Global warming is one challenge we all face with our homes. Proper insulation protects your home from environmental conditions and it also moderates temperatures, making it an excellent way to maximize comfort and minimize energy bills.
How Insulation Works
The quick answer to how insulation works is, it traps tiny air pockets, which slow the movement of heat in and out of a room. A more detailed answer on insulation requires knowledge of heat movement and other mechanisms, which is really interesting however this article is on how to select the right insulation and soundproofing materials to get maximum return on your investment and of course a home you can control the internal temperature and sound noise. Let’s start with the ground floor.
Insulating the Ground Floor
Insulating the floor is an excellent way to keep a room warm. The insulation material to use depends on the type of floor you have. If your floor is made of solid concrete, you can either replace it or lay rigid insulation on top. Floors made of timber can be insulated under the floorboards using mineral wool insulation or fiberglass.
Insulating the Doors and Windows
If your doors and windows are old and drafty, you’ll need to do a lot to keep them sealed and insulated. You can fit draught excluders around all exterior doors. You also can install new sweeps to seal the doors. Foam tape is also a great insulation alternative and is easy to wrap. Another great alternative is using insulated curtains which retain heat during winter and block the sun’s hot rays during the summer.
Insulating a Cold Wall
If your room has some “cold wall” especially concrete wall without insulation or with bad insulation, you can build thick drywall to it. The process is quite simple, and you can use a wide range of materials depending on your preference. We recommend using plasterboard wall and adding cheap glass wool into it. You can also use glass wool for soundproofing.
If you choose to remodel, you can insulate the walls using blown-in insulation. When done properly, blown-in insulation offers superior air sealing.
Insulating an Attic
Insulating an attic is one of the most efficient ways to save energy. It’s simple, cheap, and any person can do it. When insulating an attic, it’s advisable to use loose-fill or batt insulation. Ensure you seal any leaks and do any repairs required before you start the insulation process.
Insulating the Ceiling
If your room has vaulted ceilings, you need to provide space between the ceiling and the roof decks so as to have enough space for ventilation and insulation. A vent baffle can help in this. Foil-faced batt insulation offers the permeability rating required for ceilings without attics hence ideal for the cathedral-type ceilings.
Rigid foam insulation can also be added to increase R-values and eliminate thermal bridging. R-value is the thermal resistance that various insulating materials have. It depends on the type of material, its density, and its thickness. A higher R-value means the material insulates better.
If you’re insulating a basement, the type of insulation to put will depend on whether the basement had been insulated before. Insulating basements reduces heat loss, protects against moisture, minimizes thermal bridging, and reduces condensation problems common in poorly insulated areas. Ensure your interior insulation has fire-rated coatings.
Insulating Air Ducts
If you’ve any air ducts in the room, they should also be sealed and insulated to help save energy. Insulation minimizes the rate of thermal loss to the surroundings and prevents condensation and dripping from ducts. Insulating ducts helps keep the air within the room at the desired temperature and also prevents air from leaking. Since the temperature difference between air ducts and the surroundings is relatively small, a 1-inch-thick fiberglass blanker works perfectly. You should wrap it well around the duct’s exterior, and you can also add a protective cover with a vapor barrier.
Mistakes to Avoid When Insulating a Room
It’s very easy to make mistakes when insulating a room. That’s why it’s advisable to hire professional installers if you’re not confident you can do it. Here are some simple mistakes to avoid when installing insulations.
Focusing just on R-Value
The R-Value should not be your only factor to consider when choosing an insulation material.
Removing the backing from fiberglass insulation. The backing helps you avoid problems of condensation and rot.
Air from outside must come in and vice versa. Therefore, do not seal every opening. Avoid placing insulation close to oil burners, water heaters or anything hot.
Not trusting yourself
Insulating a room can seem like a big challenge. However, no one cares about the room and your money more than you. Hence, you should be able to do a decent job even with your little experience.
Choosing based on price
Most low price insulations are not effective. However, the higher the price does not imply the higher the quality. Choose something that will address your problem.