Types Of Residential Insulation

When choosing insulation for your home, consider R-value requirements, DIY capabilities, and your existing insulation. We’ll look at loose-fill and blown-in, fiberglass batts and rolls, cellulose, spray foam, and rigid foam boards.

Cellulose is made from up to 85% recycled paper and contains borate to make it fire-resistant. It fits tightly into building cavities, inhibiting airflow and cutting back heat loss. To learn more about the types of insulations you can use, click here at https://www.ultimateradiantbarrier.com/.



Fiberglass insulation is the traditional insulating material most homeowners think of first. It’s made from thin glass fibers that are spun together to create a thick, spongy material. It’s available in blanket form (batts or rolls) or as loose-fill insulation that can be blown into walls and attic spaces. It’s also produced as rigid boards and duct insulation. It’s non-flammable and poses no fire hazard, which is important for home insulation since it’s usually installed close to wood framing and other vulnerable parts of the structure.

It’s relatively inexpensive and is readily available from home improvement centers, hardware stores, and other retailers. In fact, according to research, it’s still the dominant insulation product used by new single-family homes today. In their annual survey of builders, they found that fiberglass makes up 71% of the insulation purchased for these houses; 52% is in the form of batts and 19% is blown in.

Like other types of home insulation, it prevents heat from moving from the warm air inside your home to the cold outside in the winter and vice versa in the summer. By slowing the transfer of heat, it helps reduce your energy usage and thereby lowers your utility bills. It also prevents the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Some fiberglass insulation is also made with a face to act as a vapor barrier and help keep moisture from getting into the wall cavities and damaging your home’s structure. Common-facing materials include kraft paper, white vinyl sheeting, and aluminum foil.

Another option is cellulose insulation, which is typically manufactured from plant-based materials with low thermal conductivity. The raw material for cellulose insulation can be recycled newspapers, cardboard, cotton, sawdust, or other similar items. It’s often mixed with a flame retardant and a borate compound to make it safer and more effective in residential applications. It’s primarily used in ceilings, enclosed existing walls, and open or unfinished attic walls and floors. It’s also suitable for blown-in insulation, as long as the attic space is free of obstructions and the installation contractor uses the proper equipment.


Cellulose is a natural, plant-based material that is the most common of all naturally occurring polymers. It is also the primary raw material used in the production of paper, textiles, and manufactured products.

Cellulosic insulation can be blown in or used to fill attics and closed wall cavities. It is available in loose-fill or dense-packed form and can be mixed with other materials to provide a variety of R-values. It is also highly fire-retardant.

Loose-fill cellulose is a shredded or granulated product that is typically blown in using a special machine in attics and closed wall cavities. It is made from recycled newsprint, cardboard, and other waste paper products that are chemically treated to make them insect-resistant and fire-retardant. It is usually sold in compressed 24-40 pound bales.

Blown-in cellulose can be applied to wood-frame walls and attics, or it can be placed between foils in air-tight ducts. It’s best suited for standard framing spacing and is not recommended for irregularly shaped or obstructed areas.

It is relatively expensive, but it has a higher R-value than other types of insulation. It can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 25%, according to a study conducted by the department of energy. It is also a good choice for new construction that requires an airtight building envelope.

The disadvantage of cellulose is that it tends to settle over time, creating gaps that allow for the movement of air between studs and other structural components. The settling of modern cellulose insulation can reduce its effective R-value by as much as 20 percent, according to House Energy.

In addition, the insulation must be carefully fitted around plumbing pipes, wires, and electrical outlets to prevent abrasion or moisture penetration. It also has a higher density than fiberglass, which means that it can be more difficult to install in tight spaces or existing wall sheathing.

Unless you have experience with this type of work, we recommend hiring a professional to install cellulose or other loose-fill insulation. This is especially important if you want to achieve the high R-values required for an energy-efficient home.

Batts And Rolls

One of the most popular types of insulation, fiberglass batt or blanket insulation comes in flat pieces. This type of insulation is a good option for homeowners who are looking to save money on their energy bills by regulating indoor temperature. It also helps create a quieter interior and it is environmentally friendly. It is best suited for walls, floors, and ceilings in new construction and renovation projects. It can be installed between studs and joists that are spaced properly and free of obstructions, as well as attics and low-slope roofs.

Many different types of fiberglass insulation vary in R-value and come in a range of thicknesses. Some are made with recycled content, while others are blown with a blowing machine. This type of insulation is commonly used in commercial and residential new construction and can be a good alternative to spray foam or cellulose.

Blown-in insulation is typically made from various materials including recycled fiberglass, mineral wool, and cellulose, which are composed of recycled newspapers or other paper products. It can be a more cost-effective choice than fiberglass batt insulation, although it does require a blowing machine.

The biggest difference between rolled and batt insulation is that it is much easier to install in a home. It can be rolled over existing insulation, such as in an attic or over a basement or crawlspace. It can also be sprayed on walls or ceilings and is available in many different R-values.

Another benefit of rolled insulation is that it can be cut to size for different applications. It is also less expensive than spray foam and can be used in places that are difficult to reach for traditional batt insulation, such as around ventilation pipes or electrical cables.

The biggest drawback of rolled insulation is that it may not fit tightly over the surface that it is being installed on. This can cause gaps in the coverage that will allow air to escape. If the gap is too large, it will result in a lower R-value than what was originally intended. It is possible to fill in these gaps with caulking or house wrap and vapor barrier, but this should only be done as a last resort.


Foam insulation comes in large boards or loose fill, typically made from cellulose, fiberglass, mineral (rock or slag) wool, or polystyrene beads. It is often blown in place with special equipment, although it can also be poured. Foam is a great choice for tight spaces and oddly shaped areas, and it helps prevent air flow through gaps around doors and windows.

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF), or cellular spray foam, is one of the most popular types of insulation used in homes today. It is applied at the tip of a special gun, and as it expands, it fills in crevices and seals cracks and holes. It is a good option for new construction, but it can also be sprayed into existing walls and attics to provide better insulation and minimize air infiltration.

Its advantages include its ability to fill gaps and voids, and it provides a greater R-value than other insulation materials. It also resists moisture, which means it’s less susceptible to mold and mildew growth and has a longer lifespan than organic insulation. It’s also fire-resistant and does not promote the spread of pests, such as rodents or insects.

The drawbacks of this type of insulation are that it’s a costly product and it can be invasive to install. Its chemicals can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, and it’s flammable and toxic when burned. It also releases a gas known as hexane, which is a suspected carcinogen and can affect the respiratory system.

While homeowners can install some types of insulation, it’s important to consult a professional for others. For example, spray insulation must be installed by a licensed contractor, and it requires specific equipment to ensure that the correct R-value is achieved. In addition, proper installation is vital to the insulation’s performance, as a poor job could result in lowered energy efficiency and increased heating and cooling costs. According to government reports, home heating and cooling account for up to forty percent of energy consumption in the country. By properly insulating your home, you can significantly reduce these costs.

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