Insulation is the key to having a comfortable home year-round. But how can you measure the impact that insulation will have on your home’s energy efficiency? And which types of insulation will work best?
All insulation is given an R-value, which is a measure of the insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer. A higher R-value means a higher energy efficiency for your home, but also requires a thicker space to hold the insulation. Here are some common types of insulation:
- Spray foam: Spray foam insulation is widely used in new home construction, as it can completely fill cavities. Spray foam comes in two varieties, open cell and closed cell. Both climate and cavity size will determine whether open or closed cell spray foam is used.
- Cellulose: This type of green, efficient insulation is a great alternative to fiberglass. Composed mostly of recycled newsprint, cellulose insulation is treated to resist mold, insects and fire. This type of insulation provides greater resistance to air leaks as well.
- Dense packed cellulose: This is one of the most efficient insulating materials. The blown-in cellulose is so densely applied, it resists air infiltration. This application works well for remodels and retrofits, though it does take a little more time.
- Rigid foam board: If you have a design that includes concrete slabs or walls, rigid foam board makes a great insulation for the application. It is common to install rigid foam board insulation on the outside of stick-framed walls to decrease the amount of thermal bridging.