Insulation: What, How Much, and Where?

Insulation: What, How Much, and Where?As heating season begins, how can you make sure you utilize your furnace as efficiently as possible? How can you save energy while still heating your home effectively? Your first step is to make sure your house is properly insulated. Here’s a brief guide to insulation and how you can make the most of it.

Types of Insulation

Let’s start with an overview of your options when insulating your home.

  • Batt or blanket. The most common type, it comes in rolls made of fiberglass, rockwool, or denim. Denim is best for the walls, while fiberglass and rockwool can be used in walls, ceilings, or floors. Hire a professional for installation, as it can be difficult to get full coverage, and gaps can decrease efficiency by up to 50 percent.
  • Loose fill. A much easier DIY installation, loose fill is blown into your attic or walls with a machine, so it fills all available space. Cellulose loose fill is one of your most environmentally friendly options. Made from recycled newspaper, it doesn’t pose the health risks that fiberglass can.
  • Spray foam. A liquid that expands to fill available space, spray foam can be used in walls, floors, or ceilings. To get the best coverage, though, you need to hire a professional with special equipment for installation.
  • Structured Insulated Panels. These rigid panels go in your walls or floor. They’re more expensive, but are also very efficient and can save you more energy over time. However, installing them in an existing house is difficult. They’re generally best for either new buildings or remodels.

Other Factors

The Department of Energy recommends an R-value of R49 to R60 to insulate New York homes effectively. For the chilly Long Island winter climate, you’d do best with either cellulose or spray foam insulation for your attic. Insulating your walls or floor is less necessary and more difficult unless you’re remodeling, but can help increase energy efficiency. Structured panels or spray foam are best there.

To learn more about insulation for your home, contact us at Cool Power. We’re Long Island’s trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.