Your Guide To Types Of Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important parts of your house. Not only does it keep your home warm in the winter, but it also helps keep sound from travelling either in or out. But in order to be fully effective the whole house envelope must be insulated. There are several choices to choose from, all of which are good at insulating, but what types of insulation are there?
- Fibre Glass
This material is made from a mixture of glass and sand. It is normally used in pipes, air ducts and in lofts and walls. It has the advantage of being resistant to water and fire. It is considered one of the best types of insulation.
Made of shredded paper, Cellulose is not fire retardant but it is treated with fire resistant chemicals to make it less combustible. It is used in walls and loft spaces. Also it is not water resistant and so will lose its insulation properties if it gets wet.
- Expanded Polystyrene
This is a very versatile insulation which is made of polystyrene balls fused together into sheets, blocks or poured into cavity walls. It has good insulation properties and lasts a long time. However, it can be difficult to control when in its loose state.
- Spray Polyurethane
Another very versatile insulation, Spray Polyurethane can be sprayed into walls, ceilings and attics. It also has the advantage of being water proof and strong enough to be used as flooring.
- Reflective Insulation
This is a thin sheet made from aluminium bonded with plastic. It is normally fitted with the reflective side facing outside. It has the effect of reflecting radiated heat from the outside to help keep the inside cool. It also has some insulating properties unlike Radiant Barriers which are made in a similar way, but is not insulating. For this reason, it is not considered one of the best types of insulation.
- Cotton Insulation
Strangely, this material uses amongst others, recycled blue jeans. It has the advantage of being a good sound proofing insulator. It is a non-toxic material that doesn’t need any protective equipment to use. It can be used in the same way as fibre glass insulation for installation. Because of its composition, it is treated with a non-toxic insect repellent as well.
- Mineral Wool
This product is made from 75% recycled material. It is made from the slag that comes off molten metal and man-made material which incorporates natural minerals. It is naturally fire resistant and has good insulation properties both in sound and heat. Mineral Wool is the most common type of insulation and one of the most environmentally friendly.
When it comes to insulation, the best types of insulation are the ones that keeps you warm the most, and saves you energy. But you have to also consider the long term properties of the insulation. Will it repel water? Does it need to act as soundproofing as well as insulation? All insulation material has fire resistant properties either added or naturally.