Home insulation: Tips for an energy-efficient home

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A well-insulated home is essential for effective climate control and energy efficiency....

A well-insulated home is essential for effective climate control and energy efficiency. Here are the most common types used for residential purposes.

Batts or rolls

By far the most common types are batts or rolls. They come in various lengths, widths and R-values (measure of thermal resistance). Made from fiberglass or rock wool, they typically have paper or aluminum facing on one side. These types are great for DIY projects, as they are designed to fit between wall studs or floor joists. The only difference between the two is that batts are precut. They are also relatively cheap, costing between $10 and $50 dollars depending on the length, width and R-value you need.

Tips for installation:

  • When measuring and cutting a batt or roll, leave an extra inch or so. It's good to have a little extra to stuff in between the floor joists or wall studs.
  • Friction should hold the insulation in place. If not, use a staple gun to hold the flanges to the floor joists or studs.

Loose fill

Loose fill is applied with special equipment a machine that allows you to blow the insulation through a hose. Loose fill comes in two different forms: cellulose and fiberglass. It is great for enclosed areas, unfinished attic floors or that little corner that is just out of your reach. A bag will cost you about $30 dollars, but you'll also have to rent the blower. R-value will depend on the thickness you apply.

Tips for installation:

  • Choose the correct R-value. It is different for loose fill insulation, and can be determined by the information on the packaging.
  • Blow the insulation so that it shoots approximately 10 to 12 feet in front of you, and make sure it is applied evenly.

Spray foam

Spray foam insulation is a special liquid-based mixture that expands into a foam and then hardens in place. This form is available in four varieties: ementitious, phenolic, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. Spray foam is great for hard to reach areas (especially very small cavities that air would otherwise pass through), but it can also be used in finished areas and attics. Because it provides an air tight seal, the R-value is typically higher than traditional forms. Additionally, polyurethane is environmentally friendly. Costs vary depending on the company you use and how much you need.

Tips for installation:

  • Spray foam needs to be applied by a trained specialist. Be sure to contact a local expert if you decide to use this type.

Stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter by making sure your house is well insulated. Contact your local Atlanta HVAC expert for more information.

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