Types of Insulation

Smart Energy Today, Inc.® recommends that in order to be as energy efficient as possible, home and business owners should bring the R-value of their attics, crawlspaces, and walls up to code.  The combination of increasing the R-value of mass insulation and the added Sol-Blanket Insulation™ will help reduce your energy consumption as well as significantly increase the comfort of your home or business. The combination of mass insulation and Sol-Blanket Insulation™ together helps boost the thermal efficiency of radiant, conduction, and convection heat transfer.

Please Note: That The Sol-Blanket Insulation™ does not replace the need for traditional insulation. The Sol-Blanket Insulation™ is the most effective when combined with mass insulation that is as close to code as possible.

Smart Energy Today, Inc.® is a full service provider of all insulation types such as batts and blow-in insulation for attics, crawlspaces, and walls. When insulating your home or business, you can choose from many different types of insulation.

For additional information about insulation, please see Insulation.

How to choose the right amount of insulation?

Determine the recommended R-values for the area(s) you want to insulate based on your geographical location. The Department of Energy has an R-value Calculator, that may help you with this.

 

Call Smart Energy Today, Inc.® to speak with an insulation specialist (888) 405-8689.

 

Types of Insulation

Type Materials Where Installation Advantages
Blanket: batts and rolls Fiberglass
Mineral (rock or slag) wool
Plastic fibers
Natural fibers
Unfinished walls, including foundation walls, floors and ceilings Fitted between studs, joists, and beams. Do-it-yourself. Suited for standard stud and joist spacing that is relatively free from obstructions. Relatively inexpensive.
Concrete block insulation and insulating concrete blocks Foam board, to be placed on outside of wall (usually new construction) or inside of wall (existing homes):Some manufacturers incorporate foam beads or air into the concrete mix to increase R-values Unfinished walls, including foundation walls,for new construction or major renovations Walls (insulating concrete blocks) Require specialized skills Insulating concrete blocks are sometimes stacked without mortar (dry-stacked) and surface bonded. Insulating cores increases wall R-value.Insulating outside of concrete block wall places mass inside conditioned space, which can moderate indoor temperatures. Autoclaved aerated concrete and autoclaved cellular concrete masonry units have 10 times the insulating value of conventional concrete.
Foam board or rigid foam Polystyrene
Polyisocyanurate
Polyurethane
Unfinished walls, including foundation walls, floors and ceilings, unvented low-slope roofs Must be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board or other building-code approved material for fire safety. High insulating value for relatively little thickness. Can block thermal short circuits when installed continuously over frames or joists.
Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) Foam boards or foam blocks Unfinished walls, including foundation walls for new construction Installed as part of the building structure. Insulation is literally built into the home’s walls, creating high thermal resistance.
Loose-fill and blown-in Cellulose
Fiberglass
Mineral (rock or slag) wool
Enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities, unfinished attic floors, other hard-to-reach places Blown into place using special equipment, sometimes poured in. Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.
Reflective system Foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard Unfinished walls, ceilings, and floors Foils, films, or papers fitted between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams. Suitable for framing at standard spacing.
Bubble-form suitable if framing is irregular or if obstructions are present. Most effective at preventing downward heat flow, effectiveness depends on spacing.
Rigid fibrous or fiber insulation Fiberglass Mineral (rock or slag) wool Ducts in unconditioned spaces, other places requiring insulation that can withstand high temperatures HVAC contractors fabricate the insulation into ducts either at their shops or at the job sites. Can withstand high temperatures.
Sprayed foam and foamed-in-place Cementitious
Phenolic
Polyisocyanurate
Polyurethane
Enclosed existing wall, open new wall cavities, unfinished attic floors Applied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure sprayed (foamed-in-place) product. Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) Foam board or liquid foam insulation core
Straw core insulation
Unfinished walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs for new construction Construction workers fit SIPs together to form walls and roof of a house. SIP-built houses provide superior and uniform insulation compared to more traditional construction methods; they also take less time to build.
Blanket: Batt and Roll Insulation

Blanket insulation is the most common type of insulation, and can be found in most structures.  The most common is made of flexible fibers (fiberglass) and is usually pink or yellow in color.  You can also find them made from mineral wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers (such as cotton and sheep’s wool).  Because of their popularity, you can find blankets in various widths and thicknesses to suit your home/business.

Concrete Block Insulation

Concrete blocks are used in the foundation and walls of buildings, and there are many ways to insulate them. The hollow centers can be filled with insulation, which will raise the r-value of the block, but heat and energy can still escape where there is no insulation.  Installing insulation over the entire wall, is the best way to go to ensure maximum r-value and energy efficiency.

Foam Board and Rigid Board

Foam boards can be used to insulate just about any part of your home or business (walls, foundation, ceilings, etc.).  They are a good source of thermal resistance and reduce heat conduction through structural elements.

Insulating Concrete Forms

Insulating Concrete Forms are forms for pouring concrete walls, which remains as part of the concrete wall after the concrete has dried.  It provides high thermal resistance, typically a R-20 or higher.

Loose-Fill and Blow-in Insulation

Loose-fill insulation is also a very popular form of insulation, and can be found in many homes.  Loose-fill consists of small particles of foam, fiber, and other materials. One of the best benefits of Loose-fill, is that it can conform to any space without disturbing the structure or finishes.  Loose-fill is ideal for areas of you home or business that are difficult to insulate or would be hard to get to using other types of insulation.

Radiant Barriers and Reflective Insulation Systems

Radiant Barriers reflect radiant heat away from living spaces, unlike other types of insulation that just resist conductive and convective heat.  Radiant Barriers are most effective when installed in attics, to reflect out the suns rays during hot summer months and to reflect the heat back in during cold winter months.  Reflective insulation has the same benefits as a reflective barrier, only it also has an insulation layer (typically Polyethylene bubbles) allowing for resistance of conductive and convective heat, giving the reflective insulation an R-value.  Reflective Barriers and Insulation can also be installed in crawlspaces, to help with heat loss through the ground.  Smart Energy Today, Inc.®  offers a reflective insulation product called Sol-Blanket. Contact Us today to learn more about how you can get the Sol-Blanket installed in your home!

Rigid Fiber Board Insulation

Rigid Fiber Board consists of fiberglass or mineral wool, and is typically used for insulating air ducts in buildings.  It is also used where there’s a need for insulation that can withstand extremely high temperatures.  Rigid Fiber Boards come in a variety of thicknesses, and can provide an r-value of R-20 per inch of thickness.

Sprayed-Foam and Foamed-In-Place Insulation

Liquid foam insulation can be installed a variety of ways, including sprayed, injected, and foamed-in-place.  When set, the liquid foam can provide an r-value per inch up to double that of traditional batt insulation.  It is extremely useful when needing to fill in small holes or cavities because, as the liquid foam sets, it expands to fill in the smallest of areas.  This also creates an air barrier, to help prevent unwanted drafts or heat loss.

Structural Insulated Panels

Structural Insulated Panels must be installed at the time of construction of the building.  Typically these are made at the manufacturers factory and shipped to the build site in “panelized housing kits”.  These panels provide a great way to insulate your home without compromising the quality of the building.  As an added benefit, they are rated to withstand high levels of heat to protect your home from structural fire damage.

Information provided by Energy.gov