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Understanding Fiberglass Insulation

March 21, 2016

Unlike so many other home improvement projects, insulating the home will have a positive effect on both comfort and budget. In most northern climes, insulation has more relevance in the winter than in summer, although for many homeowners there's an equally important role during the hot summer. In recent decades, many residential homeowners have opted for fiberglass insulation when deciding on their installation. It's a product option that is quite affordable, with very good results, and with a satisfactory lifespan. Today, with so many big box home centers, there's an inclination for homeowners to undertake DIY projects at every opportunity. Yes - it can save project dollars, and for some, it's a definite need. But it's also true that there's a time and place for a DIY project. As for home insulation, a professional touch is highly suggested. By any measure, the installation or re-installation of fiberglass insulation is best handled by a crew that has product knowledge and installation know-how. And the final outcomes will make a difference. All residential insulation products measure thermal insulation in R-Values. This is a rating that reflects how well a particular product will insulate. In technical terms, R-Value is an indication of resistance to "heat flow". In other words, the higher the R-Value rating, the greater the thermal resistance. And while R-Value should not be the end of the story, insulation products with high R-Values are better (and more expensive). For the most part, fiberglass insulation has lower R-Value ratings than comparable products. Every home is a "building envelope". As such, there are some areas that require more insulation than other areas. For example, roof cavities and attic spaces are far more exposed to the outdoors than other parts of the home, and so require special attention when being insulated. At the same time, exterior walls require a different approach, even though they too are exposed to the outdoors. Here again, a professional touch will ensure that the right insulation product is being installed for the specific application and use. In terms of cost, installing fiberglass insulation will depend on three basics: the amount of R-Value installed; the size of the space and quantity of material; and the cost of installation. As mentioned, the DIY method may well save money, but for optimum results, there's no comparison with a professional job. An expert installer has the project experience to install fiberglass insulation (in batts or loose fill form) in a manner that will guarantee peak product performance. And that means long lasting outcomes for years to come. For many homeowners, fiberglass insulation is the preferred install, primarily because of affordability. But with a professional on hand, various other options may be recommended - options that could deliver much better performance and more substantial savings on energy consumption. After all, the main goal of home insulation is to improve overall energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. And with the right product and installation, annual utility savings can often make the project investment worthwhile.

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