When it comes to insulating your home in the greater Dublin, New Hampshire, area, it’s important to choose materials that will keep much-needed heat in during the winter and unwanted heat out during the summer. But do you know which kinds of insulation are best for your home?
What Is R-Value?
Before we explore various types of insulation and their unique advantages, it’s important to understand one metric people often use to compare insulation materials: R-value. R-value is a number that describes how effective an insulation material is at controlling heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation.
Different types of insulation have different R-values. Blown-in cellulose insulation, for example, has an R-value of R3.2 to R3.7 per inch of thickness. With every inch of blown-in cellulose you install, you get that much more in R-value. Say you wanted to achieve an overall R-value of R49 along the attic floor, which is the recommended amount here in Southern New Hampshire. You would need 13 to 16 inches of blown-in cellulose to achieve that R-value (and you would need to have it installed correctly!)
The Best Types of Insulation for Southern NH Homes
R-value is one way to compare different types of insulation; but it isn’t the only way. When choosing the best type of insulation for your home, it’s also important to consider factors like where the insulation can be applied, how resistant it is to moisture, etc.
Spray foam is one of the most versatile insulation materials because it provides air sealing and is resistant to moisture. It is great for sealing those hard-to-see air leaks (like those around recessed lighting and attic hatches) and for high moisture areas like the crawlspace or basement. We often use spray foam to seal air leaks before installing other types of insulation like cellulose or fiberglass.
Spray foam has an R-value of R3.5 to R6.5, depending on which type is installed.
Blown-in cellulose is also extremely versatile because it can be installed in a number of ways. We might install “loose fill” cellulose along your attic floor, for example, and then blow “dense packed” cellulose into your exterior walls through tiny holes. Many homeowners in Southern NH like cellulose because it is made from recycled materials, making it especially eco friendly.
Cellulose has an R-value of R3.2 to R3.9, depending on whether it is “dense packed” or installed as a “loose fill.”
Most homeowners are familiar with fiberglass batts — those rolls of fluffy insulation you often see at the hardware store. Many homeowners attempt to install fiberglass batts as a DIY project, but improper installation can quickly undermine the effectiveness of the fiberglass. We often install fiberglass batts in unfinished walls.
Fiberglass batt insulation has an R-value of R3.1 to R3.4.
Rigid Foam Board
Like spray foam, rigid foam board is resistant to moisture — making it great for high moisture areas. We often install rigid foam board in basements and crawlspaces.
Rigid foam board insulation has an R-value of R3.8 to R5.0.
Find Out What’s Best for Your Home with an Energy Audit
Here’s the most important thing to remember about choosing insulation: there is no one “best” kind of insulation. In fact, we often install all four of these insulation materials within the scope of a single home insulation project. An experienced insulation contractor can assess your home comfort and efficiency needs and determine which types of insulation are best for you.
We begin every insulation project with an energy audit to determine exactly what your home insulation needs are. This important assessment will determine what’s causing your home’s comfort and efficiency issues, so we can address them properly with professional insulation installation.