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Comparing the Different Types of Home Insulation

Updated on January 6, 2013

Home insulation choices are wide-ranging and the term ‘insulation' is quite a broad reference. It might relate to insulating a home against the potential of fire, heat, cold, or noise. A particular type of insulation is often dependent on a number of situations with each type offering several positives and negatives.

Insulation for Heating and Cooling Systems

In an effort to control the heating and cooling of a property, a thermal type of insulation is relied on which is highly effective at controlling the temperature in properties and forms of transport (vehicles, airplanes, and trains). If installed effectively, the insulation is able to limit the gain or loss of heat, which in turn is required to help with lowering the cost of utility bills for keeping a home at the right temperature. Thermal insulation is wide-ranging with some of the most common options available on the market including the blanket insulation, rigid board insulation, loose fill insulation, and spray foam insulation.

The most common of the available thermal insulation materials is the blanket insulation (also referred to as the batt insulation), and is generally manufactured in polyester, natural wool, rock wool, and glass wool. A rigid board type of insulation is designed to be easy to install and typically appears much like the blanket insulation but with a thin covering of either foil or paper. It is constructed in either foil-faced expanding polystyrene and extruded polyester. Beyond its thermal abilities, this type of insulation is also claimed to offer a high degree of flame and waterproof protection.

One of the insulation thermal insulation materials that is starting to become more favored is that of the spray foam mostly due to its ease in installation and ability to spray into even the most difficult to reach places. Spray foams are known to effectively block all types of gaps and are great at keeping the warm air in and the cold air out.

Insulation for Sound

Even though the use of certain thermal insulation materials offers the extra benefit of sound buttering, if you really wish to include a high level of sound blocking within a property then it will greatly benefit to use one of the dedicated sound absorption materials available on the market. Sound insulation materials can consist of noise barriers manufactured in glass or boards or acoustic foam.

Insulation for Fire

It is also possible to find a range of insulating materials which are able to offer fire-resistant properties to help with fire proofing a property. Many of the latest insulation are naturally designed to offer a degree of fire resistance, although these shouldn't be seen as an alternative to installing a functional fire monitoring device.


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