Insulation Saves Energy & Fuel Costs
    by Brandt Remodeling

Brandt Remodeling - Home Insulation SchematicEvery home loses Energy

If you do not have the proper level of attic insulation, your heating and cooling costs will greatly increase. The Department of Energy recommends an R-49 (18+ inches) for all Illinois homes.

Most homes in the United States are either inadequately or incorrectly insulated. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that any home built before 1980 have woefully insufficient levels of thermal insulation. The greatest offender in this category is the R-Value of the insulation in the attic. Without proper insulation in the attic you home will lose staggering amounts of energy, causing utility bills to skyrocket and temperatures in your home to vary greatly from season to season. Of course you may not know that you even have this problem. Most people are unaware of exactly how much insulation they need, and how meeting Federal guidelines can save a family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

Brandt Remodeling will provide you with a totally free attic inspection. Together we can make a plan to save you money and improve your familys quality of life. Our prices are competitive . We are ready to help you make your home into a more environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and comfortable place to live. Call us today.

There are many types of Insulation available to home owners these days.

When most people think of insulation, they think of pink fiberglass insulation, which has been used to insulate many homes across the U.S. and around the world.  This is called batt and roll or blanket insulation.  But there are many other types of insulation that have superior characteristics, depending on the type of application.  Here are some of the more common types of home insulation.

Batt and Roll / Blanket Insulation

Batt and roll insulation is very popular because it is an inexpensive option and easy to install.  It simply needs to be put in place, and can be cut to fit into pre-defined spaces.  During installation, the insulation must not be compressed or it loses insulating value.  Also, with this type of insulation you must have the area air sealed before installing the insulation, in order for it to be effective.  Otherwise, air leaking through cracks and gaps will infiltrate the home and pass through the insulation, limiting the insulations effectiveness.

Loose-Fill / Blown-In Insulation

While batt and roll insulation is easy to install in an attic or a new addition, loose-fill (also called blown-in) insulation can be even easier to install and can provide better insulation qualities.  Like the name suggests, blown-in insulation is blown in.  The home insulation contractor uses special equipment attached to a hose which blows the insulation into the required area.  One advantage is how quickly this can be done.  Another benefit is that it can provide even coverage in irregular areas.  For example, with batt and roll insulation, the insulation fits between the studs, leaving the studs un-insulated.  With blown-in insulation, the studs are covered with insulation.

Blown-in insulation is also useful when adding insulation to inaccessible areas, such as inside a wall cavity that is covered with drywall.  There is no need to rip out the drywall to add insulation.  Your home insulation contractor can simply make small holes in the drywall and blow the insulation in.  The holes can then be patched very quickly and easily.

As with blanket insulation, loose-fill insulation is only PART of a solution which requires air sealing BEFORE the insulation is applied.  Otherwise, the insulation will simply cover the problem areas, but your home will still be losing energy.  To effectively insulate your home, you need to hire a professional air sealing and insulation (weatherization) contractor that understands how the house functions as a system.  Otherwise, your house could be sealed too tightly, which can lead to a host of issues, including poor air quality (which can lead to, or aggravate, asthma, allergies, bronchitis and other conditions).  Air sealing must be balanced with proper ventilation in order to have an energy efficient and safe home.

Spray-Foam Insulation

Spray-foam insulation is a liquid that is usually sprayed on to a buildings surface (it can also be poured or injected into cavities or crevices).  Within seconds, the liquid expands into a foam which hardens to form an insulating barrier.  This type of insulation is ideal for insulating irregularly shaped areas, around obstructions or for existing finished areas.  The expanding foam is able to seal cracks and gaps so additional air sealing is not necessary to prevent air infiltration.  Spray-foams air and water resistant properties provide superior protection and energy savings.  Most spray-foam products are also fire-resistant for added peace of mind.

With all of spray-foams benefits, be aware that there are different types of spray-foam insulation.  While they all work in a similar fashion, some types can be not so friendly to the environment.  Ask your weatherization contractor or your home energy auditor to explain the differences and help you choose the insulation best suited to your needs and your values.

Radiant Barriers / Reflective Systems

Radiant barriers use a different type of technology than the standard types of insulation.  These systems provide a barrier that reflects heat away from the home.  Radiant barriers are often used in attics to keep the heat from entering the attic and the home below.  They are often used in conjunction with other types of home insulation for added insulation value.  Radiant barriers come in various types, including foils, plastic films, polyethylene bubbles and treated cardboard.

Conclusion

This is a simplified overview of some of the most popular categories of insulation.  Within each category are various types of materials, each with different characteristics and insulating values.


Insulation levels for retrofitting existing wood-framed buildings

Zone Add Insulation to Attic
Uninsulated Attic Existing 3�€“4 Inches of Insulation
1 R30 to R49 R25 to R30
2 R30 to R60 R25 to R38
3 R30 to R60 R25 to R38
4 R38 to R60 R38
5 to 8 R49 to R60 R38 to R49

Insulation level is specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation�€™s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The table above shows what levels of insulation are cost-effective for different climates.



Service Area for Brandt Remodeling:

Based out of Brookfield, IL we happily service the Brookfield, La Grange, Westchester, Riverside, Oak Brook, Downers Grove, Willowbrook, Western SpringsHinsdale and surrounding suburban areas. Including the entire Chicagoland Area.