Home Insulation Type

Deciding the best Home Insulation type for your home and climate is crucial in creating a more energy efficient and comfortable home.

While the cost of energy is rising and will continue to rise in the foreseeable future, more and more homeowners are turning to home insulation type solutions to help reduce bills and update the energy efficiency of homes against the elements.

Using home insulation to fill wall cavities and seal your home is paramount to having more control over how cool your home remains during the hot summer months and how well it retains the heat energy you expend on it during the winter months.

There are many different materials and methods to choose from that provide varying degrees of insulation - do you know which home insulation type is best for your home type and your environment!

Your state energy conservation office will be able to provide you with this information - regarding the home insulation type and R-value of home insulation that best stands up to the particular problems in your area and also the best methods to use depending on the type of home that you live in.

They will also be able to inform you if there are any financial incentives available towards the cost of fully insulating your home in your area.

Long Term Economical Benefits

A free-standing home will see much higher long term economical benefits from the initial installation cost than an attached home or apartment, although of course all homes will enjoy the benefit of insulation, not only in the reduction of energy services throughout the cold months for heating and the reduction of energy consumption for cooling your home in the summer, but also enabling families to enjoy a more comfortable home environment.

Another important consideration is the way your home was built, a home with cavity walls is much easier and more economical to insulate than a home built with only a single wall - this is mainly a problem in older houses.

Including insulation in your budget is an important factor when planning home improvement and financing and this really is the ideal time to retrofit Home Insulation.

It is also important when considering the varying home insulation cost levels of different materials to think about how you use your home, do you prefer to have the heat up but also provide ventilation, or reduce the temperature expenditure and reduce the ventilation or somewhere inbetween...

Doors and windows also play a huge roll in home insulation, where you have extreme conditions double glazing windows should be installed, (although this is not as economically advantageous as cavity wall insulation) - but another important factor is how you use your main door and what it is make of - as this is where the biggest heat loss occurs in even the best insulated homes.

Our best home insulation tip when working with any home insulation type is your own safety and that of anyone near you - a respirator or certified dust mask should always be worn to protect your lungs and long sleeved garments and gloves to protect your skin.

An environmentally friendly home insulation type made up of recycled materials that gives good long term insulation is what most people are now looking out for, that is cost efficient to purchase and easy to install.

Home Insulation Type

Each home insulation type is designed to reduce the flow of heat out of and into your home. Complete insulation would include foundations, floors, walls and ceilings to make your home more energy efficient.

A Home Insulation Product is available in the form of:

  • Blankets - in the shape of rolls and batts
  • Rigid Foam - foam boards
  • Loose Fill
  • Liquid foam
  • Other natural home insulation Options

Home Insulation Type
- Blankets

Blankets are more commonly made of Fiberglass and these blankets usually come in the form of rolls or batts. Special paper backed blanket are designed to be installed in wall cavities or down between floor joists.

The use of Safety equipment is vital when working with fiberglass - a respirator or certified dust mask is worn to protect your lungs and long sleeved garments and gloves to protect your skin.

However, the old standard fibreglass is pretty much out of the window now because of the new fiberglass products developed not only for superior insulation but also very much with your safety in mind.

Look out for formeldehyde-FREE fiberglass insulation that won't irritate your skin and that will also contract and expand as necessary with temperature changes (but please keep the safety gear on!).

Be aware of the density of the batts available in your area, newer products are often more densely packed and therefore provide a more optimum home insulation type.

You will easily be able to differentiate between different levels of insulation when you look out for the R-value of each product - the higher the R-value the more energy efficient will be the insulation.

To give you an idea of what you will be looking at - standard insulation R-value is around R-10 while the prefered higher density batts have an R-value of beyond R-15.

While you have to take precaution when working with fibreglass, it's advantages are that it doesn't attract insects, it won't burn and what is important regarding sealed insulation - it won't shrink over time.

Fiberglass home insulation type is usually used in conjunction with a vapour barrier to protect the insulation from moisture - the R-value of fibreglass is very much reduced when it is wet.

Home Insulation Type
- Rigid Foam

Rigid Foam - sometimes knows as "Foam Boards", are more often used to insulate foundations because of their water resistant qualities. They are also perfect for exterior insulation on single walls, under siding and also for roof insulation, although if you do use them as wall insulation you must be careful to tightly fit them together to reduce the chance of energy losing gaps in the shell of your home.

A lot of people prefer rigid foam because it has a much higher R-value than fiberglass and some other alternatives. It is usually made up of either expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene or polisocyanurate.

While polisocyanurate has the best insulation properties, this type of rigid foam and also extruded polystyrene are more harmful to the environment and are said to have an adverse affect on the ozone layer. This is why expanded polystyrene is the most popular choice of rigid foam when creating an environmentally friendly home.

Expanded polystyrene rigid foam is a great heat barrier as long as the air pockets remain dry. This rigid foam is best used with a foil of plastic facing to make it a much more water tight home insulation type.

Home Insulation Type
- Loose Fill

While many contractors are familiar with loose fill fiberglass, more and more seem to be turning towards using Cellulose, this is basically made up of recycled paper products like newspapers and cardboard that is treated against mold, insects and made more fire resistant.

It is more economical to purchase and is also safer to handle and lay than fibreglass. You are still advised to use all of your safety equipment when spraying or blowing this product into cavities and you have to watch that it doesn't settle unevenly in a way that leaves air spaces.

If Cellulose does get wet - it can absorb moisture - over time it will develop mold and begin to rot - greatly reducing the R-value of this home insulation type - although acrylic binders are supposed to solve these problems.

Home Insulation Type
- Liquid Foam

Liquid foam is sprayed in a thin layer onto walls and is left to expand to completely fill the cavity before interior paneling is put in place.

The advantages of a liquid foam like polyurethane spray foam insulation is that you don't have to worry about it settling, once it is inplace - it stays - and gives an airtight seal that won't sag or shrink.

It is also often used to retro-insulate homes by applying through the top of a cavity wall and totally filling the space from the bottom up.

When professionally applied this can be a very quick solution to your home insulation problems.

Home Insulation Type
- Other Options

Straw Bales

Not long ago I was lucky enough to see a home being constructed with straw bales, which were later clad in a straw and clay mix to insulate the outside walls.

The resulting thick exterior walls of the home were irregular while the enterior was boarded to a smooth finish. I have heard since that the insulation qualities are very high and of course this is a totally environmentally friendly option.

Sheeps Wool

Another environmentally friendly option - this can be an expensive home insulation type depending on if you live in a sheep farming area or not. Sheeps wool has natural qualities that repel both water and insects and is easy to work with.

Rock Wool

This is a heavy mineral wool based on stone waste, it's expensive but it is moisture resistant so if you live in a wet climate this would turn out to be a good economical option for you as it still insulates even when wet and has the added benefit of being noncombustible.

Slag Wool

This is made up of the waste from iron ore blast furnaces, its many beneficial properties are very similar to rock wool.


Another natural choice - safe to handle but is a more expensive option.

Home Insulation Type
- Insulation Contractor

Even if your home already has a degree of insulation - it may be below the recommended level for your area - if you are going to make your home more energy efficient by including a home insulation type as part of your home improvement and financing plan, don't settle for the minimum recommended level for your area - go as high as your budget allows.

A professional certified home insulation contractor will best advise you of the home insulation type suitable for your home and environment

A home insulation contractor will be able to provide you with a certificate of completion of work and guarantee of work done - to validate the cost of the improvement against the higher value of your home should you later decide to move on - in the meantime he should install the right level of home insulation to help make your home more energy efficient and comfortable in all seasons.

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