There are many views on how we should be insulating modern homes. There are lots of pros and cons to many different types and truth be told when done properly all will get the job done. Some will be tighter, some will be more cost effective, and some will mix types. While we do blow insulation in existing homes for our existing customers we do not do spray foam or new construction. Our friends at Total Concept Insulation will help you if you need it though! With that being said we will help you off to a start on what types of insulation there are and what we see as pros and cons as well as how it effects the type of hvac system you install. We will use a few terms here that you may not be familiar with, but feel free to look on our Insulation Terms page to understand things like R Value and bridging a bit more.
Blanket isulation is generally done with batt and rolled insulation. This insulation is generally cut to go between the studs of your home and can be faced or unfaced. This insulation is relatively inexpensive and easy to install; however, it leaves air gaps and bridging in the insulation. It typically will leave the most heat load per R value.
Loose Fill Insulation
Loose Fill Insulation is also known by most of you as the blown in insulation that looks like a mound of cotton candy in your attic. This insulation will cover your studs and duct in your attic helping give them some extra efficiency while cutting out bridging on the top side. It can also be added to walls using bibs to keep it from settling. This insulation works well in already completed spaces and provides a better option than conventional batt insulation.
Spray Foam comes in two varieties, open and closed cell. It is important to know which you are using for a variety of reasons. The first is that the Rvalue is higher with closed cell by the inch, and the second because of the tightness of closed versus open cell. Both give the home a tighter seal than any other common type of insulation; however, the tightness of closed cell is a whole other level. For insulation purposes this is great! However, it has certain implications on the hvac system. You will need to be aware of dehumidification, fresh air ventilation, and sizing considerations with any type of spray foam construction. Check our Spray Foam tab for a more detailed breakdown.
Continuous insulation is not something we see a lot of in our climate but is very popular in other areas of the country and gaining momentum. Essentially continuous insulation provides a continous layer of insulation on the exterior of the building framing as well as insulation between the studs and on the ceiling. Very costly, but when combined with spray foam insulation this method will seal your home air tight. Using this method will result in the lowest heat loads on your building but have the highest amount of consideration given to ventilation and dehumidification.
Obviously as HVAC professionals our insulation knowledge has its limits, so our friends at Total Concept Insulation are here for your questions and insulation services!