Home insulation is a critical component of energy-efficient homes. Insulation helps to keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing energy costs and improving overall comfort. There are several different types of home insulation available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Fiberglass insulation is one of the most common types of home insulation. It's made of tiny glass fibers that are woven into batts or blown into place. This insulation is affordable and easy to install.
Notably, fiberglass insulation can be itchy and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. While it can be installed by DIY-inclined homeowners, make sure to wear goggles and a mask when installing it. You'll also want to be in long sleeves, even if you're installing the insulation during the summer.
Also, fiberglass batts aren't as effective at preventing air leaks as some other types of insulation. There are almost always minuscule cracks between the batts.
Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper products and is a popular eco-friendly insulation option. The recycled and repurposed paper can be blown into place, making it effective at filling in gaps and air leaks. The insulation can be installed quickly.
As an added bonus, cellulose insulation is also treated with fire retardant. It won't stop a house fire, but it could slow one that's working through or up a wall.
Homeowners should be aware that cellulose particles can settle over time, reducing the effectiveness of this insulation eventually.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is a popular option for homeowners who want a highly effective insulation solution. A mixture of chemicals is sprayed into place, and then expands to fill the entire space. Any gaps get filled as the material swells.
This is among the most effective types of insulation, but it's more expensive than other insulation options and can be difficult to install. Only a professional should install spray foam.
Spray foam insulation includes both open-cell and closed-cell types. A professional can help homeowners choose the type most suitable for their house.
Mineral Wool Insulation
Mineral wool insulation is comprised of rock that's melted and spun into fibers. Mineral wool insulation is fire-resistant and can be effective at preventing air leaks. It is normally less itchy than fiberglass insulation. Expense can be a major factor when choosing this insulation, though, and not everyone has access to mineral wool materials. Contact an insulation company for more info.