Choosing the Right Type of Home Insulation

Insulation is vital to a home’s energy efficiency and climate control, keeping the air you pay to heat or cool inside your living spaces while preventing unwanted drafts, condensation and moisture from creeping in from the outside. It also helps you comply with local, state or federal energy-efficiency codes and may qualify you for energy rebates. But not all insulation is created equal, and choosing the right type of insulation can be a complicated process while you weigh factors like cost, R-value, environmental concerns, installation method, and more.

The four most popular types of home insulation are spray foam, fiberglass batts, cellulose and mineral wool. The best choice depends on the climate, your budget, the project area, and whether you want to DIY or hire a contractor.

Fiberglass batts are the most common and affordable option (R-value of 2.9 to 4.3 per inch), and they’re easy for homeowners to install themselves. They are available in a wide range of R-values and can be cut to fit the space in which they’re being installed.

Cellulose is a green alternative to fiberglass. It’s made from up to 85% post-consumer recycled paper, and it’s treated with a borate compound to resist fire, rodents and insects. It can be blown into open existing wall or ceiling cavities, or it can be sprayed into enclosed walls and attic floors–a process called dense-pack cellulose.

Spray foam is the quickest and easiest way to insulate a home without major construction. It’s a chemical-based insulation that comes in both open- and closed-cell varieties. The closed-cell variety is more moisture-resistant and better for cold climates. Cavity wall insulation

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