Understanding Residential Insulation

You may already know that residential insulation entails keeping your house warm during the cold seasons and cooler during the warmer or hot seasons. This helps you cut energy costs by almost half since you won't run your air conditioning unit regularly. What you may not know is how this is achieved. This article highlights key things to help you understand residential insulation better.

A House Can Be Insulated Either During Construction or After

You might think that because your house was not insulated during construction, it might not be possible to insulate it afterwards. This is wrong; insulation can still be done. The only difference is that it might not be comparable to the insulation done during construction.

Insulation during construction tends to cover more areas than insulation done after construction. You'll find that insulation can be applied to floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, attics, verandas, bulkheads, external walls, etc.

When having your house insulated after it has already been built, you have to consider various factors. For example, will you need to demolish various sections? How much will this cost? How was the house constructed? The sections that might be easy to insulate are the roof and ceiling. Your insulation contractor should offer you more information on this once they inspect your house. You might find that because your house was built in a particular manner, it may be possible to apply insulation in many areas easily.

Different Kinds of Insulation

Residential insulation can be classified into two broad categories: bulk and reflective.

Bulk insulation materials have pockets of trapped air that resist the transfer of heat. How well the material resists thermal conductivity is referred to as R-value. You might come across this term when in the market for residential insulation materials.

For reflective insulation, there is an air layer next to the surface. It reflects or re-radiates heat. Reflective insulation also has an R-Value measurement broken down into two: up/winter R-value and down/summer R-value.

Bulk insulation includes foam, cellulose and fibreglass, while reflective insulation includes plastic film, foil-faced kraft paper, cardboard and polyethylene bubbles.

How Do You Know Which Material to Use and Where?

Your residential insulation contractor knows what materials to use and where and will offer you guidance. However, you should know that each material has a particular area it serves effectively, for example, loose-fill and blow-in fibreglass and cellulose can be used for existing walls but it can be difficult to use batts and rolls for the same.