You have finally decided to get that insulation for your home but you are now wondering about the type of insulation to choose. There are a number of options available to you including cellulose, fiberglass, and spray or injection foam.
It can be a daunting task to choose the right insulation for your home as there are a number of things you need to consider including:
Cost of the insulating material
Effectiveness of insulation material
Insulation for Your Attic: Comparing Spray Foam Vs Fiberglass Vs Cellulose
If you are experiencing difficulty in maintaining a constant temperature inside your home or you have high energy bills, you need to pay attention to your attic insulation. Without proper attic insulation, you are literally losing money through the roof. When it comes to insulation options for the attic, your options are cellulose, fiberglass and open cell spray foam.
Cellulose happens to be the traditional choice of insulation for not just the attic but all the other areas of the home. Cellulose is primarily made from recycled denim or newsprint and it can be either blown in or loose fill.
Another insulation material that is traditionally used is fiberglass that is made from extremely fine glass fibers. The disadvantage of fiberglass is that these are extremely fine particles that can embed in the skin or can be inhaled. However, even fiberglass insulation does not completely stop airflow into the attic.
The open cell spray foam creates a complete seal to prevent any airflow as it is an air barrier material. Its advantage lies in the fact that it can expand up to 100 times the original size which means it will easily fill all the nooks and crannies in your attic. It is made primarily from water grown and organic chemical compounds that are derived from petroleum extracts which means it is an environmentally safe material.
When it comes to fire rating, the spray foam is Class I fire rated for use in attic. It simply means that this material won’t act as a catalyst in case of a fire in the attic. Also, it prevents mold and mildew growth as it doesn’t retain water. Also, it creates a tight air seal that should bring down your energy bills. It also builds a space that is semi-conditioned if it is used to insulate the roof deck in case of an unvented attic.
Insulation for Existing Walls: Comparing Injection Foam Vs Blown in Cellulose
If you want to ensure proper insulation for existing walls of your home, make sure to hire the services of an experienced contractor for the installation. You don’t need to remove the dry walls in order to add insulation to the existing walls and that saves a lot of money as you avoid the expense of a full remodel.
The blown in cellulose as well as the injection foam insulation can be easily installed through similar methods in the existing walls. For installation, a row of siding is first removed and then, the contractor drills a hole into each stud cavity. The material is then blown in or injected till the cavity is completely full. The hole is plugged thereafter and the contractor replaces the siding.
If insulation is successful, it affects both convection and conduction which will not only make your home more comfortable but will also enhance the overall energy efficiency.
Traditional forms of insulation such as cellulose are resistant to heat loss that occurs through conduction. Heat gets transferred from inside your home to the outside during the winter months and the reverse process takes place in the summer months.
The gaps in the electrical outlets and walls in your home allow airflow movement in and out of the home. This is the air leakage that causes energy loss in your home. It also adds to the discomfort such as cold walls, cold floors and draft. Foam insulation is the best choice to plug this air leakage as it creates an air seal and also offers heat resistance.
Insulation for Crawl Space
Spray foam and fiberglass are the perfect choices for insulation of the crawlspace. A non-water sensitive material should be used in the walls of the crawl space in order to prevent the interior air from coming in contact with the cold surfaces. The air inside your home is full of moisture and when it comes in contact with cold surfaces, it causes condensation and that might lead to growth of mold and mildew. The better option in this case is spray foam as it creates an air seal and does not retain water.
Best Insulation for Rim Joist
Rim Joist happens to be the most overlooked area of the home when it comes to drafts around the floor boards. Fiberglass or spray foam insulation is the right choice for rim
joist. While fiberglass is relatively inexpensive but it is not the perfect choice for rim joist insulation. Fiberglass also retains water against the wood which means it makes rim joist prone to mold issues.
Spray foam is a better choice as it doesn’t retain any water and is unlikely to contribute to growth of mold and mildew. Also, it helps in creating an effective air seal which prevents the outside air from coming in and it also helps in reducing the drafts near floor boards.
Making the Right Choice for Home Insulation
When it comes to selecting the best insulation for your home, the choice is completely yours. You should take into account the advantages and disadvantages of each insulating material in order to make the right choice. Needless to say, you also need to consider your budget and personal requirements.
Overall, foam insulation products offer the best long-term solution as these create an effective air seal that not only makes your house more comfortable but also helps you save money. Foam insulation also has the added advantage of never sagging or settling, and the insulation gets into all the nooks and crannies providing a complete air seal.