Insulation is an integral element to any building and it has numerous benefits including creating a pleasant indoor environment and reducing energy consumption. There are many different types of home insulation, each with their own features and benefits for particular applications.
Before heading to insulation suppliers, take some time to consider the different types of insulation available and what each offers. It will help you choose the right insulation for your specific application.
Insulation rolls and batts
Insulation rolls and batts can be installed in floors, ceiling and walls by fitting them between rafters, studs or joists. Rolls are a continuous length whereas batts are pre-cut and care needs to be taken that no gaps are left which could reduce the efficiency of the insulation.
This type of insulation works by trapping millions of pockets of air which help resist heat flow in either direction. Typically insulation rolls and batts are made from glasswool (polyester), rockwool or polyester, and can have various additional properties such as being low-allergenic or non-flammable.
Foam board and insulation panels
Rigid board insulation has a high insulating ability given its relatively little thickness. It can be used in almost any part of a building and has several benefits including high compressive strength and resistance to moisture. It is also easy to cut so it fits in spaces other insulation types might not be suitable for.
Different insulation suppliers will offer various types of boards, and some are more effective than others. Two of the best types of insulation boards are expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). Both EPS and XPS insulation have a ‘closed-cell’ structure, meaning the cells are very close together, preventing the movement of air or water through the insulation.
Reflective foil insulation
Foil insulation has a thin layer of foil on one side which creates a reflective barrier against the heat of the sun. In hot weather, this type of insulation is very effective, and can also help resist moisture build up.
Reflective foil insulation is particularly effective in the roof and for the best results, the reflective foil layer needs to face a 2.5cm space of air. As well as reflecting heat, it has the added benefit of dampening noises such as rain or wind. Beware that a build up of dust or any damage to the foil layer will reduce its reflective properties and make it less effective.
What is the best type of insulation?
The best type of insulation completely depends on the specific application and the surrounding conditions. Factors such as building type, climate conditions and health concerns should all be taken into consideration. You might want to consider the specific properties of a type of insulation: do you want it to help reduce noise? Is it important that it is non-flammable or low-allergenic? What materials is it made from and what environmental impact do they have?
Published by Mohaned Gadnne