You would never leave your windows open during the heating and cooling seasons, for obvious reasons. It would be a waste of both conditioned air and the money you pay for it each month. Plus, your home would never feel warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer.
Yet, if your home is not properly insulated, you are essentially leaving a window or two open all throughout the heating and cooling seasons.
4 Major Types of Insulation and Their Applications
Most people picture those big, pink rolls when they think of insulation. This, however, is just one of the four major types of insulation, and each one is best suited for a specific use, or application.
- Blanket or Batt Insulation: This is the large (often pink) roll everyone’s familiar with. It is made of fiberglass or other fibers that provide good thermal resistance and is most commonly used in attics. Rolls that come with a vapor-barrier facing are used in attics (or other spaces) that have no existing insulation. Rolls without the vapor barrier can be laid down over existing batts (that have the vapor barrier) to beef up inadequate insulation.
- Foam Board Insulation: Made of polystyrene (think Styrofoam), polyisocyanurate (usually called polyiso for short), or polyurethane (not the liquid form used to finish wood), these rigid foam boards are best suited for insulating walls, ceilings, and floors.
- Loose-fill Insulation: Also known as blown-in, lose-fill insulation is made up of small particles of recycled fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool. It is an excellent choice for refreshing or beefing up inadequate existing batt insulation. It is also ideal for use in spots where it may be difficult to cut batt insulation without leaving gaps, such as in corners that are not square and other irregularly shaped spaces.
- Spray Foam Insulation: This liquid adhesive expands and cures when it is exposed to air, enabling it to form an air-tight bond with the surface it’s applied to. Because it expands by 30 to 60 percent, it is a good option for smaller gaps and spaces that are, nevertheless, too large for caulk. Excess cured foam can be trimmed down with a utility knife.
Proper insulation should be a part of your indoor-comfort and energy-saving strategy. For more tips on increasing comfort and reducing bills, check out 5 Simple Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill and Up Your Comfort.
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