Autumn and winter are a good reminder to prepare your home for cooler weather. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you have home insulation installed.
Most of us recognise the benefits of insulation in the winter. Then, when we no longer need our central heating, we forget about its benefits. Yet, insulation can also benefit your home during summer. In the summertime, insulation like roof insulation can keep your home cool.
Yet, navigating the world of insulation can be difficult. After all, there are a wide variety of different types of insulation. Then there is the puzzle of trying to figure out where you should put the insulation in your home. So, to help, we put together a guide on the most common questions about home insulation.
1. When Is the Best Time to Install Insulation?
Renovations are an ideal time to check on your home’s insulation. You will also need to install insulation if you are building a new home.
If you are building a new home or loft space then you will need to insulate almost everything. You can insulate most parts of your home including roofs, walls, floors, and ceilings. Planning to sell the home you are building? Then, describe the insulation as a selling feature. Explain to prospective buyers how the insulation can help reduce their energy costs.
Bidvine Tip: For more information on how insulation can save you money, keep reading!
Renovations are also a good time to install insulation in your home. Do you have older insulation in your home that is no longer as effective? Replace this during a renovation. If your home is missing insulation in certain areas a renovation is also a perfect time to add it in.
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2. What Are the Different Types of Home Insulation?
There are a wide variety of different types of insulation. It is most often thought of as a type of foam, which fills the walls. Yet you can also find it in concrete.
Here are some of the most common types of insulation:
Foam board insulation is usually made out of polystyrene and polyurethane. This type of insulation is ideal if you are tight on space. It offers relatively strong levels of insulation without taking up much space. Foam board is installed in both interior and exterior parts of the home including floors, ceilings, walls and roofs.
Cellulose and fibreglass make up blown-in or loose-fill insulation. Insulation contractors use this type to insulate open wall cavities or places, which are difficult to reach.
Concrete Block Insulation
Concrete block insulation combines insulation beads with concrete. Sometimes it also refers to foam board fused to the wall with concrete. Construction workers who are building new homes often use concrete block insulation.
Rolls and Blanket Batts
Plastic or natural fibres and fibreglass compose rolls and blanket batts. Builders often use them to insulate unfinished walls. Joists, beams, and studs usually contain this type of insulation.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIP)
SIPS are a type of insulation with a liquid insulation or foam board core. Like, concrete block insulation, builders use SIPs when constructing new homes. SIPs are versatile. So, you can put them in floors, ceilings, walls and roofs. In comparison to other insulation methods, they provide a more uniform heat distribution. This means that if you have central heating, your home will feel evenly heated.
Like blown-in insulation, sprayed foam involves a spraying action. So, it is useful for insulating both pre-existing walls and unfinished walls or floors.
Rigid Fibre Insulation
Rigid fibre insulation is mostly made from fibreglass and minerals. This type of insulation can withstand high temperatures. So, if you have an area that is too hot for other kinds, use rigid fibre insulation.
Reflective insulation is made from a few different types of materials. Cardboard, polyethene bubbles and foil-faced kraft paper are all kinds of reflective insulation. It is usually used to insulate unfinished floors, walls or ceilings.
Read more about the different types of insulation here.
3. What Is the Best Insulation Material?
Different types of insulation are made from different materials. Fibreglass, cardboard, and different kinds of plastics can all make insulation. There are as many different types of insulation materials as there are areas to insulate. So, the best insulation material for your project depends on what your project is. For instance, builders usually use loose insulation in lofts.
Then, concrete block insulation or SIPs can be an ideal option during the construction of a new home. However, if you want to insulate an existing structure these types may be too difficult.
4. Where Does Home Insulation Go?
Insulation can go anywhere that draughts can get in. It helps to regulate the temperature in your home. Insulation keeps both cold and hot air outside so that your home remains the temperature that you want it to be. When placed by your door and windows it can also prevent air from escaping there.
For instance, your roof doesn’t have to leak to be problematic. Roof insulation helps to block the coolness or heat from outside. So, you could end up with a draught and a cold, or hot attic.
Cavity wall insulation and floor insulation works the same way. Like roof insulation, cavity wall insulation also blocks temperature fluctuations from the air outside. Floor insulation works similarly. In a basement floor, insulation will keep your feet toasty warm. Without it the coldness of the ground will seep into your floors and your toes will not be happy.
5. I Have Solid Walls, Do They Need Insulation?
Most homes built before 1919 have solid walls. In contrast, the walls in newer homes are built with a gap. This gap leaves space for insulation.
If you have solid walls, you might think that insulation is not needed. Yet, solid walls are actually far more likely to let outside air creep into your home. In some cases, they can let about twice as much heat escape as walls with an insulated gap.
So, solid wall insulation is actually ideal. With solid wall insulation, you can help prevent that air from escaping. That way your home will actually stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
6. What Do you Need to Know When Hiring an Insulation Installer?
When hiring an insulation installer there are a few things to keep in mind. As with hiring any contractor or handyman, it is a good idea to check their references first.
Most reliable contractors will willingly supply you with their credentials. Some contractors even keep photos of their previous work as a reference. Others may supply you with the contact information of a previous client.
It is also a good idea to draw up a contract with your home insulation installer. A contractor will help you lay out all of the details. In your contract, it is best to include the budget. You should also include the approximate timeline that you agree on with your installer. If there are any materials that your installer is going to buy, itemise these as well.
7. Why Do You Need Insulation?
Home insulation makes sure that your home’s air temperature is even. Without it draughts can destabilise the air temperature in your home. In the winter, a home without insulation will be cooler and in the summer, it will be hotter.
This temperature imbalance can easily cause you to overcompensate. This means using more heat in the winter and more air conditioning in the summer.
Overcompensation can lead to higher energy costs. After all, you are trying to balance the air loss in your home by adjusting the thermostat.
So, if you insulate your home you will use less energy. Less heat or cool air will escape. This means you won’t need to continuously adjust your home’s temperature. By using less energy you help save yourself money on your energy bills.
8. Does Insulation Help with Energy Efficiency?
If you live in a properly insulated home, you won’t need as much energy to compensate for outside weather. So in this sense, home insulation can certainly help with your home’s relative energy efficiency.
9. How Much Does Insulation Installation Cost?
The cost of insulation installation depends on a couple of factors. For instance, it will cost more if you need your insulation replaced. This is because the price will include both removal and installation costs. It will also depend on how much insulation you need installed.
The more insulation you need, the higher the cost will be. Yet, while it might be expensive to install insulation upfront, in the long run, it will help you save energy.
10. Where Do I Dispose of Old Insulation?
Your government’s local health and safety initiatives determine where you can dispose of insulation. Some places prefer to use designated landfill sites to dispose of insulation materials.
In other places, housing associations can provide you with information on the best disposal sites. If you are unsure it is best to speak with your local authority for waste disposal.
Are you ready to hire an insulation installer for your home? Let Bidvine help connect you with trusted, local professionals.
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