What insulation do I need?
When making a decision about which type of material you need, you need to first answer a simple question: Is this an existing home or a new home? If it is a new home is it a custom, spec or tract home? Tract homes are primarily the builder’s choice. Spec homes are the builder’s choice but with the possibility to upgrade. Custom homes allow the owner/builder to put in at their own discretion. If it is an existing home your primary choices are Fiberglass and Cellulose. Radiant Barrier is no an insulation; it’s a reflective material with typically no R-Value.
- Enclosed Existing Walls – Pressure Fill with Cellulose by drilling small 3/4″, 1″ or 2″ holes through sheetrock, brick, cedar shake or wood
- Open Cavities – Batts, Web & Fill or Spray On
- Floors – Pressure Fill, Batts or Spray On
- Attic Knee Walls – Batting or Denny Board & Pressure Fill
What is R-Value?
- R-Value does not always relate to insulation value. It can also mean ‘R’ for Reflectant value or Refrigerant value. R-Value is the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-Value the more resistance. Heat molecules move quicker than cold, so heat will always find a path to overtake the cold no matter the season. Insulation helps control radiant heat, conduction and convection.
What R-Value do I need?
- A minimum of an R-38 is code for Zone 2. Fiberglass is 2.2-2.7 R-Value per inch, Cellulose is 3.4-3.8 R-Value per inch. Fiberglass requires more inches due to the low R-value per inch and because it is dependent on air between the fibers, that typically results in settling due to vibration, moisture and installer originally over fluffing. Cellulose is required to be installed at a settled density and other products are primarily initial installed thickness.
Where should I insulate?
There are several places where you should insulate
- Attic Floor – to separate the attic from the living space
- Hot Cold Attic Walls – your attic can have temperatures exceeding 120degrees so you have to reduce the heat from the attic walls and floors to 90degrees in order to air condition properly and not over work your A/C
- Exterior Walls – code required after 1965
- Common Walls – for sound transfer treatment/noise reduction
- Floor – pier & beam, cold floors, between the floors, and overhangs
- Roofline – not required but it will knock down attic heat to the A/C equipment and ducts
How can I reduce the moisture in my home?
- First you should insulate and secondly have your A/C sized properly to avoid short cycling, which would not remove enough humidity
When is the best time to insulate?
How is insulation used to control sound?
- By installing the insulation into the walls it will fill up an empty cavity and absorb the sound. The best type is Cellulose fiber due to its heavier density; instead of filtering the sound it will absorb it.
How long will the product work for? When will it need to be replaced?
- All insulation, if it is wet from roof leaks, walked through by repair companies, rodents nesting or a fire, needs to be replaced. Fiberglass needs to be re-insulated every 2-5 years at minimum because contractors typically fluff the material.