How can you tell if your house is well insulated?

Understanding insulation involves understanding heat flow.  A basic rule is that heat energy transfers from hotter places to colder places.  Conduction is a word you'll hear in this industry and conduction occurs when heat moves through solid matter. 

Insulation works by slowing conductive heat transfer. It does this by trapping air in the insulation material and keeping the air from moving. You will know your insulation is working if it cost and takes little energy to keep your home comfortable. 

What's the best insulation for walls?

There are many types of insulation with specific uses

Batt Insulation:  This is the insulation you see normally delivered in rolls. Faced batts come with vapor retarder and unfaced batts do not contain vapor retarder.  this insulation is common because it is easily available at a comparatively low cost. it is mostly made from fiberglass with their R-value ranging between 3 and 4 per inch.

Spray Foam Insulation: Available in bulk form for large jobs or in cans/kits for homeowners. Spray foam may need protection from ignition as they are flammable. This insulation is used as a spray or injected into walls. The r-value on open-cell spray foam is about 3.7 per inch closed-cell is 6 per inch. 

Uses: It can also be used on roof sheathing, rafters, in crawl spaces, and framing

Sheet Insulation:  As the name suggests, this insulation is found in 4-foot wide sheets of various lengths. Many of these sheet insulation need to be protected from ignition because they are flammable and produce toxic smoke when burned.  They can start with an R-value of 8 per inch but lose some overtime making the average R-value around 6. 

Uses: Exterior sheathing or visible in attics and crawl spaces. 

Loose Fill/Blown-in: This insulation comes in bags and poured into the hopper of a machine to be blown by air into the space being insulated. This type of insulation I usually made with either fiberglass or cellulose.  Its R-value ranges between 2.2 - 2.7 per icn. 

Uses: Installed on attic floor

*energystar.gov

According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation, cellulose insulation is a very smart alternative to fiberglass. Cellulose is approximately 80% recycled newspaper, fire, insect, and mold resistant, and blocks air leakage better than fiberglass. Cellulose is also considered by many professionals as more fire-safe than fiberglass.

Cellulose is a great form of insulation that is cost-efficient but takes some preparation to install. To start, please view the following map to get the recommended r-value of the region that you live in. It shows what levels of insulation are cost-effective for different climates and locations.

In order to install cellulose insulation, a homeowner would need to rent a blower from Lowe’s, Home Depot, or most other large hardware stores. To start filling in the insulation, blow the cellulose up to the floor joists. For best results, distribute the insulation in an even layer.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it kind of is. Have a pro install it for you. Complete the form below for your free inspection and estimate.

To estimate how much cellulose insulation you would need, please visit https://www.lowesforpros.com/l/blown-in-insulation-calculator.html