How Do I Know What Insulation To Get?
We’re at the height of winter and that means worrying about your costly home heating bills. You also might have concerns about whether your home is being heated enough. If you feel a draft inside some rooms that may mean you’re letting both money and heat escape from your home. You might also feel that your energy bill is higher than it should be. You’ve probably heard that one of the best ways to save money is to make sure your home has proper insulation. But you may be concerned about what that means. You may be confused about what type of insulation is best for your home. Tragar Home Services wants to give you the facts about insulation so you can get the most out of your energy system. Here is some information about finding the best insulation for your home.
How Does Insulation Work?
According to the US Energy Department, insulation works by providing resistance to heat flow. Heat flows from warm air to cooler air until there is no longer a temperature difference inside your home. Warm air tends to flow out through ceilings, walls and floors. During the summer, warm air flows into your home through the outside. The best way to stop this from happening is decreasing the air flow with proper insulation.
According to the energy department, there are a couple of considerations you should always keep in mind when deciding what type of insulation to install. You should first try to determine where you want or need to add insulation. Then you need to know the recommended R-values for the areas you want to insulate.
R-values measure an insulation’s resistance to heat flow. An insulation’s R-value depends on the type of insulation and how thick or dense that insulation is. The higher the R-value, the stronger the insulation is. But the effectiveness of insulation also depends on where you install it. So the R-value of insulation can vary if it’s installed in a wall as opposed to if it’s installed in a ceiling.
Recommended Insulation R-Values
Choosing the appropriate insulation, with the proper R-value, depends a lot on the where you live. The energy department has issued a map of recommended insulation levels for wood framed homes dividing the country into zones. Long Island is in Zone 4, which means the department recommends adding insulation with an R-value between R38 and R60 to an uninsulated attic. If a home has an attic with an existing 3 to 4 inches of insulation, the department recommends an R-value of R38. The recommended R-value for a floor installation is between R25 and R30. More northern parts of New York state with colder climates are in zones 5 and 6.
Types of Insulation
If you’re looking to install insulation, there are several types on the market. The most common is blanket insulation which is made of flexible fibers, usually fiberglass. They’re usually fitted between studs and beams and is easily installed in unfinished walls, floors and ceilings.
Foam boards which are rigid panels of insulation can be used in all parts of the home are especially useful as wall sheathing. Loose-fill insulation is made up of fiber and foam that can fill a space where it’s difficult to install insulation.
There are also several types of liquid foam insulation. This is insulation that can be sprayed or injected into walls, attic surfaces and floors. It has the advantage of fitting into even small, hard to reach cavities. Two of the most common are closed cell foam and open-cell foam. Closed cell foam has a greater R-value and moisture resistance. Open-cell foam isn’t as moisture resistant and shouldn’t be used below ground level. It is also less expensive.
Insulation Installation on Long Island
The type of insulation you install depends on the job. We hope you’ve come to a better understanding of how insulation works and if you’re not sure what you need, contact Tragar. We can give you a home energy audit that will help you find ways to make your home more energy efficient.