Are There Different Kinds of Insulation Available?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 44 percent of the typical homeowner’s utility costs are spent on heating and cooling the home. One of the most cost-efficient methods of reducing this expenditure is to ensure the home has adequate insulation.

Types of insulation
There are numerous types of insulation materials on the market. Many aspects of the home can impact the type of insulation that should be considered, such as local climate; the size, shape, construction, and age of the home; living habits of the family; and the type and efficiency of the home HVAC system. 

It can also be difficult to estimate the amount of insulation that will be needed to make an impact on the home energy expenses. A professional insulation contractor will be able to make an assessment of the property to see where the best insulation improvements could be made to provide the most benefit. In addition, the contractor may be able to perform diagnostic testing to see where there may be air leaks in the home. Properly sealing the house, in conjunction with the correct amount of insulation, can eliminate the majority of energy waste in a home.

Fiberglass remains the most common insulation material in new home construction; however, recent additions to the home insulation market are rapidly gaining popularity.

Open-cell and closed-cell spray foams, though more expensive than fiberglass, act as air seals as well as insulators in a home, thereby retaining more of the home’s energy.

And with an increased interest in “green” construction in the U.S., there is a renewed interest in cellulose insulation materials, a loose-fill material made from paper mixed with flame retardants, particularly when insulation upgrades are being considered in older homes.