The proper insulation of a home is one of the most important decisions for maximizing comfort. There are many types of insulation to choose from and recent analyses in building science have shown where insulation should be placed for maximum benefit. The great news is that superior insulation has no impact on style or design.
In addition to preventing heat from escaping during the 6 to 8 month heating season in the Northeast, high performance insulation can reduce solar heat gain and humidity during the summer months and keep out pollution year round.
Most US homeowners and all architects are familiar with traditional fiberglass batt insulation but not necessarily its limitations. Many new insulation products have come onto the building products scene and some of these are very green, with low or no toxicity compared to fiberglass and produced from renewable sources. Although the strong tendency is to focus on R-value per inch (defined as the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow) when choosing insulation, there are many other important characteristics of insulation that may lead to a choice of one product over another.
Placement of insulation is a key aspect of insulation choice and considers thermal dynamics, air pressure and many other factors. In an existing home, remodeling may provide the opportunity to add high performance insulation in areas not previously insulated, such as an attic or basement, and thus to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of the home. In a new home, one-time opportunities exist to install high performance insulation in areas that are not likely to be accessible ever again to the homeowner but which could substantially increase a home’s comfort and reduce its energy use by as much as half.
Once Green Home Consulting understands the client’s goals and budget, we can advise on insulation choices and placement to achieve these goals, increasing homeowner comfort and reducing the home’s demand for energy, regardless of the style and luxury of the home.