Basic Insulation Buying Tips

Basic Insulation Buying Tips

Insulation is​ the process of​ enclosing or​ covering an​ object with a​ material that serves as​ a​ barrier and reduces (or blocks) the flow of​ energy, specifically heat. it​ is​ essentially used for the following reasons:

-To reduce heat energy losses.

-To prevent nearby objects from heating up.

Below are some examples where insulation is​ typically used:

-On appliances - stoves and ovens, refrigerators and freezers, water heaters, water pipes, etc.

-On industrial applications.

When done properly, insulation can provide indoor comfort (by keeping your house cooler in​ the summer and warmer in​ the winter) and energy efficiency.

Determining and buying the insulation that is​ right for your household can be a​ challenge. Below are some helpful hints on how to​ go about buying the perfect insulation for your home.

1. What to​ insulate. The first thing to​ consider is​ to​ identify where the insulation will be installed or​ used. a​ personal inspection of​ your home may be sufficient, but it​ is​ still best to​ let the qualified people (such as​ your contractor) do the job.

Depending on your (or an​ expert's) findings, your household might need any or​ all of​ the following insulation:

-Wall/cavity wall insulation. Cavity wall insulation prevents your house from being exposed to​ rapid temperature changes outside. Studies show that heat loss due to​ un-insulated walls can reach as​ much as​ 50%, and cavity wall insulation could possibly prevent 70% of​ this from happening.

-Loft/roof insulation. Because hot air rises, heat loss through the roof can reach as​ much as​ 25%. This can be greatly reduced with proper attic or​ loft insulation.

-Duct/pipe insulation. Leaky ducts or​ pipes can contribute to​ an​ increase in​ your heating (or cooling) costs. They can also burst (or freeze), so it​ is​ also important to​ have them properly insulated.

-Water cylinders/storage tanks. Hot water cylinders and cold water storage tanks also need to​ be insulated to​ prevent them from being exposed to​ intense cold or​ heat.

2. What to​ use. Traditional insulating materials that are commonly-used in​ the households are the following:

-Fiberglass/fiberglass mats/mineral fiber. Fiberglass is​ the most common and versatile type of​ insulating material that is​ made from molten glass and spun into microfibers.

Usually pink or​ yellow in​ color, fiberglass comes in​ 3 forms:

Rolls - blankets of​ insulation that may or​ may not have vapor barriers, which prevent condensation in​ cold areas that could result in​ damage (such as​ mold).

Batts - similar to​ rolls but come in​ lengths ranging from 4 to​ 8 feet.

Blown - these are loose insulation that can be 'blown' into walls or​ ceilings.

-Cellulose. Another insulating material that is​ commonly used in​ households is​ cellulose. it​ is​ a​ fibrous material made from scrap or​ recycled paper (like newsprint or​ cardboard) that is​ shredded and treated with chemicals that would make it​ resistant to​ fire and insects. it​ is​ then applied (poured or​ blown-in) into place, either as​ loose-fill or​ wet-sprayed with the use of​ a​ machine.

-Rock wool. as​ the name implies, rock wool is​ an​ insulating material that is​ made from rock. Manufactured similarly to​ that of​ a​ fiberglass (with molten rock replacing glass), rock wool can be in​ the form of​ a​ hollow brick or​ a​ porous concrete block.

-Synthetic insulation. Synthetic insulating materials are manufactured in​ several forms, some of​ which are the following:

Polystyrene foam - usually as​ rigid, pre-cut boards.

Polyurethane foam - usually as​ boards or​ foamed 'insitu' ("in position").

Spray-on expanding foam - similar to​ that found in​ aerosol cans, it​ can completey seal and insulate even the smallest areas in​ the house by 'poofing' up to​ as​ much as​ 2 to​ 4 times the original size when applied.

Deciding on the right material to​ be used for installation largely depends on the area that requires installation. Below are some of​ the standard insulating materials that are recommended for the specific areas in​ your home:

-For loft or​ roof insulation

*Mineral wool quilt

*Blown mineral wool

*Blown cellulose fibre

-For duct or​ pipe insulation

*Mineral wool mat

*Pre-formed split foam insulation

*Foil-faced fiberglass insulation

*Vinyl-faced insulation

*Ridged foam insulation

-For wall insulation

*Blown-in cellulose

*Fiberglass (batt and roll) insulation

3. Check with an​ expert. Aside from your personal considerations, the key to​ finding the perfect insulation for your home is​ to​ consult a​ professional who is​ knowledgeable in​ this field. it​ is​ still best to​ check with an​ expert, who could provide you with several options that would best suit your needs.

Insulating your home may add to​ your household expenses today, but in​ the long run, it​ will not only save you money (by lowering your utility bills); it​ will also protect you and your property.

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