Not all houses are built the same, and so, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to home insulation. There are numerous factors to consider when choosing insulation such as installation, cost, product performance as well as climate. When choosing the ideal insulation, it is important to know about the pros and cons of the various picks.
This one of the most common types of insulation. Fiberglass insulation usually comes in rolls and it is handy when it comes to fitting between standard studs and joists. Its widespread availability and affordability are what makes it a popular choice. On the downside, it is itchy to install yourself, and inhaling the fibers could lead to conditions like cancer. As such, it is imperative to wear protective clothing and a mask.
If your attic has numerous crannies and nooks, your best pick ought to be loose fill insulation made of cellulose or fiberglass. This type of insulation is blown in place using a special machine, effectively filling gaps. However, it can compress as time passes and lose its effectiveness. Cellulose tends to perform better when compared to fiberglass at lower temperatures, but it can be rather heavy for some attics.
Slag or rock wool batt and blanket is another do it yourself type of insulation that holds its shape and is more fire-retardant than its counterparts. Mineral wool is ideally more environmentally friendly, with over 90 percent of recyclable content. The material, however, can harbor mold if it gets wet and inhaling the fibers can be quite dangerous.
This type of foam offers a high R-value and can fit in particularly tight spaces when it dries, thus giving an ideal air barrier to keep the home comfortable. Liquid sprayed-in foam, however, can be quite expensive when compared to other types of insulation and calls for the assistance of a professional. However, it can ideally cut down on other house weathering tasks like caulking.
Reflective Systems and Radiant Barriers
While most types of insulation systems work by minimizing heat conductivity, these types reflect heat away from the building. These highly reflective materials, traditionally used in warm climates are installed on the roof’s underside and minimize radiant heat transfer from the sun and thus reducing utility costs.
This is an ideal insulation material that is increasingly being used in newer buildings. It is a petrochemical industry product and so, it’s not particularly environmentally friendly. It also requires professional installation to ascertain there are no gaps where heat can leak in and out.
This type helps slow heat transfer through elements such as studs. It is commonly made of polyurethane and polyisocyanurate. The panels can be easily cut to size and glued to surfaces or wedged between beams. However, rigid foam is more expensive than other types of insulation and can be more difficult to fit in awkward corners and around obstacles.
As you can see, there are various types of home insulation, all with different benefits and downsides.