When choosing the best insulation for homes, it’s important to consider several aspects. You might have heard of the R-Value rating that’s often used when comparing different types of insulation. Indeed, it’s one important measure, but certainly not the end all be all.
What are insulation R-Values all about anyway? The technical definition tends to be rather complicated, but simply put – the higher the insulation’s R-Value rating, the better the insulation will work to thermally retain heat. The R-Value varies according to the material that the insulation is made of and its thickness.
When considering the best insulation for homes, it’s also important to factor in the climate, local building codes, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to install the insulation product. For example, when building a new house, it’s possible to use any almost insulation available because of the ease of open access.
But remodeling or renovation renders this tactic a little more difficult. I have lots of practice remodeling and renovating older homes and believe me, sometimes it’s impossible to get access to certain areas in order to apply the insulation without totally opening up the walls.
In many of the older homes I’ve worked on, the best option has been to blow cellulose insulation into the walls through small drilled holes. While cellulose doesn’t necessarily have the very best R-Value of all types of insulation available, one thing is for sure – having some kind of insulation is absolutely better than having none at all.
Spray in foam is really popular these days in new construction for its ease of application and cost worthy effectiveness. Many formulas are soy based and engineered to be environmentally friendly themselves while helping lead to a greener home through saved energy costs at the same time. This type of insulation does require professional application.
Fiberglass batting insulation is probably the best for do it yourself installers, although it still requires practice to get a tight fit and proper seal. Usually installing fiberglass insulation in the attic or other exposed areas is relatively simple, but again, insulating a home’s walls will require open access.
Ultimately, if you’re getting sick and tired of ultra high winter heating costs, now is time to take action and do something about it. Just remember, no matter the R-Value, any insulation is an improvement over no insulation!