Insulation 101: Reasons to Insulate Your Home

Although insulation is an important element of building, it is often the least understood. Many people aren’t aware of the multiple places energy is lost in a home. As an Owens CorningTM Certified Energy Expert®, we understand the science behind the building envelope. So, you can turn to Keith Porter to learn more about insulating your home.

 

Why Should I Insulate My Home?

There are many reasons to insulate a home. Insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to save energy and reduce monthly energy bills. Whether you are remodeling a home or building a new business, there are many reasons to insulate your home:

 

  • Increased, more consistent interior comfort all year long
  • Reduced energy usage
  • Lower heating and cooling costs
  • Less wear and tear on HVAC equipment
  • Reduced noise transmission for a quieter space
  • Improved air quality
  • Reduced moisture intrusion
  • Less overall environmental impact

How Insulation Works

Heat flows from higher temperature areas to lower temperature areas, creating temperature fluctuation within a space. Insulation wraps your home in a protective blanket, reducing heat flow in order to keep the heat out during warmer months and the heat in during cooler months. Insulation is an excellent noise absorber and helps to reduce sound transmission from both outside and within a home, creating a quieter space with less reverberation. Insulation also allows other energy-efficient components, such as air sealing, to do their job, forming a comprehensive insulating system that helps maintain consistent temperatures and moisture levels, reduce energy usage and increase monthly utility savings.

 

Incentives to Insulate

Homeowners may be eligible to receive rebates for making certain energy-efficient upgrades. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s DSIRE database to learn more about the programs available to you.

 

What Is R-Value?

The “R” in R-value stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the higher the level of resistance and the greater the insulating power. R-value requirements vary depending on climate and building type.

Below is an example of how R-value relates to the amount of insulation used in a typical attic. The thicknesses listed are for Owens Corning PROPINK® L77 Loosefill Insulation blown in the attic and not a general rule of thumb for any other brand/type of insulation in any other areas/applications. Keith Porter Insulation can provide you the correct amount of insulation for your project and the R-value you want to achieve.

R-value Minimum Thickness (in)
R-13 4.75
R-19 6.75
R-22 7.75
R-26 9
R-30 10.25
R-38 12.75
R-44 14.75
R-49 16.25
R-60 19.5

Where to Insulate

Insulation should be installed in walls, floors, attic space, basements and crawlspaces. A more detailed list includes:

  • Ceilings with unheated spaces above, including dormer ceilings
  • Knee walls of attic spaces finished as living areas
  • Sloped walls and ceilings of attics finished as living areas
  • Cathedral or vaulted ceilings
  • Around perimeters of slabs
  • Floors above vented crawl spaces
  • Floors over unheated or open spaces such as over garages or porches
  • Basement walls
  • Band and header joists
  • Interior walls, ceilings or floors where extra sound control is desired
  • Floors over unconditioned basements

 

Insulation Types & Materials

Insulation is manufactured in a variety of forms and materials to suit a range of efficiency, structural and budgetary needs. Each option brings its own level of durability, versatility, R-value and cost.

 

Insulation Types

  • Batt & Roll
  • Loosefill
  • Rigid Foam
  • Spray Foam

 

Insulation Materials

  • Fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Spray Foam
  • Radiant Barrier

 

How Much Insulation Is Enough?

The amount of insulation needed varies depending on location, building type and materials. Here are the current R-value recommendations in our area:

Things to Consider When Insulating

  • What type of insulation is being used?
  • Does the insulation meet or exceed local building codes and national recommended insulation levels?
  • How effective is the insulation (thermal performance, acoustical performance)?
  • Is the insulation resistant to moisture, fire and settling?
  • Is the insulation material safe and sustainable?
  • Is the insulation cost effective?

 

Home Energy Auditing

An energy audit is an in-depth assessment of your building envelope conducted by a certified energy rater. According to RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network, home energy audits have three main objectives:

  • Figuring out where and how energy is being lost
  • Locating inefficient operating systems
  • Determining cost-effective ways to enhance home efficiency and comfort

 

Knowing the energy “trouble spots” of an existing structure or the potential energy issues of a new structure allows for comprehensive solutions to be designed and implemented for increased efficiency.

Your House as a System

Though insulation is one of the most essential and cost-effective ways to create overall efficiency, there are many factors to take into consideration. Insulation and air sealing combined with energy-efficient appliances, windows, doors, lighting and HVAC equipment build a whole-house efficiency system that will prove beneficial throughout the year and for years to come.

If you still have questions, Keith Porter Insulation has answers! Visit our Insulation FAQs page and our Resources page for even more information.

 

Owens Corning Insulating Systems, LLC is a manufacturer of durable, high-quality fiberglass products and does not sell or endorse other insulation industry products.

Contact Keith Porter Insulation

to discuss your project today