If you are shivering in the winter or roasting during the summer, then it may be time to change your home’s insulation. Upgrading your house with energy-efficient insulation is one of the easiest, quickest projects that you can perform. Top-of-the-line insulation will make your living areas more comfortable, lower energy bills, and increase property value. Today, there are a number of innovative insulation techniques that will enable you to reap these benefits, ranging from ICF construction to spray foam.
Polyisocyanurate insulation is a unique foam board insulation that is composed from a variety of high-quality materials. It boasts a high thermal performance which makes it the product of choice for energy-aware builders. Plus, polyiso is eco-friendly and has been praised by the EPA for its positive impact on the environment. Polyiso offers a number of benefits ranging from outstanding performance in fire tests, low vapor transmission and low water absorption, as well as staying stable over a large range of temperatures. Compared to thermal wool or XPS, polyiso is more sustainable and reduces energy consumption.
While spray foam may cost more at first, it will quickly pay for itself by saving you money on your monthly energy bills. The moment it is sprayed on your walls, it will expand and reach the smallest nooks and crannies. Once it is cured, spray foam will stay in place and will never settle. Spray foam insulation will also enhance indoor living spaces as it limits the infiltration of pollutants and allergens. Further, it will create quieter spaces as it dampens sound. By producing an air barrier, spray foam reduces the chances that your home will be infected with mold. This air barrier is also effective in keeping a constant temperature in attics and basements.
ICF Construction Techniques
Insulating Concrete Forms are another effective way to reduce energy consumption and increase your property value. ICFs are thick concrete cores tucked in between panels of foam, and they provide top-of-the-line strength and durability. Compared to insulated wood frame walls, ICFs offer a number of benefits. The material lasts forever, and it is extremely effective in maintaining comfortable temperatures in your living spaces. ICFs eliminate drafts, cold spots, noise, and pollution. ICF walls are also air-tight which will keep out dust, allergens, and dirt. ICFs are also a hallmark of net zero construction which endeavors to maximize the renewable energy created on-site. Essentially, ICFs are a green product that will never decay or degrade, and they are a proven way to construct an energy-efficient home.
Foam board insulation consists of thick, rigid panels of insulation crafted from a variety of materials. It can easily be transplanted into any open area of your home. If walls are exposed, then you can quickly position it behind drywall. Foam board can even function as below grade insulation. Because it is pre-constructed, you can also customize every board to your exact specifications. Due to this, foam board insulation offers top-notch thermal resistance and heat conduction. Once installed, foam board insulation will prevent heat leakage and improve your energy-efficiency along with reducing the chances of moisture buildup.
Regardless of the materials you choose, it is important to understand the concept of air barriers. An air barrier is a sheet or collection of materials that is specifically designed to prevent airflow into and out fo a home’s walls. Regardless of the materials used to create an air barrier, they should be continuous across the entire building and durable. For example, you could use insulating board stock, building wraps, poured concrete, or spray polyurethane foam. Paired with energy-efficient insulation, a properly constructed air barrier can prevent leakage and reduce bills. An air barrier will consistently maintain indoor temperatures which will lessen the wear on HVAC systems. They will also improve the air quality of living spaces by preventing the buildup of moisture and mold.
If your house is not comfortable and you are continuing to waste money on high utility bills, then it is time for a change. Install new, energy-efficient insulation, and you can enjoy the benefits while boosting your property’s value.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.