Adequate insulation in your home reduces the amount of energy you need to heat and cool it. The most common types of insulation used in homes include batt, blown-in cellulose, blown-in fiber and spray foam. Each has a specific purpose unique to homes and buildings:
1. Batt insulation
Most commonly made from fiberglass, batt insulation can be easily added to attics. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that Central California homes have at least 16 inches in the attic. As a general rule, each inch of batt insulation provides one hour of protection from thermal change. It’s measured by its R-value, and the “R” refers to the ability to resist heat for one hour. When you’re selecting batt insulation, be sure to select it carefully. Some paper-backed fiberglass batts need to be covered with fire-resistant materials such as drywall.
2. Blown-in cellulose
Made primarily from shredded, treated recycled paper, this insulation is commonly used in attics and walls in retrofit situations. In attics, the product is blown directly into the space. In walls, installers use drill bits that cut holes through which a blower sends the loose cellulose between the studs. This insulation can be blown in from the inside or outside of the home. Cellulose is one of the few types of insulation that’s treated with boron derivatives to resist moisture, insects, rodents and fire.
3. Sprayed foam
This type of insulation has a higher R-value per inch than fiberglass or cellulose, making it a good solution for small or tight spaces. It’s sprayed into a cavity or space, and as it dries it expands. Sprayed foam eliminates air and water leaks and discourages insects.
4. Loose fiberglass fill
This is an alternative for using cellulose insulation in the attic. If the existing insulation has been applied unevenly, blowing loose fiberglass into it and leveling it out solves the problem.
If you’d like to know more about the types of insulation and how increasing insulation will reduce your home’s heating and cooling load, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided quality HVAC services to Central California for nearly 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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