Insulation is a part of your home that is rarely seen or discussed, but in actuality is vastly important. Properly insulating your South Texas home can keep your utility bill low which is great for your wallet and the environment. Modern insulation can be made from just about anything including newspaper, cotton, wool, and artificial materials such as chemical foams. More environmentally friendly options are on the market too, recycled-content insulation and formaldehyde-free are just a few of those available. Next week, we’ll talk about some specific types of insulation, but here is some initial general information about insulation.
When talking about insulation, the R-Value is often the most discussed. The R-Value simply measures the resistance to heat flow, therefore, a higher R-Value means a greater reduction in energy consumption.
Where you install your insulation is just as important as the type of insulation. Your home’s attic is the first place that should be insulated; it’s the easiest and best place to use insulation to save your on your energy bill. You should also seal any large air leaks and your basement.
Insulation Installation Tips
Having an expert install your insulation is key to guaranteeing that you get the highest R-Value possible, incorrect insulation installation can lead to a lower R-Value than advertised by the manufacturer.
Vents and vapor barriers are a good idea to help keep moisture out of your insulation. Discuss your home’s particular needs with your custom home builder to make sure that your insulation doesn’t get wet or stay damp during rain storms.
If you choose to install foam insulation, the R-Value is typically held for the first two years, but after that time, the gases from the foam will begin to escape the insulation causing the R-Value to fall. You can stop this by also installing a foil radiant barrier.
If you’ve installed a loose insulation such as blown-in cotton fibers or cellulose, you should be aware that it will settle over time and your R-Value will drop.
If you’ve chosen fiberglass insulation and live in a cold climate, you should know that fiberglass can lose up to 50 percent in R-Value when temperatures fall below -20 degrees Fahrenheit (not really a problem for South Texas homeowners). Colder climate home owners will find that cellulose insulation will serve them better as the R-Value actually rise in lower temperatures.