Winter Is Near! What About Your Insulation? Which Way To Go?

We, humans, have being using insulation for generations. At first, we used natural materials because they were the only thing to use at the time. Natural materials form the cheapest of insulation. It’s not difficult to guess that at one time people would have used items like grass and straw in their clothing for staying warm. These days insulation finds many different uses. Apart from being used in clothing and household effects like thermoses and coolers, it’s also used for commercial and residential buildings. Technological developments led to developments in the field of insulation and even space shuttles, space stations and rocket capsules use specific types of insulation.

Different types of insulation of varying properties and prices are available for homes. The cheapest variety of insulation is usually inappropriate for human use as it may cause irritation to lungs and skin. It’s better to negotiate the prices and buy a quality product. You get rigid foam insulation boards in 4×8 feet or 2×8 feet sizes. These are available in varying thicknesses of different R value for being used in different ways. Such insulation boards are long lasting and weather resistant too. These can ideally be used for basement walls and foundation vent covers during winters. There are many manufacturers for this product that you may have in different colors like blue, green and pink.

We also have foil backed insulation board comprising of rigid foam that is gas charged to increase its R value. It is offered with thin sheets of foil of either side and finds wide application in pole barn buildings to get enhanced lighting and insulation. This is also available in varying thicknesses having diverse R values. Being weather resistant, it can be used for insulation of pump houses.

Perhaps, the cheapest board insulation comes by way of Styrofoam boards. It effectively insulates garage door panels and shed walls. Though it may be used for garage walls, its R value is quite low. Some homeowners use its cut pieces of 2×4 feet for ceiling tiles. Though it makes for a cheap ceiling, its cleaning is very tedious.

Roll insulation is available in different thicknesses and widths. Most house walls are made using 2×4 or 2×6 wall studs. Generally, these are framed with boards keeping a distance of sixteen inches from the center. Wider boards are needed for ceilings and floors and are kept further apart, usually twenty-four inches from center. This kind of insulation has a paper face on one side. It’s used as a vapor barrier and also for insulation. Care should be taken to avoid getting it wet, lest it loses its insulating characteristics.

Then, we also have blow-in type of insulation. This insulation comprising of cellulose or fiber glass is blown into the walls and attics with help of appropriate blowing machines. The cellulosic variety causes a lot of dust when blown but expected to deliver better results on getting cold. The fiber glass variety is easily blown and causes no mess. Cellulose variety is economical of the two and despite the limitation already stated, it proves better in the long run. Bothe the types come with charts enabling you to determine the footage needed for getting the required value of R.

Irrespective of the type of insulation you may opt to use, you’ll save on your energy bills. There are other ways too to save energy expense. The simplest one is to switch off the lights when not needed. If you dress warmer in winters, you’ll need to turn down the thermostat and thus save on consumption of energy. You can buy a guide to help you install insulation. That will help you save substantially on cost of labor.

How to Winterize Your Home & Prevent Frozen Pipes


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