The Basics of Using Insulation

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Insulation is a necessary building material for any home. It helps maintain even temperatures within the home, increases the energy efficiency of the HVAC system, and can deaden sound from the surrounding area for peace and quiet. This video explains how to choose and use the right insulation for your home.

The primary metric insulation contractors use to measure the quality of insulation is the R-value. If the insulation keeps cold air out and warm air in during the winters, and vice versa in the summers, it will have a high R-value. Generally, quality insulation will hover around an R-value of 3.5-4.5.

Another aspect of insulation installation is the use of a vapor barrier or vapor retarder. In areas of the country that run cold for most of the year, the vapor barrier will be placed on the inside of the home’s insulation. In warm climates, the vapor barrier will be put on the outside of the insulation. Warm air wants to go to areas of cold air and the vapor barrier prevents that from happening.

Many parts of the country don’t have constantly cold or warm climates. They have cold winters and warm summers, so a vapor retarder is most often used. It works in both directions to dissipate heat as it travels from the outside or inside of the home.

For more information, check out the video above.