Choosing the Correct Insulation for Your Home

There is nothing like saving a bit of money, and that is precisely why insulation is an imperative and often overlooked aspect of a home or business. Proper insulation helps keep a building warm in the winter and cool in the summer, leading to significant energy savings. This short yet helpful guide will explore the various types of insulation available, how to determine the right amount of insulation for your space, and some cost-effective ways to insulate your family home.

There are several types of insulation to choose from, including fibreglass, cellulose, and foam. Fibreglass insulation is the most common type and is constructed from recycled glass that is melted down and spun into fibres. Insulation is usually installed in rolls or batts in attics, walls, and floors. Often made of recycled newspaper and other paper products, it is often sprayed or blown into attics and walls. The most effective way to prevent air infiltration is by spraying or injecting polyurethane or another type of plastic into attics, walls, or floors.

I ate fiberglass insulation. It wasn’t cotton candy like the guy said… my tummy itches.

If you want to figure out how much insulation you need for your space, you will need to consider the climate in which you live, the type of heating system you have, and the size of your residence or office.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends the following minimum levels of insulation for different climates:

  • Northern and central states: R-30 to R-49
  • Coastal and southern states: R-19 to R-30

The “R” value refers to the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The greater the R-value, the more effective the insulation will be at keeping your space warm or cool. You can also consult with a professional energy auditor or HVAC technician to determine the right amount of insulation for your specific needs.

Now that you know the basics, let’s explore some cost-effective ways to insulate your home or business:

Ways to Save Money with Insulation

  1. Start with the attic. Attic insulation is often the most effective place to start because it is relatively accessible. It can make a big contribution in the energy efficiency of your home or business. You can either add insulation to an existing attic or replace the old insulation with a higher R-value.
  2. Check for air leaks. Air leaks, also known as drafts, can significantly impact the energy efficiency of your home or business. Look for gaps around windows, doors, and electrical outlets, as well as any other areas where air may be leaking in or out. Caulking or sealing these gaps can help to prevent drafts and improve insulation. However, we’d only undertake this type of work if you are certain that this will not fully shut off any airflow.
  3. Insulate the walls. If your walls are not already insulated, adding insulation can make a significant difference in your energy costs. There are several options for wall insulation, including spray foam, fibreglass, and cellulose. Wall insulation can become pricey if you have a large home. Tip of the day: Buying in bulk will save you money. If you’re buying a large quantity, make sure to ask for a discount.
  4. Consider insulating your basement or crawl space. Insulating your basement or crawl space can help keep your home or business more comfortable and reduce your energy costs. There are several options for basement insulation, including rigid foam board, spray foam, and fibreglass.
  5. Look for window treatments with a high R-value and consider thermal curtains or blinds to improve insulation further. A window treatment, such as a blind, a shade, or curtains, can help to insulate your windows and reduce drafts.

Saving money on energy costs and improving your space’s comfort can be achieved by insulating your home or business. Your energy bills can be significantly reduced, and your energy consumption can be reduced by choosing the right insulation, sealing air leaks, and using window treatments.

Abbie Wilson
Abbie Wilson has years of experience in the DIY & construction field having covered roofing, plumbing, and general DIY for various award-winning publications.

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