What Are Your Choices In Wall Insulation?

You may be too warm in the summer and chilly in the winter inside your home if your walls aren't properly insulated. Your money is also being wasted through added cooling and heating costs. The best time to add insulation is the more temperate seasons of spring and fall, but it's never a bad time to keep the bad weather out and the treated air inside your home.

Adding Insulation to New Construction

If you're remodeling or adding additions to your home, the most common material used for insulation is fiberglass. It is applied in sheets which are then covered with a vapor barrier material to reduce moisture from condensation. Fiberglass is used because it is a poor conductor of heat, which means that indoor heat stays inside in the winter and outdoor heat stays outside in the summer.

The effectiveness rating of fiberglass is denoted by its "R" value, which means that the higher the number after the "R", the more insulating property. Of course, the cost also rises with the "R" value, but it is offset by additional savings of fuel cost and higher comfort levels.

Adding Insulation to Existing Walls

While you can always tear out existing drywall and install fiberglass sheet insulation and a vapor barrier, you can also blow powdered insulation inside your walls through small holes cut between the sections of walls separated by walls studs. This is done by blower machinery designed for this process.

The insulation is blown into exterior walls from the outside rather than inside the home, to reduce the effects of the noise and dust produced by the blower during operation.

Many types of materials are used for blown insulation applications, depending upon the needs and preferences of the homeowner, including:

  • Blown fiberglass. This is the same material as the sheet version, but made into small individual fibers of spun glass.
  • Cellulose. This is a natural recycled alternative made primarily from old newspapers and other paper products.
  • Cotton. This is also a natural alternative to fiberglass, produced from recycled denim and other sources.
  • Mineral Oil Wool. These materials are made from recycled post-industrial byproducts.

Most of these materials must be chemically treated for fire retardation and insect infestation, except for the mineral oil wool products, which are naturally fire resistant and unappealing to insects. 

Any type of wall insulation will add to the comfort level of your home while reducing utility bills, so don't waste any more time shivering when the cold winds blow against the exterior of your home. Talk to representatives from companies like Tracy's Insulation, Inc. about getting insulation and stay warm and cozy this winter.