Insulating your home is a great way to increase comfort while reducing energy costs. If your home isn’t properly insulated, you should consider calling a top-rated local pro to get the job done.
To estimate the amount of insulation you’ll need, begin by measuring the length and height of each wall. Multiply the results to calculate the square footage. Then, take into consideration recommended u-value and thickness.
Amount of Area
The first step homeowners should take when estimating an insulation install is to figure out how much space they need to cover with the material. For walls, this involves measuring the height and width of the wall and multiplying those numbers together to find the area. Then, they can subtract the areas of any windows and doors to determine how much material will be needed for the entire wall.
For attics and ceilings, homeowners can use an online calculator or refer to the recommended u-values and thicknesses for their area. This will help them determine how much cellulose, fibreglass or foam insulation they need to achieve the desired results.
If they are unsure about what type of insulation is best for their home, they can contact a top-rated local professional to learn more about it. The expert will be able to calculate how much insulation is required so that the homeowner doesn’t overbuy, and they can also advise them on the best material for their home.
It is easiest to add insulation during construction of a new house, but it can also be done in existing homes. The key is to reduce air leaks and ensure that there are no gaps or cracks in the walls, attic or basement. Otherwise, the heating and cooling system will have to work overtime, which leads to higher energy bills.
Type of Insulation
Insulation warms a home in winter and cools it in summer by slowing down heat transfer through the walls, floors, and ceiling. It is an inexpensive investment that yields a 100 percent or better return on energy savings, making it one of the most cost-effective home improvements available.
The type of insulation you choose depends on where it will be installed, your R-value requirement and whether you plan to install the material yourself or hire a pro. In addition, there are eco-friendly options made from recycled and other renewable materials.
Loose-fill insulation (fiberglass batts, cellulose or spray polyurethane foam) is user-friendly and often available for rent from home improvement stores or building supply outlets. It is best suited for attics and open wall cavities. It can also be blown into closed wall cavities with special equipment called a blower. In this form, it’s called dense-pack cellulose. It’s usually more expensive than loose-fill, but it has a higher R-value per inch.
Foam insulation, such as rigid phenolic or Celotex, is more complex to install and requires professional installation. However, it offers high R-values and a higher level of resistance to moisture than batt insulation. Foam insulation also prevents air leakage and reduces noise. Regardless of the type of insulation you use, it’s important that it completely fills the area you are insulating. Any gaps will result in a loss of performance and energy savings.
Insulation needs to be installed properly to get the best results. Poorly performing insulation will force a home’s heating and cooling system to work overtime, leading to higher energy costs. This can also cause drafts that make it difficult to regulate a comfortable temperature throughout the house. If you’re considering an insulation upgrade, consider scheduling a professional energy audit to determine the type and amount of insulation required for your home or commercial building.
For new construction projects, it’s most cost effective to install insulation in walls and ceilings before drywall is installed. However, it’s also possible to add blown insulation to unfinished spaces like attics. This type of insulation is also popular in homes that are being renovated, as it can improve indoor comfort and reduce energy bills.
There are minimum requirements set by building regulations for the R-value of insulation in certain locations and types of buildings. These regulations are intended to promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
When choosing an insulation contractor, look for one that offers free or low-cost energy audits to help homeowners and business owners find the right amount of insulation. This is especially important if you’re planning to add a significant amount of new insulation or upgrade the R-value. During an energy audit, a contractor will inspect the existing insulation for air leaks and other problems that could negatively affect performance.
Eco-friendly insulation options are becoming increasingly available and provide homeowners with the opportunity to make a sustainable choice that aligns with their values. The best options are made of renewable or recycled materials, conserving natural resources and minimizing waste. They also feature high R-values, meaning that they reduce energy consumption and help minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Many of these insulation materials are also safe for human health, presenting no risks to eyes, skin, or the upper respiratory tract. They are also a healthy alternative to synthetic insulators, such as fiberglass, which contains toxic chemicals that may have negative effects on the environment and on human health.
In addition to these benefits, many of these eco-friendly insulation options are non-toxic and biodegradable at the end of their useful life, promoting a circular economy. They are also moisture-resistant, which prevents mold and rot. These characteristics are important to consider if you live in an area with frequent rains or humidity.
One of the most effective and cost-effective eco-friendly insulation options is spray foam, which provides a comprehensive seal and a high R-value in just one application. It’s made of a combination of non-toxic, renewable liquid materials that react and expand to fill in all the nooks and crannies of a home, making it a great choice for hard-to-reach spaces.