- Insulation is one of the best ways to reduce energy costs
- Insulation is very cost-effective
- Insulation can make a significant difference in the overall comfort of your home
- Call us today to discuss your needs!
There are many benefits to improving your existing insulation. Many homes built before 1990 are drastically under-insulated. By adding to what you have while sealing all the unwanted gaps and cracks, you can achieve energy savings up to 40%. Additionally, it improves noise and comfort issues, making your home a better, more comfortable place to live, or your business a better, more comfortable place to work. We offer blown fiberglass and cellulose insulation along with spray foam.
Why Insulate Your House?
Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:
- saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
- makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
- makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved – and saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.
This fact sheet will help you to understand how insulation works, what different types of insulation are available, and how much insulation makes sense for your climate. There are many other things you can do to conserve energy in your home as well. The Department of Energy offers many web sites to help you save energy by sealing air leaks, selecting more energy-efficient appliances, etc.
How Insulation Works
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements – wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior.
To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
The ability of insulation to limit air movement should not be confused with “air sealing”. The insulation reduces air movement only within the space it occupies. It will not reduce air movement through other cracks between building parts. For example, controlling air movement within a wall cavity will not stop air that leaks between the foundation and the sil plate or between the wall joists and a window frame.
Batts, blankets, loose fill, and low-density foams all work by limiting air movement. (These products may be more familiarly called fiberglass, cellulose, polyicynene, and expanded polystyrene.) The still air is an effective insulator because it eliminates convection and has low conduction. Some foams, such as polyisocyanurate, polyurethane, and extruded polystyrene, are filled with special gases that provide additional resistance to heat flow.
Reflective insulation works by reducing the amount of energy that travels in the form of radiation. Some forms of reflective insulation also divide a space up into small regions to reduce air movement, or convection, but not to the same extent as batts, blankets, loose-fill, and foam.
Which insulation is best, this is one of the most popular questions homeowners ask before buying insulation. The answer is that the ‘best’ type of insulation depends on:
- how much insulation is needed,
- the accessibility of the insulation location,
- the space available for the insulation,
- local availability and price of insulation, and
- other considerations unique to each purchaser.
Insulation Product Types
Some types of insulation require professional installation, and others you can install yourself. You should consider the several forms of insulation available, their R-values, and the thickness needed. The type of insulation you use will be determined by the nature of the spaces in the house that you plan to insulate. For example, since you cannot conveniently “pour” insulation into an overhead space, blankets, spray-foam, board products, or reflective systems are used between the joists of an unfinished basement ceiling. The most economical way to fill closed cavities in finished walls is with blown-in insulation applied with pneumatic equipment or with sprayed-in-place foam insulation.
The different forms of insulation can be used together. For example, you can add batt or roll insulation over loose-fill insulation, or vice-versa. Usually, material of higher density (weight per unit volume) should not be placed on top of lower density insulation that is easily compressed. Doing so will reduce the thickness of the material underneath and thereby lower its R-value. There is one exception to this general rule: When attic temperatures drop below 0°F, some low-density, fiberglass, loose-fill insulation installations may allow air to circulate between the top of your ceiling and the attic, decreasing the effectiveness of the insulation. You can eliminate this air circulation by covering the low-density, loose-fill insulation with a blanket insulation product or with a higher density loose-fill insulation.