Elevate Your Home Performance with Innovative Insulation Solutions
When insulating your home, you now have more options than ever before. New materials and technology have produced a variety of alternative insulation products that provide higher R-values and other advantages to the traditional insulation types. Before beginning a project, it is advisable to weigh your choices to determine the best method for your situation.
A good place to start is by looking into higher density fiberglass batts. In the past, this type of insulation came in lower density varieties, with an R value of 11. Now, you can find higher density versions that offer R-15 value in 2×4 (51×102 millimeter) walls, or R-21 in 2×6 (51×152 mm) walls – with higher R values available in greater spaces.
Another unconventional product is glass-fused fiberglass. This unique material blends two types of glass which binds together as it cools during production. Its random curls make it less irritating to work with, and it doesn’t require a chemical binder to hold the pieces together. It also comes in a perforated plastic sleeve to aid in installation.
There are also several variations of fiberglass insulation available for use with insulation blowing machines. These products differ in the amount of recycled material they contain, as well as other marketing components, without sacrificing most of their thermal performance qualities.
The “Blown-In-Blanket” system is unique in that it is mixed with a latex adhesive, misted with water to make it expand, and then blown into wall studs. With this system, you will get more insulation for your money, as walls are significantly better filled than with other forms of fiberglass insulation.
Mineral wool is another insulation option, made from glass, basalt, and steel-mill slag. It generally requires no additional chemical treatment and can be quite brittle. A Canadian company has recently developed a softer mineral product, available in a batt form to fit regular-sized wall cavities up to a higher R value.
Finally, plastic fiber insulation uses recycled plastic milk containers (polyethylene terephthalate) to create insulation with R value of 3.8 per inch to 4.3 per inch. This material is reported to be less irritating than fiberglass and resistant to burning, although it may melt when it comes in contact with a flame.
The newest closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation uses a non-CFC blowing agent and has an aged R-value of 6.5 per inch. The low-density foam expands rapidly when installed, sealing and filling wall cavities.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of all the new and alternative insulation materials and products, you can find the best option to transform your home from energy-inefficient to sustainable and cost saving. With insulation, you can rest assured your home will stay cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter – all while saving money in the long run.