blown-in fiberglass as it fills the cracks and crevices completely. Rolled or batted insulation (with a paper backing) are too difficult to install once the wall is built but common during construction when there is easy access to the walls before the drywall is up. When adding to an existing home, blown-in fiberglass can be added through a small hole between the studs and then repaired. Spray foam can also be added. It is a bit more expensive, but creates a better barrier because it goes on wet and seals even the smallest cracks creating a vapor barrier as well as a thermal barrier.
Attic Insulation Is Critical to Reducing Energy Loss
Attics are the number one place to benefit by adding insulation. Most homes and businesses are built with the minimum amount of attic insulation required by code. Almost every building can increase its energy efficiency by adding attic insulation. Your home acts like a large chimney. Heat naturally rises and energy loss through attics can be substantial. When warm air rises it increases the air pressure near the ceiling. The difference between that pressure and the lower pressure outside on a cold day drives the warm air through any opening it can find. Plus, the high pressure created at the top of your house causes cold air to be pulled in through the bottom near your foundation. Energy experts refer to this phenomenon as the stack effect. Before you add insulation, it’s wise to seal any cracks or crevices where air is getting through from the living area below. Adding blown-in fiberglass insulation is recommended. R-49 is code, but R-60 will provide optimal energy savings. You could also add spray foam insulation. While more expensive, it automatically seals the attic fixing air leaks as well as adding the thermal barrier. You must be careful not to block the attic vents in the eaves as some attic ventilation is necessary.
Basements and Crawlspaces Require Moisture Control
We recommend spray foam insulation in basements and crawlspaces due to the moisture common in these areas. Spray foam insulation creates a vapor barrier that keeps moisture out and closes any small air leaks that let cold air in during the winter due to the chimney effect. Vapor barriers will always seal best controlling air leaks and insulating at the same time.