Your Guide to Home Insulation

How to Choose Insulation for the HomeHome insulation has a lot to do with how much a homeowner pays each month for their energy, yet it's a big enough job that many homeowners ignore it until their utility bills double in cost - or when they begin to consider placing the home on the market. For those still on the fence, consider the fact that new insulation is one of the better renovation projects for those who want to increase their resale value (going as high as 107.7% ROI). Learn more about what it takes to choose insulation without endangering the home.

Push and Pull

There are two key considerations when it comes to picking out insulation for the home. Owners have to consider how the insulation will function in extreme temperatures, but they also need to be aware of how insulation will impact the overall ventilation of the home. If air can't flow, it can pose a fire hazard for the entire structure.

Start with an Audit

An energy audit serves a few purposes for homeowners looking to upgrade insulation. It shows the homeowner exactly where they're losing air, and why the airflow may have changed over the years. It's common for homeowners of relatively modern homes to assume that their insulation is sufficient, but this isn't always the case. New, flipped, and renovated homes are all susceptible to poor insulation, and an energy audit can show a homeowner exactly how to slash their bills in half.

Grades of Insulation

All insulation in Canada is graded by an alphanumeric code. The higher the number of insulation, the thicker the insulation will be and the more suitable it is for colder weather. If the home is located in a province particularly prone to blizzards, owners may want to consider R-49 or even R-60. These grades create a nearly impenetrable fortress between the home and the temperatures outside. Those in mild climates should look at R-38 or even as low as R-20. If a homeowner chooses their insulation based on price or name brand, it's more likely they'll end up with insulation that simply can't stand up to the weather.

Insulation Materials

There are a few key points to consider about the type of insulation a homeowner chooses:

  • Loose-fill: This common insulation is popular for two main reasons: it's both affordable and effective.
  • Rolls or boards: Insulation may also come in the form of a roll or a board, so it can be unrolled or laid down over the area.
  • Spray foam: Foam can expand to fill even the smallest corners in a home, making it one of the most airtight choices a homeowner can choose.

Normally, loose-fill insulation is made from fiberglass or cellulose, but manufacturers are experimenting with greener materials. For example, some insulation is being made from the denim of old jeans. This insulation is one of the more difficult options to install, due to the pneumatic equipment necessary to blow the insulation into the spaces of the home.

Rolls and boards require no equipment, but they also require the areas of the home to be easily accessible. Finally, spray foam is effective, but it's the priciest version of insulation available. Plus, spray foam can also interfere with the ventilation of the home.

Where to Start

Homeowners typically start with the air bypasses in the home before moving on to the rafters, ceilings, and walls. If there are any problems accessing certain areas (e.g., corners of the attic, etc.), homeowners are highly encouraged to hire a professional to avoid safety mishaps.

A home's insulation has a lot to do with how residents feel in their Grayling Terrace home. If they're constantly too hot or too cold, it can create a toxic environment that's not always easy to fix. Instead of bearing the discomfort, choose insulation that works in all climates.

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