What is the Best Insulation for My Home?
Whether you're planning a home remodel or you're building a new home, you may be wondering what is the best insulation for my home. Truth be told, there are plenty of kinds of insulation materials and most of them are very effective only if installed properly and in the right areas.
A 2005 study by Harvard University revealed that about 65% of American homes were poorly or under-insulated. That results in a staggering amount of home energy waste. This is especially true if it’s in the attic area where a home is poorly insulated. This leaves many people wondering ‘what is the best insulation for my home’. That is not an easy question to answer. That’s because different people in different climates have different insulation needs and different budgets. It’s best to take a look at the types of insulation that are available in the home improvement marketplace today so you get a better idea of what type of insulation is right for you.
No question like ‘what is the best insulation for my home’ could ever be answered without going over batts and blanket types of insulation. That’s because they are the most widely used types of insulation. They come in rolls that have preset widths and are cut to fit lengthwise. Here are the different types of batts and blanket insulation:
At one point this was by far the most common insulation found throughout the world. This is a fairly inexpensive form of insulation that offers a moderate R-value of 3 to 4 but that R-value increases greatly when it's laid in place in 2” x 4” home framework. It’s also very easy to install. Its biggest drawback is that it dramatically loses its effectiveness when it’s cut to fit in odd-shaped spaces and around pipes and other protrusions from a wall’s structure. Since it contains fiberglass, it's not good to breathe it in and this product can make the skin itchy when handling it.
This is a much less common and slightly more expensive alternative to fiberglass batt insulation. It offers a higher R-value of around 4.5 too. One other notable factor when choosing it is that it’s more fire-resistant than fiberglass insulation too. This is another very easy type of installation to install as its simply stapled into place. One problem with it is that it retains moisture very easily and this can cause mold growth. It also is much harder to find than more traditional fiberglass insulation.
When answering the question ‘what is the best insulation for my home’; many people would argue that it’s spray foam. That’s because it’s blown into place and does a much better job of fitting into odd-shaped places and stopping airflow than batt and blanket type insulation does. Here are the major types of spray foam insulation:
Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam (2 lb. Foam)
Here is one of the better insulation options that can be found. It has a high R-value of 6.0 – 6.5. It also does a great job of stopping both air movement and moisture. Open-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam definitely will save you money on home heating and cooling bills. Over time it will probably even pay for itself. As with all good things, it does come with drawbacks. Namely, it is somewhat costly and does need to be professionally applied. It also is not the most environmentally friendly type of insulation as it releases chemicals and high VOC compounds during the installation process. No one can enter the area where it has been installed for 72-hours.
Open-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam (1/2 lb. Foam)
This is the lesser cousin of Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam. It features many of the same properties but is not as heavy as its name suggests. It has an R-value somewhere around 3.5). It is less costly than Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam and still does a nice job of stopping air movement. However, it does not provide an adequate moisture barrier as its heavier cousin does. That means some type of moisture barrier is still needed for use with it. Once again, it will also take 72-hours after it has been applied for a room to be safe to enter into.
When you need to know what is the best insulation for my home, it is best to consult with a licensed insulation contractor like All Florida Insulation. We are here to help you out. We install all types of insulation for residential and commercial properties including the ones mentioned above. Call (407) 410-FOAM (3626) for a free estimate today!