The average person may not consider what it takes to insulate a home. Unless the heating and cooling system is not working properly, most people do not think about insulation. While it helps regulate a home’s temperature in the winter and summer, it is also necessary to seek efficient insulation to keep energy costs down. Learn more about the basics of insulating a custom home.
Types of Insulation
One of the most common forms of insulation is fiberglass batt or pre-cut sheets. Fiberglass insulation is used typically in the attic, crawl spaces, wall and floors. Large production builders may opt to use fiberglass insulation. The advantage to fiberglass batt insulation includes:
- Easy installation
- Long history of safety testing
- Fire resistant
- Typically lasts lifetime of the building
A second option for the homeowner can be blown-in or loose-fill fiberglass. This is typically used in unfinished attic floors or finished walls and hard-to-reach places. Cellulose is a blown-in insulation but consists of fibers from recycled newspaper, paperboard stock or wood.
Rock wool or mineral wool insulation has been around for awhile, since the 1920s and ‘30s and is made from melted rocks spun into fibers. It can come in batt, roll and loose-fill forms to be used throughout a house with fire resistant properties.
Spray foam is another type of insulation which is chemical-based. It is mixed on site and sprayed within the walls and attic where it is thoroughly distributed between and over rafters.
Question of How Much
The amount of insulation required in a home is based on the Department of Energy and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zone map, which recommends levels of insulation needed for homes located in eight U.S. climate zones. Climate is an important factor with insulation and determines how much is needed. Proper insulation for climate zones depends on checking resistance to heat flow, which is printed on the product’s label. The higher a product’s “R-value,” the greater the insulation power.
An energy audit can be performed to determine whether home insulation is sufficient or performing as well as it can be. Even inside newer homes, adding more insulation may improve the thermal performance somewhat. Additional insulation is common in energy-efficient or high-performance building models. It must be installed properly for it to work at all so it matters who does the work and how well it is done so air leakage can be minimized to save the homeowner money.
If you’re ready to build a custom home of your dreams, call Brookstone Homes. We will disclose all the information you need to make the best decision before and during the home building process.
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