If you have a new home in need of insulation or just re-insulating an old home, we have a solution for you. Maximize your energy efficiency, save money and feel more comfortable in your home all year long!
Types of Insulation and Materials Table
|Type||Insulation Materials||Where Applicable||Installation Method(s)||Advantages|
|Blanket: batts and rolls||•Fiberglass•Mineral (rock or slag) wool•Plastic fibers•Natural fibers||•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls•Floors and ceilings||Fitted between studs, joists, and beams.||Do-it-yourself.Suited for standard stud and joist spacing that is relatively free from obstructions. Relatively inexpensive.|
|Concrete block insulationand insulating concrete blocks||Foam board, to be placed on outside of wall (usually new construction) or inside of wall (existing homes):Some manufacturers incorporate foam beads or air into the concrete mix to increase R-values||•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls,for new construction or major renovations•Walls (insulating concrete blocks)||Require specialized skillsInsulating concrete blocks are sometimes stacked without mortar (dry-stacked) and surface bonded.||Insulating cores increases wall R-value.Insulating outside of concrete block wall places mass inside conditioned space, which can moderate indoor temperatures.Autoclaved aerated concrete and autoclaved cellular concrete masonry units have 10 times the insulating value of conventional concrete.|
|Foam board or rigid foam||•Polystyrene•Polyisocyanurate•Polyurethane||•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls•Floors and ceilings•Unvented low-slope roofs||Interior applications: must be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board or other building-code approved material for fire safety.Exterior applications: must be covered with weatherproof facing.||High insulating value for relatively little thickness.Can block thermal short circuits when installed continuously over frames or joists.|
|Insulating concrete forms (ICFs)||•Foam boards or foam blocks||•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls for new construction||Installed as part of the building structure.||Insulation is literally built into the home’s walls, creating high thermal resistance.|
|Loose-fill and blown-in||•Cellulose•Fiberglass•Mineral (rock or slag) wool||•Enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities•Unfinished attic floors•Other hard-to-reach places||Blown into place using special equipment, sometimes poured in.||Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.|
|Reflective system||•Foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard||•Unfinished walls, ceilings, and floors||Foils, films, or papers fitted between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams.||Do-it-yourself.Suitable for framing at standard spacing.Bubble-form suitable if framing is irregular or if obstructions are present.Most effective at preventing downward heat flow, effectiveness depends on spacing.|
|Rigid fibrous or fiber insulation||•Fiberglass•Mineral (rock or slag) wool||•Ducts in unconditioned spaces•Other places requiring insulation that can withstand high temperatures||HVAC contractors fabricate the insulation into ducts either at their shops or at the job sites.||Can withstand high temperatures.|
|Sprayed foam and foamed-in-place||•Cementitious•Phenolic•Polyisocyanurate•Polyurethane||•Enclosed existing wall•Open new wall cavities•Unfinished attic floors||Applied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure sprayed (foamed-in-place) product.||Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.|
|Structural insulated panels (SIPs)||•Foam board or liquid foam insulation core•Straw core insulation||•Unfinished walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs for new construction||Construction workers fit SIPs together to form walls and roof of a house.||SIP-built houses provide superior and uniform insulation compared to more traditional construction methods; they also take less time to build.|
Table courtesy of energy.gov website.
Fiberglass insulation is typically installed in attics and walls as a blanket system of rolls and batts. It is by far the most common insulation method used in residential homes but it is NOT always the best solution for every situation.
Also known as “paper” insulation, is environmentally friendly and commonly seen in use with older homes. Cellulose is made mostly of about 80% of recycled materials. It is also a very good soundproofing insulator.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is ideal for all the small cracks, gaps and crevices behind your walls and can help eliminate air leaks which can cause your energy bills to spike!
Radiant Barrier Insulation
Radiant Barrier Insulation is more commonly offered in the hotter southern areas of the United States and not typical for the Upstate NY area. A barrier is installed in the attic under the roof to help reflect heat from the sun.
Locations Insulation is Used
Your attic is one of the largest sources of heat and energy loss in YOUR home. Attic insulation often requires layers of high R-value insulation of R49 up to R60 in our area of the country. Energy costs can be sky-high; especially if you own a home built before 1980. As a simple rule of thumb, if you can see your the tops of your attic floor joists, you probably need insulation! Do you have ice dams, large, damaging icicles or hot spots on your roof during the winter? If so, this is a good sign that you have significant heat loss due to poor insulation or air flow.
Blown-in cellulose, rolls or batts of fiberglass or spray foam can be used to insulate exterior walls of your home. Blown-in and foam products are especially good for filling in the spaces around wires, oddly-shaped areas and other obstructions. Foam sheet insulation can also be used under the home’s exterior finish such as vinyl siding. Masonry walls should be insulated on the exterior surface also.
Basement and Crawl Space Insulation
Even unfinished basements have energy saving potential. Exterior walls can be insulated to prevent heat loss and keep your hardwood and tiled floors feeling warmer on your bare feet in the winter.
Have more questions? Ready for a FREE home energy audit? Contact us today!