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Looking into insulation I was able to find three main types that are being used in typical applications today. When comparing these three insulation types one must consider several aspects when choosing which insulation type is right. Good insulation will do two things: 1) It must be airtight. This will prevent any air leaks in the sealed wall which can lead to energy loss. 2) The insulation must have proper moisture control to avoid mold and deterioration.

The first type of insulation, fiberglass insulation, is the most common insulation used in today's homes. It is generally the least expensive of the three, however it has to be carefully inspected in order to ensure effective installation. This insulation type also has the least R-value of the three that were looked at. Fiberglass can come in either a batt (rolled up insulation that needs to just be placed) or loose fill insulation (insulation that needs to be blown into the appropriate place). These two different types contain different R-values; the batt has R values between 3.6-5/inch (for high density batts) and loose fill contains r-values of approximately 2.2-3.7/inch.

The next type of insulation is cellulose. Cellulose contains many advantages and has a better performance than fiberglass insulation. The downside is that it is more expensive than fiberglass according to several websites. It contains an R-value of approximately 3-3.8/inch. Cellulose insulation has been shown to reduce energy used for heating about 20-30% better than fiberglass, which in turn can save anywhere between 20-50% on energy bills. This insulation is great against mold, insects, pests, and leaves few air pockets.

The last type of insulation is the spray foam insulation. The spray foam insulation I looked at is Icynene. The Icynene spray foam contains an R-value of approximately 3.6/inch and an R-value of 4/inch for the loose fill. This spray foam can save up to 50% each month in energy costs. It typically expands to 100 times its volume after being sprayed which guarantees air tight insulation. This insulation type seems like the one that would give the best results, however, it is the most expensive.

Of course there are several other spray types with higher R-values. Prices on each type of insulation depends on manufacturer and R-value that is necessary for the particular application.

Julio Mayen


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