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What insulation should I use to maximise my R-Value?

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If you are trying to find the best possible way to save your home sweet home from the weather's wrath, look no further. You'll know everything you need to know, right here.

What is the purpose of house insulation? Basically, home insulation keeps your little (or not so little) abode warm in the chilly winters and cool in the blazing hot summers. In other words, it gives the occupants of a building thermal comfort. What it also does, is that it lowers the energy required by the heating and cooling systems installed in your home. Sounds like a great investment, doesn't it?

The kind and the amount of insulation you need depends on the design of the building, the climate of the region, energy costs, as well as your budget and personal preference.

Here is a little know-how to get you going:

R-Value

One of the most important things to note when choosing insulation is the R-values. The R-values are basically a measure of how well the particular type of insulation resists heat transfer. They're based on the type, thickness, and density of the material being used. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the insulation. Different areas have different R-values of home insulation required.

TYPES OF INSULATION:

The most common type of home insulation includes fiberglass, cellulose, foam and Polyiso.

Blown -in/Loose Fill

This type of insulation is usually made of fiberglass or cellulose (recycled paper fiber). It is blown or sprayed into place and is perfect for insulation in hard-to-reach areas, such as attic insulation. It can be used for wall insulation as well, and can also be installed over existing insulation.

Batts

These are pre-cut sections of fiberglass or rockwool insulation that are designed for easy handling. Batts are available either with or without paper or aluminum foil facing. They can be used in floor insulation, wall insulation, attic and roof insulation.

Rolls

Like batt insulation, rolls are available in pre-cut widths, but unlike the former, they come in longer lengths, around 20 to 40 linear feet. This makes rolls an excellent choice for attic insulation, floor insulation and other areas where longer runs are needed.

Foam Board

Foam board insulation can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof down to the foundation. The most common types of materials used in making foam board are Polystyrene, XPS and Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso for short).

Spray Foam

These require latex or polyurethane to be sprayed into the places where insulation is required. Spray foam can also be used to fill small spaces and is best for sealing around doors, windows and vents. Its best to use smaller Canister Foam for these applications.

A FEW TIPS:

First, make sure that your house is properly ventilated. Adequate ventilation is necessary to provide fresh air as well as to prevent too much heat from building up in your house. Next, fix leaks to prevent air from getting in and out in areas such as around windows and doors.

It is recommended that you wear long sleeves and pants, work gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask or respirator to avoid irritating your skin or breathing in harmful substances.

WHAT'S OUT THERE IN THE MARKET?

Owen's Corning

Owens Corning is a global company that develops and produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglass composites.

They offer products that are made especially to suit the particular requirements of the areas you are trying to target. Be it attic insulation, crawl space insulation, roof insulation or wall insulation, they have exactly what you need!

For the environmentalists out there, here is a little something you are going to like: Owen's Corning just happens to use local, recycled glass AND they fulfill their energy requirements by solar power. Extra points in their favor!

ROXUL

This company offers a little something extra. Since the main component of ROXUL insulation is stone, it adds some distinct advantages. These include Fire resistance, water repulsion, better dimensional stability and the property of being sound absorbent. Other than that, it is also very easy to install.

Johns Manville

Being one of the oldest in the game, Johns Manville has mastered the art of insulation, especially home insulation, over the years. Their products offer you superior quality as well as safety to help improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. Regardless of whether you start with attic insulation, crawl space insulation or move on to wall insulation, Johns Manville has insulation choices to match your needs and your budget.

CertainTeed

CertainTeed Corporation is a North American company that manufactures building materials and Insulation products that are both innovative and sustainable, for commercial and residential purposes.

Some salient features of their products include thermal efficiency (which helps reduce utility bills, YAY!), easy and friction-fit installation, non-combustible, good sound absorption and a vapor retarder feature.

For five consecutive years, the company has received top honours from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its contributions in protecting the environment and was most recently the recipient of the 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. Environmentalists, there you go again!

Choose what suits your requirements the best. We hope this guide was helpful for you to figure out the what, whys, hows, and wheres of insulation.

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