Insulation FAQs

How does home insulation work?

Insulation works by resisting the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy and always seeks a cooler area—in your home this means it flows outward in winter, and inward in summer. Insulation slows this heat flow, so your heating and cooling system requires less operation to maintain your desired temperature, which saves you money. Home insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways of conserving energy, saving money on heating and cooling bills, and making your home more comfortable.

How much money can insulation save?

It’s difficult to determine exactly how much insulation can save based on a universal scale, but homeowners can save a lot of money each year by installing insulation! Re-insulating is a good way to help maximize your home’s energy efficiency. Specifics about how much energy you can save with insulation depend on where you live, the size of your house and more.

What does R-value mean?

Insulation’s ability to resist heat flow is identified and labeled by R-value, “R” meaning resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

How much insulation should I have installed?

The amount of insulation recommended for your home will vary depending on a number of factors:

Where you live—Different climates require different insulation R-values. You will need a higher R-value of insulation if you live in Northern areas of the country than if you live in the Southern regions.

Your home’s age—If your home is more than 10 years old, you likely need more insulation.

Will I get a return on an attic insulation investment? 

In January of 2016, Remodeler Magazine released its annual “Cost vs. Value” report, which breaks down both the cost and return on investment of many of the most common home improvement options. Adding fiberglass attic insulation was included in the report for the first time, and it topped the list in terms of the percentage of your initial investment you would recoup in the form of increased home value at 117%. This figure only speaks to what it does to your home’s value, it does not even take into account any possible energy bill savings*. The results of this survey demonstrate that re-insulating to your home can improve its value.

*Savings vary. Higher R-values mean greater insulating power.

Fire Safety and Why We Prefer Fiberglass Insulation

What You Should Know

Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation are naturally non-combustible.1

Spray foam insulation will ignite at 700°F.2

Cellulose insulation—Requires approximately 20%, by weight, of fire retardants to reduce flammability.3   This adds fire-resistance, though the material itself is not non-combustible or smolder-resistant and products must carry a fire hazard warning.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission requires cellulose manufacturers to warn customers that the product presents a fire hazard.4

Does insulation reduce sound?

Insulation materials are rated by the quality of noise reduction and sound interference they achieve. There are different kinds of sound, and different means of rating acoustic performance.

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC):

scores materials on a scale of 0-1, higher being better

Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC):

scores materials based on the amount of noise transmission through a barrier, higher number being better –

Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation:
NRC: 1 5
STC: 43 6

Spray foam insulation:
NRC: .75 5
STC: 37-39 7

Cellulose insulation:
NRC: .755

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