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Heating and cooling your home needs energy. And, having a well-insulated home doesn’t just keep the temperatures comfortable but also helps to reduce your energy bills. The most common types of home insulation materials include fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and sprayed foam insulation. This guide will help you explore fiberglass insulation, and how it works to insulate your home.
Home insulation reduces the amount of heat that enters your abode from outside when it’s hot and traps a good amount of warmth inside when it’s cold.
Keep in mind that insulation is measured by its R-value rating — based on the type of insulation, thickness, and density of the insulation material. The higher the R-value, the better climate control and energy efficiency it would provide for your home. Having said that, you need to choose the correct insulation levels according to your region and climate.
Is fiberglass a good insulator?
Fiberglass insulation basically consists of extremely fine glass fibers — created using recycled glass, sand, and other materials. These fibers slow the heat flow and the spreading of cold in both residential and commercial insulation projects.
This type of insulation can be placed in unfinished walls, floors, and ceilings. Or, fitted between studs, joists, and beams.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more and more manufacturers today are producing medium- and high-density fiberglass batt insulation products. These have a slightly higher R-Value than standard batts and rolls made from mineral wool, plastic fibers, or natural fibers.
Insulation can be easily a do-it-yourself project. However, we highly recommend hiring professionals who’re insulation experts.
Simply put, fiberglass insulation helps in making buildings more thermally efficient — even compensating for areas with lower thermal values, including windows and doors.
It’s great at retaining the ideal temperature of living spaces, regardless of whether it’s heating or cooling. That’s why, fiberglass insulation helps in reducing utility costs, conserves nonrenewable fuel sources, and provides homeowners greater comfort. Moreover, it offers good design flexibility.
A properly installed fiberglass insulation is able to maintain its R-value over a long period of time — meeting provincial and national energy code requirements.
Types of fiberglass insulation
There are some common types of fiberglass insulation, including blown-in, batts, and rolls — mostly available in pre-cut standard lengths and widths.
Blown-in insulation: Great for insulating an attic or wall cavities. The insulating material is blown using pneumatic equipment for maximum coverage. It has an R-value of 2.2 to 2.7 per inch.
Insulation batts: Great for placement between framing during construction in floors, walls, attics, and ceilings. It has an R-value of up to 4.3 per inch.
Insulation rolls: Good for attics and floors — fitting between studs and joists. It has an R-value of up to 4.3 per inch.
How dangerous is fiberglass insulation?
There has been some concern regarding the health effects of fiberglass insulation. The reason is that these fibers can easily be inhaled. That’s why proper installation and removal are important.
Once you install it safely behind sheetrock and plaster, it’s no longer a threat. And, some fiberglass manufacturers offer plastic-wrapped rolls to reduce the chance of any dust during insulation. These also act as vapor barriers.
If you touch fiberglass insulation, its particles may come into contact with your skin — causing itchiness, rashes, or irritation. The last thing you’d want is to see a worker or property inspector crawling through your attic or crawl space, and inhaling the potentially harmful fiberglass.
If you must disturb fiberglass insulation, be sure to wear pants, a long-sleeved shirt, protective eye gear, work gloves, and a face mask or a dust mask. Also, it’s a good idea to dampen the area before any insulation removal. And, always, wash your hands with cold water after dealing with it.
Today, an increasing number of manufacturers are striving to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, while producing fiberglass.
Is it worth it?
Yes. Installing fiberglass as an insulator is certainly a good idea as it slows the spread of heat, cold, and sound in buildings. Even in cars and aircraft!
The material traps pockets of air, keeps the rooms warm in the winter and cool during the summer months. Also, it’s one of the most affordable insulation materials available on the market.
However, do keep in mind that although fiberglass limits air movement, it doesn’t stop it completely. But there’s no denying that it’s a convenient method to increase your home’s energy efficiency. According to some estimates, thermal insulation may reduce residential energy costs by up to 40%. Plus, it poses no fire hazard.
Fiberglass insulation significantly reduces the amount of energy you use, keeping your homes comfortable throughout the year. Plus, it’s a great addition that helps to protect the environment in our daily lives.
What you get is an energy-efficient house, less energy loss, reduced utility costs, and increased comfort. This is primarily the reason why fiberglass is one of the leading insulation materials in many green building projects.