The three main kinds of home insulation are foam, loose fill and batt. All three will help you cut down on heating and cooling costs, but each is a little different in what it offers and how difficult it is to install.
Here’s a rough guide to foam, loose fill and batt home insulation:
Foam board or rigid foam insulation is probably the hardest to install, and is usually installed when a home is being constructed or under renovation. It’s manufactured out of either polystryrene, polyisocyanurate or polyurethane, and is primarily used to insulated unfinished walls, floors and ceilings and low-slope roofs (if they’re unvented). Foam insulation yields high energy savings for a pretty low cost of materials, but the insulation is best left to professional contractors or heating and cooling professionals.
Loose-fill insulation is composed of cellulose, wool, fiberglass, and/or minerals (rock or slag). Loose fill is sometimes poured, but usually, blown into unfinished areas with special equipment (kind of a reverse vacuum hose), which makes it a good choice for adding insulation to places that are hard to access, like your home’s unfinished attic floors, hidden crawl spaces and any areas obstructed by framework. The necessary equipment can be rented and this is a project you can handle, provided, of course, you wear safety gloves and goggles.
Batt or roll insulation (also called blanket insulation) is made of fiberglass, wool, minerals (wool or slag), plastic fibers and/or natural fibers. Batt insulation is a good choice for unfinished walls, including foundation walls, and inside floors and ceilings. It’s laid down between joists, beams, and studs, and its installation can performed by the average homeowner.
Contact us at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning, where we’re committed to helping you solve your home energy questions and needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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