What Are the Different Insulation Types for Homes?

Radiant HVAC technician working in the attic of a home in Austin, TX

Having your insulation checked is an important step in maintaining your HVAC system. Depending on the age of your home, your insulation could be becoming more ineffective every year. Your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain a sustainable level of comfort. This results in higher energy bills and more stress on your system. For help deciding which insulation types are best for your home, turn to your neighborhood HVAC technicians at Radiant Plumbing and Air.

What Is Insulation?

Insulation is what keeps your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is a shield inside your walls that prevents the air inside your house from escaping. Insulation is measured with an R-value, which is the measure of the effectiveness of the insulation in preventing heat transfer. Based on the climate you live in, the R-value recommendations may be different for your home.

Insulation can be installed in a number of ways. Some insulation comes in blankets or packs called batts. Other insulation types need a special machine to be blown in. This insulation is called loose-fill insulation, and it can also be spread in your attic. Polyurethane foam is also a popular type of insulation that can be injected into closed spaces. Some types of insulation can be installed yourself, while others should be installed by professionals.

Different Insulation Types

Choosing an insulation type for your residential property can be confusing. With a variety of insulation types out there, it is important to know the differences and the benefits to help make a decision.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is the most common type of insulation. It’s typically blown in, but it can also be found in batts. This material is relatively inexpensive and is also quite easy to install. Fiberglass Insulation is non-flammable and water-resistant. When blown, the glass fibers create an effectively distributed network of thermal reservoirs to resist heat transfer and achieve the necessary R-value to keep your house comfortable.

At Radiant Plumbing and Air, we primarily use fiberglass blown-in insulation. It is installed with special equipment that sprays insulation into the attic and behind walls to reach all the cracks and crevices.

Fiberglass is made of recycled glass from bottles and makes up 55% of the content in the insulation. It is an eco-friendly option that offers increased coverage, faster applications and the highest rated R-value per square inch.

Mineral Wool/Rock Wool Insulation

For insulation that doesn’t cause an itchy reaction, many people choose mineral wool/rock wool insulation. It is similar to fiberglass, but it is one of the more expensive insulation types. This loose fill is blown in or poured out in bags. It looks like dryer lint and can be dusty when handled.

The downside of mineral wool/rock wool insulation is that it can settle over time, causing it to be less effective. This type of insulation can last up to 100 years, but it is important to check on it regularly over time.

Cellulose Insulation

An even greener option of insulation is cellulose insulation. Instead of being made of recycled glass like fiberglass, it’s made of recycled paper. However, cellulose insulation can absorb moisture, which can cause it to become more compact and lose its insulative value.

For Lasting Value and Savings, Call Radiant

Keep your home comfortable and your bills low when you update the insulation in your home. When your home is filled with energy-efficient insulation types, you’ll find your energy bills will stay lower and less energy is wasted. 

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