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Everything You Wanted to Know About Insulation

We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to save money, and I’m sure you are too. Skimping on your insulation is not a solution for that, though. With brutal Maine winters, investing in great insulation can actually save you money on heating and cooling costs in the future. And upgrading your insulation isn’t really an option, so make sure you consider the long-term benefits of good insulation when you are making your insulation decision.

With that in mind, let’s see what options you have for insulation.

Rolls and batts: Typically fiberglass, these are used in exterior walls between 2×6 studs.

Rolls and batts: Typically fiberglass, these are used in exterior walls between 2×6 studs.

Loose fill: This loose, blown-in fiberglass or cellulose is typically used in attic space.

Loose fill: This loose, blown-in fiberglass or cellulose is typically used in attic space.

Rigid foam: Sheets of foam applied to the exterior of your home and taped seams help prevent thermal bridging.

Rigid foam: Sheets of foam applied to the exterior of your home and taped seams help prevent thermal bridging.

Foam-in-place: Foam is blown in place and creates an airtight seal. This is primarily for doors and windows and can be used between studs on exterior walls instead of traditional fiberglass rolls.

Foam-in-place: Foam is blown in place and creates an airtight seal. This is primarily for doors and windows and can be used between studs on exterior walls instead of traditional fiberglass rolls.

Each of these have specific benefits and can be used to insulate your home. But let’s look at other options you’ll have when choosing insulation for your home.

R-value

All insulation has an associated R-value, defined as resistance to heat flow measured by thickness of material divided by thermal conductivity. In short, the higher the R-value, the better insulated your home will be.

Air infiltration

While R-value is important, it is not the only factor in a well insulated home. Another very important aspect to insulation is air infiltration. Having the best insulation money can buy is inefficient if warm air can bypass your insulation. Warm air can escape through any uninsulated or poorly insulated area. All airflow in your home should be regulated to preserve energy. Spending a little more on foam-in-place insulation as opposed to rolls will provide you with an airtight seal, keeping the cold out.

Your best option is to choose an insulation that provides both a high R-value and an airtight seal.

How we do it

While having high R-value and an airtight seal is important and effective in the insulation of your home, heat can still escape through your studs–a process known as thermal bridging. Your studs do not have a high R-value (6.87) to be exact, creating weak spots in your insulation. To combat these thermal bridges we apply a rigid foam board on the exterior of your home to provide an extra element of insulation.

Here is a cross section of a colonial and our typical insulation procedure.

insulation cross section.jpg

We’re happy to answer any questions you have, about insulation or any other step of the building process. Just contact us.

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