A few months ago I had lunch with a friend of mine who recently bought
an older historic home in southern Ohio. The subject of insulation and
heating costs came up and we engaged in a bit of a debate over what kind
of insulation to use. Now, I don’t believe either of us won, primarily
because I don’t think an ultimately right answer exists for the topic
we were debating. The topic you ask? “How big of a role does the
R-Value really play in insulation on an application specific basis?” My
friend had bought enough R-30 fiberglass insulation for his attic
despite my attempts to encourage him to use a variety of materials, foam
and fiberglass included. Now, don’t get me wrong, fiberglass can serve
as an appropriate and effective insulation in a number of
circumstances. Fiberglass is good for walls, and can conditionally be
good for your attic as well. However, I view fiberglass insulation as
similar to a nice fleece shirt or pullover. They can certainly keep you
warm, but once the wind starts blowing, you feel it. In calm
conditions, fiberglass can work very well to keep heat in designated
areas, but does not excel as well as foam in preventing air movement,
and that air movement can contribute to a considerable amount of heat
loss. So what is the point of all this so far? Simple: Don’t assume
that just because your insulation has a high R-Value, that you’re going
to get the most effective results. My suggestion: If you want to use
fiberglass in your attic, that’s fine. However, be sure to go in and
use a good sprayed polyurethane foam around the exterior wall cavities,
fascia and soffit. Anyplace that air may be able to infiltrate from the
exterior (but remember that some ventilation is required). Once that
is complete, then you can add in any fiberglass that you’d like.
Remember, an R-Value is a measure of resistance to heat, not necessarily
a resistance to air movement. So the next time you’re looking to
insulate part or all of your home, just be sure to think carefully about
what you want to do, and keep an open mind about the different methods
available to reach that result.
Read more at our Hickory Energy Blog


Views: 10

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Mark Richardson on November 11, 2010 at 4:13pm
Great comments - I particularly like the "Fleece or Pullover" analogy. I'll be borrowing that one if you don't mind!

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"Thanks Susan.  It is appreciated."
8 hours ago
Adin Maynard commented on Corbett Lunsford's video
Thumbnail

Beyond Blower Doors: Zonal Pressure Testing

"Great video. Your approach of simplifying the reading as X/50 = percent leaking to outside (with…"
9 hours ago
Chris Dorsi posted an event
Thumbnail

2015 Habitat X Summer National Conference at Big Sky Resort

July 21, 2015 to July 23, 2015
The 2015 Habitat X Summer National Conference will take place at Big Sky Resort, just down the road…See More
11 hours ago
Royce Gleason posted a status
"The passion to learn and gain more advanced energy efficiency techniques, news, videos and much more from home energy pros across the globe."
12 hours ago
Profile IconCristy Kraus, Will Tastad, Royce Gleason and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
14 hours ago
Susan Davison replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"Hal,   With the above questions, let me first state 'let the buyer beware'. All of…"
15 hours ago
Susan Davison replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"Within California, there are multiple PACE programs available to consumers and business…"
16 hours ago
Chris Dorsi added a discussion to the group International Home Performance Forum
Thumbnail

A Proposal for Expanded International Collaboration

This group was formed in conjunction with an article to be published in the May/June issue of Home…See More
16 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service