Every Austin home needs good insulation, but it’s especially important during summer months when temperatures will soar along with utility costs if your home isn’t sufficiently insulated. If you’re thinking about adding extra insulation you may be wondering whether it’s best to use spray foam or fiberglass, two of the most commonly used materials today. Both are good options; we’ll explain some of the qualities of each below.
Spray foam insulation. Available in open-cell or closed-cell, spray foam insulation is made of polyurethane and sprayed into attics, walls or other spaces where it expands to ensure a complete seal. Open-cell is less dense and spongier, providing an R-value of about R-3.6 per inch. Closed-cell provides R-value ranging from R-5.5 to R-6.5 per inch, and is filled with non-hydrochlorofluorocarbon gas that works to fill spaces through expansion of the material. Either way, spray foam is perfect for odd-shaped locations and installation around wiring, pipes and other areas it’s hard to access using fiberglass. It’s also flexible and allows your home to breathe because it’s permeable to water vapor.
Fiberglass insulation. This type of insulation has been around forever, and is the type most homeowners are familiar with. Whether loose-fill or batts, fiberglass insulation is made of plastic that’s reinforced by extremely fine glass fibers. Batts are available in standard sizes designed to fit between floor, ceiling and wall joists in homes built to code. The R-value for medium-density batts is about R-3 or a little above.
Loose-fill fiberglass insulation is installed using a blowing machine and is useful in areas where batts aren’t suitable. Manufacturers today make loose-fill a little more environmentally friendly by using 20 to 30% recycled glass that is spun into fibers. You can expect an R-value of about R-2.2 to R-2.7 per inch with loose-fill.
Whether batt or loose fill, fiberglass insulation is good for absorbing sound and is water absorption resistant.
Either type of insulation is a good option, but which is best for you depends on your needs and budget. To learn more about spray foam and fiberglass insulation and which may be best in your situation, give the Austin insulation professionals at HabiShield a call today! We’re ready to help make your home more comfortable while slashing those high energy bills that are no doubt headed our way.