Home insulation is one of those things homeowners hear about but aren’t always sure what it means. Yes, you know your home needs to be insulated, but do you know how complex it really is? The following will tell you everything you need to know about insulation and all the different types for home walls.
What is Insulation All About?
Okay, the simplest way to explain what insulation is, is to say that it is any material stuffed into the walls of a home in order to reduce energy transfer through the walls.
The general understanding is that this material is going to provide a home with a little more warmth when it gets cold or the opposite (i.e keep the home cooler inside when there is heat outside).
It should be pointed out that there is more than one type of insulation, which you are going to learn more about later.
The one that is mostly used for homes and the one that helps keep your home’s temperature comfortable is called thermal insulation. You should know there are variations to learn regarding thermal insulation.
Thermal insulation works by reflecting or absorbing natural heat flow. During the winter when heat tries to move outdoors, your insulation is there to stop that from happening.
In the summer, heat tries to creep into your home, making you feel hotter, but your insulation should stop that, too.
What Happens With Poor Insulation?
Poor insulation, insulation that was installed improperly, inadequate insulation, or insulation that simply needs to be replaced could have all sorts of effects on you and your home.
You can probably guess that poor insulation is going to make your home hotter than it needs to be during the summer and colder than you’d want during the winter.
You are going to feel more uncomfortable than you need to feel. The problem is that it doesn’t just stop with a little discomfort.
Bad insulation can also end up forcing your AC system to work harder than it needs to. You’ll hear your AC turn on more often during the day to make your home cooler or hotter depending on the season. This often means your energy bills are going to be higher than they need to be.
In addition, the longevity of your AC system could be compromised given enough time. You could end up spending money on repairing your AC system or completely replacing it prematurely simply because your poorly insulated home made your AC work harder than it needed to.
Types of Wall Insulation
There are a lot of types of insulation, like the one that most homeowners worry about, which is thermal insulation, but there is also soundproofing insulation. This type of insulation is used in music studios though there are other industries that make use of it.
To make things easier for you as a homeowners, the focus here will be on thermal insulation and some of the different types you may find out there:
This type of insulation is pretty good at maximizing energy efficiency throughout your home. Its spray foam form makes it easy to reach hard places.
Most homeowners use this type of insulation around your home’s wiring system or ductwork. Pipe insulation is also commonly done with this material as well, which is especially important in colder areas where pipes can freeze and burst without proper insulation.
This type of insulation is used by homeowners who want to quickly address their ductwork or plumbing system. Part of the reason this type of insulation is used is because it is installed almost like a blanket.
You are going to see rolls or batts installed if you choose this kind of insulation. Part of the reason it is often chosen is because it is easy to install. The material is definitely efficient and a good choice to consider.
Cellulose is another popular option for a number of reasons. For one, the material helps protect against noise pollution, which is great for homeowners who live in noisy areas.
If that wasn’t enough, this type of material is mostly recycled material that means it is one of the most environment-conscious options since about 80 percent of the material is recycled. It should be pointed out that cellulose insulation can create a lot of dust when it gets too old, so make sure you keep that in mind.
This is perhaps one of the most commonly used forms of insulation to deal with cracks and gaps inside a home. There is virtually no home that is free of hard to reach places that other insulation types simply won’t work well with.
For these areas, homeowners turn to foam insulation, which should help them deal with any air pockets or drafts around your home. A spray foam should definitely address any energy issues you may be having at home.
Radiant Barrier Insulation
Radiant barrier insulation is mostly used in warmer regions. The reason is simply because this kind of insulation reflects heat quite effectively. This is pretty important if you live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight throughout the year.
The radiant barrier insulation is not too common because the other insulation types do a pretty good job at reflecting heat, but homeowners who need an extra bit of help combating the heat are probably going to be happy with it.
Surprisingly, you could make an insulating material from rocks. Little tiny rocks and minerals are spun into high-temperature resistant fibers, which are called rockwool though some call it mineral wool.
Part of the reason this kind of insulation is used is because minerals can retain a lot of heat for a long time. The slow release helps keep homes in colder regions a little warmer.
These are some types of insulation that you can choose to use in your home. If you have additional questions, then it might be time to talk to an insulation expert to try to figure out which type is best for you and your specific needs. Take your time because this is an important choice for you and your family.
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