Different Types of Insulation for Your Home

If you are considering adding extra insulation your house, you may be surprised at all of the options available. Ranging from blankets to boards, choosing the right insulation for the job can be a frustrating endeavor. However, once you choose the correct type for the job, this material can easily be added into an attic, crawl space, or window cavity, saving energy for as long as you own your home.

Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose Fill insulation is blown in or placed in cavities such as walls or joists in an attic. This material is often chosen when the homeowner wishes to add additional insulation to their home. Most loose fill is made of mineral wool or cellulose. If you are considering installing loose fill yourself, buy the cellulose, which is less likely to irritate your skin when you install it.

Roll Insulation

Most people are familiar with roll insulation. Often used in home construction, rolls can be found in various R-values, thicknesses, and widths to fit almost any construction project. This material is typically used in walls and has a vapor barrier to ease installation although it can also be used in an attic. It can be made out of a variety of materials, but is commonly made of fiberglass.

Encapsulated Insulation

Encapsulated insulation prevents condensation from building up within the project. This material is easier to install because you do not have to worry about coming in contact with potentially irritating materials such as fiberglass. Encapsulated insulation is often flammable; therefore it must meat all code requirements for flame resistance.

Rigid Insulation

Often made into boards or sheets, rigid insulation is often used on the exterior of a home, although interior applications are possible, such as in a basement. Most boards are made of fiberboard, which is popular because of their low cost and durability. Coated with asphalt, they eliminate the need for building paper, and the fiberboard is water resistant.


Insulating foam is best left to the professionals unless it is used for a very small application. It is injected as a liquid into a cavity, where it quickly expands and hardens. This material is expensive, but it can have a higher insulating value than other materials. Most contractors use this to fill in cracks around windows and doors.

Reflective Foil Insulation

This construction standby is any insulating material combined with a radiant barrier. Because of the addition of a radiant barrier, this is a popular material to use in attic or floor joists. It is often installed between attic rafters and is good at reducing the amount of heat flow entering a house from the attic. It is found in roll form and is a popular time saver for contractors.

Pipe Insulation

If you have a problem with frozen pipes, insulating your pipes could save you a lot of money and hassle each year. Even if you live in a warm climate, insulating your pipes can prevent condensation, dripping, and heat loss from hot water pipes. This material is shaped like a tube with a cut that runs the length of the piece, allowing for easy installation.

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