home insulation types
Written by Deborah Hawkins

Understanding Home Insulation Types: Pro and Cons

Home insulation is crucial for making sure that your home stays warm in the winter and that enough heat stays within the structure. However, not all home insulation methods are equal. Some insulation methods are better than others.

 

Many homes in America do not have enough insulation. In fact, there is the equivalent of a window’s worth of openings an average home through cracks and holes, where air can get in and out. All of this air flow during the colder months can result in significantly higher energy costs. Here is a look at the pros and cons of some of the top home insulation types. Knowing these pros and cons can help you select the insulation type that is best for your home.

 

Spray Foam

 spray foam insulation in ceiling

Spray foam is a type of insulation in which liquid polyurethane is sprayed against a wall. After a small period of time, the spray will harden and become a foam that is solid. Spray foam costs $.44 to $1.50 per board foot.

 

Pros

 

  • It takes up less room than other types of insulation.
  • It can save you up to $500 in energy costs per year.
  • It has the highest r value.

 

Cons

 

  • It may require professional help to install.
  • It is not the cheapest option on the market

 

 

 

Blown-in Insulation

 blown attic insulation

 

 

 

 

 

Blown-in insulation involves a material called “loose fill,” which is usually just recycled and ground up newspapers and cardboard being attached to a special blower, and blown into the parts of the house where insulation is desired. If you do it entirely yourself, the cost of blown-in insulation is about $500 for a 1500 square foot home.

 

Pros

 

  • It is moisture resistant
  • Can be done yourself
  • If the loose-fill has borate in it, it is vermin resistant.

 

Cons

 

  • Can lose effectiveness over time
  • Heavier than other materials which makes it unsuitable for certain spaces

 

 

 

Mineral Wool

 mineral wool insulation

Mineral wool is a material that is made from minerals from rocks or molten glass. This material is turned into a thick insulating substance that has a lot of fibers. 1000 square feet of insulation for mineral wool costs about $1,500.

 

Pros

 

  • It has incredible thermal properties
  • It is largely made from recyclable materials
  • It is more fire resistant than other materials

 

Cons

 

  • It can be dangerous and hazardous for your health to inhale mineral wool fibers
  • It can grow mold if it is exposed to water

 

 

 

How to select the right choice?

 

If you are thinking about putting insulation in your home, then you may be considering all three of these options plus even more. So, before you make your decision, you should consider what is the most important variable for your situation. If you simply want a cheap option that you can do yourself, then loose fill may be the best option.

 

However, if you want insulation that saves you a ton on energy costs, and is made almost entirely from recycled materials, then mineral wool may be the best option. But, if you do not like the chances of mineral wool growing mold, then spray foam could be best for you. It all comes down to what your top priorities are for your home.

 

But, no matter which options that you choose, you will most likely have to spend at least a thousand dollars to install insulation in your entire home. The cost will be significantly higher if you decide to have an expert put in the insulation. However, even though experts cost more, they are more likely to do the job better than you, if you have never put in insulation before. So, that is also definitely something to consider

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