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Improve Home Insulation – Boston, Worcester, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 03, 2014

For energy efficiency in all kinds of weather, your home should be properly insulated. Too often only in the everyday living spaces are insulated, leaving attics, basements and garages chillier.

Rolls and batts of insulation, made of fiberglass or rock wool, are inexpensive and quick to install in open areas such as an attic floor.

Those are the spots where the most energy is lost. This not only can cause the house to be uncomfortable, it can lead to higher energy bills.

Insulating Errors

The biggest mistake made is "overstuffing the space."

When there's too much insulation, it stops being an insulator and actually becomes a conductor. Expansion rates vary with foam insulation, and too much can actually cause walls and jambs to buckle. That's a case where too much works against you.

Other examples of what not to do:

Failing to fill the smaller spaces, such as around windows and doors. Even tiny spaces can become big energy loss problems.

Not leaving room for air to circulate. Failure to do this can lead to mold and condensation build-up.

Types of Insulation

Insulation is made of a variety of materials, and comes in four types.

Rolls and batt insulation (blankets) - flexible products made from fibers, such as fiberglass or rock wool. These come in different widths to fit the standard spacing of wall studs and attic or floor joists. Fiberglass batts, the insulation found in most homes, are inexpensive and quick to install. Like other batt-type insulation, fiberglass is rolled and secured into place, but may be difficult to fit around obstacles without leaving gaps.

Loose-fill insulation - usually made of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose in the form of loose fibers or fiber pellets. This should be blown into spaces using special equipment. It conforms to odd-sized openings.

Rigid foam insulation - typically more expensive, but very effective when used in exterior walls and for special applications such as attic hatch doors.

Spray- foam  insulation - can be blown into walls, on attic surfaces or under doors to reduce air leakage. There are several types, depending on the space that needs to be filled and how much you'd like the insulation to expand.

Where to Insulate

Insulating the following areas of your home can help keep you comfortable year-round:

Unfinished attic spaces - between and over floor joists; attic access doors.

Finished attic spaces (with or without dormers) - between studs of "knee" walls (vertical walls with attic space directly behind them); between studs and rafters of exterior walls and roof; ceilings with cold spaces above.

All exterior walls - between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs and storage areas; foundation walls above ground level.

Floors above cold spaces - vented crawl spaces and unheated garages; any portion of the floor that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall below.

For more information, contact Custom Insulation.

NorthJersey.com

U.S. Department of Energy Says Add or Re-Insulate Your Attic to Reduce Energy Bills

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Properly insulating and air sealing your attic will help reduce your energy bills. Attics are often one of the easiest places in a house to insulate, especially if you'd like to add insulation.

Warning: if you think you have vermiculite insulation in your attic, there's a chance it could contain asbestos. Don't disturb it. Only insulation contractors certified to handle and remove asbestos should deal with vermiculite insulation.

Loose-fill or batt insulation is typically installed in an attic. Loose-fill insulation is usually less expensive to install than batt insulation. Often, loose-fill insulation usually provides better coverage.

Also, before having any type of insulation installed in your attic be sure to seal all attic-to-home air leaks. Most insulation does not stop airflow.

Also be sure to insulate and air seal your attic access if it's located in a conditioned part of your house.

You'll want to properly insulate and air seal any vertical walls with attic space directly behind them in your home as well.

Contact Custom Insulation Company for ideas on how to better insulate your home to decrease your energy bills this winter.




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