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A Guide to Finding the Right Insulation for Your Home 

When renovating your home, there is no denying the options available to you can be overwhelming. If you have done your research and spoken to friends and family, everyone will have an opinion on the best way to perform your home improvement projects. One project that can seem like a daunting prospect is finding the right insulation. How do you know which type you need? Which insulation will best suit the climate you live in? What are the benefits of insulation - does your home even need it? The good news is that we have all the answers right here in this homeowner’s guide to finding the right insulation. 


What is Insulation?

Insulation is vital to any energy efficient home and it also works to keep your home temperate and comfortable year round. In the winter, insulation stops the cold air outside from penetrating the interior of a house, helping keep the home warmer inside. In summer, insulation helps trap cool, conditioned air inside the home while resisting heat from the outdoors. Effective insulation reduces the need to use your expensive heating or cooling system, which in turn reduces your energy bills. In fact, installing insulation truly is one of the most important home improvement projects you can undertake.


What are the Benefits of Insulation?

Insulation comes with a range of benefits. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of insulation below. 

Reduces Utility Bills

Insulating your home comes with great cost-saving benefits. It makes your home much more energy efficient, this is because insulation works to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In turn, this reduces the amount of heating and cooling expenses required to keep your home temperate and comfortable all year round. As a result of adding insulation, you can lower your energy bills.

Adds Comfort 

Adding insulation to your home is an effective way to improve the comfort of your living environment. This is because insulation helps regulate the temperature of your home, making it a more comfortable and enjoyable place to be, especially in areas where the weather can be extreme. 

 Environmental Benefits

Insulating your home also helps you reduce your environmental impact. This is because when your home is insulated, you will not need to use as much energy for heating and cooling your home. It also reduces the amount of chemicals released into the environment from air conditioning units.


What Types of Insulation Can I Choose From?

There are four standard types of insulation.  The type of insulation you choose will depend on a range of factors, such as where the insulation will be installed, as well as the climate you live in. Here is a quick overview of the three main types of insulation:

  • Blanket insulation - filled with mineral fibers including rockwool and fiberglass; comes in rolled-up form.
  • Polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam insulation - sprayed into the crevices and cavities of a home by a professional installer.
  • Loose-fill insulation - consisting of cellulose, rockwool and/or fiberglass, contained in pellets or fibers and installed with pneumatic tools.
  • Rigid insulation - generally installed in boards or pipe fittings and is used to insulate wall sheaths and foundations.


Where is Insulation Installed? 

Different types of insulation will be installed in different areas of the home. The most common places to install insulation include: 

  • Under the roofing material to reduce radiant heat gain.
  • In the ceiling to reduce heat gain and loss. Typically, ceiling insulation is installed between the joists.
  • In the external walls.
  • Internal walls, including between the house and any attached buildings.
  • Under the floor of the house in homes built up off the ground.
  • Around plumbing pipes


Finding the Right Level of Insulation for Homes in Maryland and Virginia

Finding the right insulation for your home depends on two things: the location your insulation needs to go, and the climate you live in. The important number you are looking at when finding the right level of insulation is the R-value. An insulating material's resistance to conductive heat flow is measured based on its thermal resistance or R-value. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density.

There are four types of insulation commonly installed in homes in Virginia and Maryland: fiberglass insulation, spray foam insulation, cellulose insulation and mineral wool insulation. Each insulation material has various pros and cons in terms of price, effectiveness, sound protection and how easy it is to install.

According to Energy Star, the insulation recommendations for Maryland and Virginia are: 

  • Uninsulated attic: add R38 to R60
  • Existing 3-4 inches of insulation: R38
  • Floor: R25 to R30
  • Uninsulated wood framed wall: R5 insulative wall sheathing
  • Insulated wood frame wall: R5 insulated sheathing


How Much Should You Pay for Insulation in Maryland and Virginia?

If you are looking to install insulation in your home in Maryland or Virginia, you are probably wondering how much quality insulation might cost. When it comes to determining the cost of quality insulation, there are a few factors involved, such as the type of insulation, the R-value, if any other work is required to complete the project and how the insulation is installed. We recommend speaking to a professional home improvement contractor to evaluate the specific needs of your home so you can get the most accurate estimate.


How to Find the Best Insulation Contractor 

We suggest starting the insulation installation process by finding the right insulation contractor . This is a professional insulation installer that will be able to guide you towards the right insulation for your home, saving you time. Even with the right insulation, if your insulation is not installed properly, it simply will not work as intended. If that is the case, you can lose a lot of time and money that would not have been lost if you hired the right insulation installer in the first place. Check out this handy guide for how to find the best insulation contractor

We hope this guide has helped answer all your insulation questions. If not, get in touch today and we will happily answer any additional questions you may have.

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Topics: Insulation