Insulation is one of the best ways to lower the energy use in your home. It impedes heat transfer, which means it keeps hot or cold air in, while keeping the air you don’t want out of your home. If you’re looking to upgrade your home, there are five types that you should know about while evaluating your insulation.
- Cellulose: If you’re looking for a relatively cheap and environmentally friendly insulation, cellulose insulation is a popular choice. It is made mainly from recycled paper. As long as it is not ingested, it is perfectly safe. It’s fairly simple to blow cellulose insulation into walls or ceiling cavities, but special netting will be needed for use in the attic.
- Cotton: Insulation is rated based on R-values, a measure of how well they block heat transfer. Cotton has an R-value that rivals cellulose. This is made from mainly recycled materials, mostly cotton. Typical uses for cotton insulation is in roof rafters or wall cavities.
- Fiberglass: An insulation made mostly of recycled glass and silica sand, fiberglass requires a significant amount of energy to make, so it’s not the most environmentally friendly. Fiberglass insulation should only be handled by professional, as the fibers can lead to cancer if inhaled. There are both low- and high-density batts, with the higher density product costing more, but with a better R-value.
- Foam insulations: There are many types of foam polymers that are used for insulation. The process to make them is highly resource intensive. The benefit however, is that foam insulations have excellent R-values and are long lasting.
- Mineral wool: This insulation is typically made from recycled waste from iron-ore blast furnaces or a suitable cheap rock. It will cost you more than cellulose or fiberglass, but is arguably the most durable insulator. Unlike cellulose or cotton, which do not perform well when wet, mineral wool continues to insulate effectively.
If you need assistance evaluating your insulation in your northeast Ohio home, contact Stack Heating and Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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