Determining Where the Most Energy Savings Can Be Gained
Home insulation is one of the first things homeowners think of to keep their home comfortable in any season. And for good reason. Insulation is one of the most important pieces we have to control our interior climate. When used in conjunction with proper air sealing, insulation can make a dramatic difference in your indoor comfort and your home’s energy efficiency.
We understand how important insulation is to a home and, as part of our energy audit services, we make sure an insulation audit is part of our energy audit process. We inspect your home to determine what type of insulation you have in various areas of the home as well as how much. Over time, building materials have evolved and homes built in different eras have completely different construction and insulation methods and materials.
TYPES OF HOME INSULATION
When most people think of insulation, they think of fiberglass insulation, which has been used to insulate many homes across the U.S. for many years. This is called “batt” or blanket insulation. But there are many other types of insulation that have superior characteristics, depending on the type of application. When we are inspecting a home for insulation, we attempt to determine the type of insulation, especially some of the types that have health concerns or are ineffective. The evolution of building methods requires extensive knowledge about what most likely is in a wall or space we can’t see in and, when used in conjunction with a blower door test or infrared camera, can show the effectiveness of the existing insulation system.
Batt Insulation – A rolled insulation product that is fit in between joist and stud cavities as a loose fill. Very common in walls, ceilings and sill boxes.
Blown-In Insulation – Loose fill insulation for large areas that relies on thickness to provide a high R-value. Typically used in attics and also used to add additional R-values to existing spaces. Some types of blow-in insulation from the 1900’s can be harmful to our health and must be left in place.
Spray-Foam Insulation – A liquid foam that expands to fill gaps. It acts as both a vapor barrier (air sealer) and has good insulation value. It is water resistant and provides excellent value for sealing cracks and air gaps.
This is a simplified overview of some of the most popular categories of insulation. Within each category are various types of materials, each with different characteristics and insulating values. Our insulation audit will evaluate your current insulation system and make recommendation on any gaps in coverage that you might benefit from.