Insulation is used to control heat and sound flow within a home. Insulation is blown into walls and ceilings to decrease heat loss or gain and also confines heat to certain areas. In general, insulation materials are used to make sure the home is kept warmer than the outside environment in cold temperatures.
There are many materials that can be used for thermal insulation purposes including the following: cellulose, glass wool, rock wool, natural wool, polystyrene, polyurethane, structural insulated panels, reflective foil, and autoclaved aerated concrete. Most commonly, these materials are made of many small spaces of air, which in turn, gives these materials high thermal resistances. Many homes use a passive insulation design which insulates a home with minimal mechanical heating and cooling. This process uses solar heat to help heat the interior of the home, stores heat from the sun in cold weather, and stops heat from being stored in the summer time.
Choosing insulation can be a lengthy process and includes many different aspects about the areas you are living in and the materials the home is built out of. When updating new insulation, it is important to consider if the home is new or being renovated, what building materials are being used, the area in which the home will reside, the R-value (measures thermal insulation capabilities) you want the insulation to have, and whether or not you want soundproofing in your home. Depending on your preferences and location, different insulation materials may be used.
Quality thermal insulation helps you save money on energy bills, reduces the amount of mechanical heating and cooling you may need, and decreases greenhouse gases that are released. Soundproofing is also a consideration for noise control to make sure sound does not travel between rooms.
You may want to consider replacing your insulation if your utility bills are continuously higher than they should be, room temperatures are inconsistent, or if there has been water damage to the interior of your home.