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Insulation FAQ: What is the Best Insulation for Virginia?

Ever wondered what the ideal home improvement project is? The one thing that will provide better comfort and lower your bills? Look no further than insulation. Insulation is quite an underrated home improvement project, but it is a vital component of a comfortable and energy efficient home.  Insulation essentially works by stopping the transfer of heat. During the cooler months, insulation inhibits the cold air outside from coming inside. When the weather heats up, insulation helps trap cool, conditioned air inside your home, while stopping the heat outdoors penetrating indoors. And, with two very important holidays coming up (Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day), there is no better time to ensure your home is game or date ready!

The big question is: how do you know what the right insulation is for your home in Virginia? There are many different types of insulation commonly used in residential homes, and you are probably mulling over the best insulation for the area you live in. Good news – we will be offering our suggestions in this article, ultimately helping you determine the best insulation for your home in Virginia. 

Why Insulate Your Home, Anyway?

Did you know heating and cooling accounts for almost 50% of energy use in an average United States home? Research from the Department of Energy revealed that heating and cooling makes up a significant 48% of total energy use. However, you do not need to panic about using your heating and cooling systems just yet. While it is true utility bills continue to rise and household budgets rise too, there are some basic things you can do around your home to not only save money but also make your home more comfortable throughout all four seasons.

Quality of Insulation Matters

The quality of the insulation you need will depend on where you live, and where you need the insulation to be installed. The good thing is the climate of Virginia is relatively mild, which means your home’s needs for heating and cooling are typically moderate. However, it is still important the insulation you choose follows the minimum R-value guidelines (the R-value is a measure of the insulation batt's resistance to heat flow, also known as thermal resistance).

The Energy Star Insulation Recommendations for Virginia, which are:

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

The Best Insulation for Virginia

There are four types of insulation commonly installed in homes in Virginia: fibreglass 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, how easy it is to install and some other factors. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of each type of insulation.

Fibreglass Insulation

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • More fire retardant than other insulation 
  • Little expansion/contraction with temperature changes
  • Good sound absorption
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Lifespan of around 25 years
  • Does not protect against air leaks
  • Susceptible to moisture and mold problems

 

Cellulose Insulation

Pros

  • Good R-value
  • Fits comfortably around poles and tight corners
  • Often treated with fire retardants and can help control fire spread
  • Eco-friendly

>Cons

  • Heavier than other types of insulation
  • Prone to issues with dust

 

Mineral Wool Insulation

Pros

  • Flame resistant
  • Highly durable
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Excellent sound resistant features

Cons

  • Can be difficult to work with
  • Does not fit in odd shaped areas
  • Can be dangerous if inhaled 

 

Spray Foam Insulation

Pros

  • Lifespan of over 80 years
  • Ideal for adding insulation to finished areas
  • High sound absorption
  • Provides added structural integrity to your home

Cons

  • More flammable than other types of insulation
  • More expensive than other types of insulation
  • Some options are not very eco-friendly

Finding the Right Insulation Contractor

At the end of the day, knowing all there is to know about the best insulation for homes in Virginia means nothing if you do not find the right insulation contractor to install it for you. Poorly installed insulation is insulation that may as well not be there at all. Check out this article on finding  a quality contractor hereTo book in a free consultation with our insulation specialist click here.

Air Sealing and Insulation eBook

 

Topics: Insulation