Whether you are renovating your existing home or looking to build a new, one of the biggest decisions you will make is how to insulate. For years, many in the industry have used the classic fiberglass insulation, however, there are a lot more options to consider. Today we thought we would cover the most popular options on the market today!
Commonly known as the pink “stuff” fiberglass (batt) insulation was predominately, the insulation of choice for homeowners. Over the years, the product has gotten a bad rap for having glass fibers, but manufacturers have come a long way and have reformulated how it’s made and include up to 40% recycled content. The R-value per inch ranges from 2.9-3.8. Although it doesn’t dominate the market as much today due to other more efficient options, it is an easy do-it-yourself option that is also the most cost-effective. It comes in rolls and can install quickly and easily. One downside to this insulation is that its fibers can cause skin irritation, so if you will install yourself, wear long sleeves. Fiberglass insulation is most commonly used in conventional stick frame construction, where there are standard studs.
Dense Pack Cellulose
Dense pack cellulose insulation is the most eco-friendly insulation and is made up primarily of recycled paper fiber, usually post-consumer waste. Many consumers choose this because it’s the greenest option with the recycled content. It offers a mid-range R-value per inch, an R4. You can still achieve a high R-value wall and roof though, it will just require more, but this also means your wall and roof cavity will need the space for it. For example, if you go with a 2×6 wall, it can achieve only an R21. But, if you are building new and can go with 2×8 or 2×10 for your wall or roof, you can easily increase the insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is becoming a very popular option. The most common type of spray foam is closed cell polyurethane which will give you an R6 per inch, one of the highest R values per inch offered in the market today. Due to its increasing popularity, spray foam has become a more affordable and efficient way to insulate your home. While you can spray foam yourself, it’s recommended to use a professional as there is a knack to installing it so you do not overspray or cause a mess.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are a unique insulating product because they are also structural. SIPs offer the highest R values on the market today, ranging anywhere from R15 to R54+. SIPs work best for new construction and are not a viable option for retrofits. SIPs are constructed of two orient strand boards with a solid foam core sandwiched in the middle. SIPs also have no thermal bridging and have continuous insulation, making a structure so airtight that it requires a fresh-air ventilation system. Learn more about Structural Insulated Panels, SIPs!
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and find it helpful as you choose the insulation for your new home or renovation! If you are planning a new home or addition, we would be happy to brainstorm with you on the different options to see what makes sense for your project. Call us today at 800.636.0993!