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Insulation for New Construction

In the process of building a new building, one of the biggest factors that go under the radar is the type of insulation that will be used during the construction process. Insulation is something that many think about after the fact; meaning, that it is thought about after paying high heating bills. Insulation can help control the temperature inside a building by putting a stop the movement of air that occurs between your drywall and the outside walls.

When there is a movement of air between your walls, it can be difficult to maintain a steady temperature inside your building. Some buildings take longer to cool or to heat whenever there is poor insulation. Buildings that are built considering insulation as part of the construction procedure will find that they are better equipped to handle hot summers and cold winters without having to pay high electrical bills. During the summer, a building with poor insulation allows the movement of hot air through walls so no matter how much cold air you pump into your house after you turn off your air conditioner you will find your house slowly becoming warm again. Likewise, during the winter no matter how much hot air you pump into your house, if the insulation is poor, you will find that after the heater is turned off the house will quickly become cold. A house with proper insulation has the capacity to keep the temperature inside the building at a constant by preventing outside temperatures from seeping through the walls.

One of the biggest benefits of insulation is that it helps reduce the amount of electricity your building or home consumes during the seasons. This means that not only will you save money, but you will reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. According to the United States Department of Energy, a well-insulated home (a home with minimal air movement) can help reduce about thirty percent or more on heating and cooling expenses. For these reasons, insulation should be one of the factors that should be highly considered while constructing a new building or a new home. Those who are considering constructing a new home or building may want to learn about the different types of insulations and of other techniques used to reduce the movement of outside temperatures to ensure the energy efficiency of their building.

If you are located in Southern California, we encourage you to speak to an insulation expert before, during or after the construction of a new building. An insulation expert will be able to guide you through the different types of insulation materials available for your project and will answer all your questions regarding energy efficiency. As insulation is more than just pink fiberglass, we are ready to guide you through different insulation materials and procedures. If you wish to speak with a local insulation expert, you may contact the Pure Eco Inc. at 877-778-2551. Upon receiving your request, we will send an expert to your location to discuss the topic in more detail.

The following will discuss in more detail the different types of insulation, the R-value that you are looking for, and the insulation procedure. However, to learn more about your specific goals, you may want to personally discuss with an insulation expert.

When considering insulation for your new home, there are a variety of insulation materials that you may consider. Each type of insulation has a different type of R-value. R-value will be discussed in the next section.

Insulating R-Value

Before diving into the different types of insulating methods and types of insulating materials, you may want to learn a bit more about R-value. To keep it simple, the R-value is an indicator of a material's ability to resist heat flow. In other words, a materials thermal resistance is its R-value. The greater the R-value the greater insulating ability of a material. The R-value of a material depends on the age of the material and the moisture present. Furthermore, the R-value is affected by the thickness, density, and type of insulating material. However, you will find that even thin insulating materials hold a higher R-value than others that are much thicker.

When installing insulation, materials with different R-value can be used to insulate different parts of the building. Additionally, insulating materials can be combined to effectively combat the transfer of heat. As the R-value is affected by temperature, you will find that there are different types of products and procedures used to insulate your roof, walls, and basement. As the roof receives the greatest amount of heat, the roof can usually be reinforced with reflective sheets to help reduce the amount of heat that is transferred to other parts of your home.

The following will discuss the different types of insulating materials and insulation installation procedures.

Batt and Roll Insulation

Batt and roll fiberglass insulation is the most common type of insulation in buildings. The reason for the name is that it comes in literal batts and rolls. You may have seen batt and roll fiberglass if you have seen the “Pink Panther” rolls in the market. Batt and roll insulation may be composed of materials such as plastic fiberglass or organic fibers like cotton or wool. Furthermore, batt and roll insulation can be cut and trimmed to fit the specific spacing of your building. However, most batt and roll insulation come in sizes that fit the standard spacing between wall studs.

One attribute of this type of insulation is that it can be purchased with a fire-resistant face. This type of fire-resistant insulation can be placed around your home or in specific areas like your kitchen. Additionally, batt and roll insulation come in varying degrees of R-Value. The R-value ranges from 11 (costing about 12 cents per square foot) to 38 (costing around 60 cents per square foot). The type of R-value you want for your home will highly depend on the climate in your region and the type of materials used in the construction of the new building. 

Concrete Block Insulation

Concrete blocks can be filled with foam to increase the insulation in your building.  Foundation concrete blocks are not always filled with steel or concrete for construction reasons. However, these spaces can be filled to prevent the movement of air that naturally occurs between concrete blocks. The type of fillings can include concrete based insulation, foam, wood chips, or ash. Each material has a different type of R-value and a different price tag. When it comes to concrete blocks, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and autoclaved cellular concrete (ACC) units have much more insulating capabilities than blocks filled with traditional concrete. If you want to ensure that all your walls are insulated when building with concrete blocks, you may want to talk to a specialized cement mason about the ways to insulate the spaces between each concrete block.

Foam Board – Rigid Foam

Foam board and rigid foam can be used to insulate any part of your home; however, they are commonly used to insulate attics, roofs, and basement walls. Foam board and rigid foam are usually made from plastics like polystyrene, polyiso, and polyurethane. This type of insulation is effective in providing excellent resistance to air temperatures sneaking in through the roof or basement of a home or building. Additionally, this foam helps prevent the transfer of heat between heat conducting materials like steel and wood. This means it can be placed on pipes and tanks that generate heat.

Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)

When a building or home is built with insulating concrete forms (ICF), the outcome is a well-insulated fortified building that reduces the amount of noise from the outside. ICFs are blocks of hollow foam that are placed on top of each other and strengthened by steel rebar and concrete filling. Some of the benefits of building with ICF includes the following:

  • The building is fortified with concrete and steel rebar which means your home will be resistant to strong winds caused by hurricanes and can even withstand the force of an earthquake
  • Significantly quieter than buildings that are built with traditional materials such as wood frames.
  • Can save you up to 70 percent on energy consumption used by a cooling or heating system. Additionally, since the building does not require the use of wood, it can save up to ten trees per unit built.
  • The best part is that the outcome is a building that looks just like any other: it can be finished with traditional brick or stucco.

If you want to experience the most comfort and energy efficiency you will want to consider building with insulating concrete forms. The resulting building is one that will outperform every building in your block and what’s best is that it is made without the use

of wood. The owner of a building built with ICF will sleep comfortably knowing that they have significantly reduced their carbon footprint.

Loose Fill Insulation 

Loose fill insulation is unlike traditional batt and roll insulation, it does not hold any specific shape. Loose fill is an insulating material that comes ‘loose’ in a bag and is usually made of fiberglass or wool. This type of insulation can be used to fill openings in walls or to fill hard to reach places. Loose fill is usually used to fill attic floors or spaces between walls where batt and roll cannot be used.

Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriers are made of reflective materials like aluminum which consist of a low-e surface and are used to reduce the amount of heat transfer from the roof. Low-e material helps reflect infrared energy so to prevent the heat waves from reaching other parts of the building. Furthermore, radiant barriers can be used all around the building or in specific regions where the building is hit by sunlight the most. Radiant barriers have the capacity to reflect up to 90 percent of infrared energy which means they can help cool homes during hot summers. To learn more about radiant barriers you may want to discuss your interest with an insulation expert. Radiant barriers can be paired with other insulating materials to produce a building that is highly resistant to hot temperatures.

Liquid Foam

Liquid foam more commonly known as sprayed foam can be sprayed or poured into different areas of your home. Sprayed foam can be used instead of the traditional batt and roll insulation to fill gaps between studs or can be used to fill small openings between pipes and windows. Sprayed foam can create an air resistance that is greater than traditional batt and roll, however, it is more commonly used to fill small openings in a building.

Find an Insulation Installer Near You

If you are building your home or constructing a building in California, you will surely want to consider insulation as part of the building procedure. California is a vast region that experiences different types of climates and temperatures throughout each county. For instance, the Los Angeles area experiences more heat than cities like San Francisco. To determine the appropriate insulating material for the building project, you will want to consider the location and the type of climate that affects the region year-round.

To learn more about insulation and about the insulation installation procedures, you may want to speak with an insulation specialist. As mentioned above, different types of insulation can be used for different parts of your home. Typically insulating materials with a greater R-value can be used to insulate the roof or walls that receive the most amount of sunlight. A home that is built to tackle different heat waves from all angles will experience the best energy efficiency. What’s more, a home or building that is built with proper insulation will help reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy consumed by your heating or cooling systems.

To learn more about insulation and the type of materials that you should use for your home, you may contact our insulation team at 877-778-2551. We are ready to meet with you at your construction site and help you learn more about energy efficiency through the power of insulation.

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