A well-insulated home is key to saving energy, and this translates to money saved. Poor insulation in even one room in your house can be very costly in the long run. However, before you get the ideal insulation for your house, there are a number of challenging decisions you'll have to make.
There are inexpensive insulation options, and there are others which are much pricier. The difference in cost is reflected in several things including the thermal resistance and the ease of installation. Having a good understanding of your options is important before you make a choice.
Low Budget Option: Fiberglass
Fiberglass insulation is cheap, and this makes it one of the most popular insulation options available. This mode of home insulation is well-suited for areas with open spaces such as the attic.
The insulation comes in rolled bats that are designed to fit between studs. There are differences in color and thickness depending on the level of efficiency you're after.
This type of insulation is cheap, even when installed by a professional. However, proper safety gear must be worn during installation—fiberglass can damage lungs, skin and eyes. Additionally, care must be taken not to damage the insulation. A single tear can reduce the R-value significantly.
Mid-Range Option: Blown-in Insulation
This type of insulation is also known as cellulose insulation, and this is because the insulating material is made from cardboard and recycled paper. This insulation can be blown into any space that you need insulated, hence the name.
An R-value of 35 can be achieved with proper insulation, this means properly filling in all spaces while keeping the packing loose.
There are various factors that make this type of insulation cheap including the fact that DIY installation is quite possible. This insulation is moisture resistant and the borate treatment keeps pests at bay.
High Budget Option: Spray Foam Insulation
In terms of thermal efficiency, there is no commercially available option that compares to spray foam. It has the highest R-value, in its closed-cell form, and can save up to $500 annually in energy costs.
This insulation has additional advantages, including taking up less space compared to others options. It's also a great option for houses with many air leaks. The foam insulation, once it has hardened, can be painted to match the walls of your home.
For the best results, professional installation is always recommended for this option.
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