Which Insulation is Best for Your Home Retrofit Project?

Which Insulation is Best for Your Home Retrofit Project?

It’s hot. If you’re like us, it’s hard for you to think about much else besides staying cool!  Ensuring that your home is adequately insulated can keep your home more comfortable on hot and cold days, and can keep your home’s temperature more consistent. And since heating and cooling account for 50-70% of the energy used in the average American home, insulation can help you reduce your energy waste. To help you better understand your options, we’ve compiled some information about the different types of insulation and how it can help you save energy in your home year round.

Insulation is made from a variety of materials, and it usually comes in four types:

  • Batts and rolls, or blanket insulation, is the most common and widely available type of insulation. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers, such as cotton and sheep’s wool. Batts and rolls are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs, and attic or floor joists. Continuous rolls can be hand-cut and trimmed to easily fit these spaces.
  • Loose-fill consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. These small particles form an insulation material that can conform to any space without disturbing any structures or finishes. Loose-fill insulation is well suited for places where it’s difficult to install some other types of insulation.
  • Rigid foam rigid panels of insulation can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof down to the foundation. They provide good thermal resistance and often add structural strength to your home. Foam board insulation sheathing reduces heat conduction through structural elements, like wood and steel studs.
  • Foam-in-place liquid foam insulation materials can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected, or poured. Their ability to fill even the smallest cavities gives them twice the R-value per inch than traditional batt insulation

For insulation recommendations tailored to your home and location, visit the DOE Zip Code Insulation Calculator.

You can also find other tips to help you save energy at home, work and school on the Virginia Energy Sense website. Check out the simple ways you can reduce your monthly utility bills.