Making sure that your home is properly insulated is very important, especially if you live in a place that experiences extreme weather conditions or year-round weather changes. It is key to ensuring a comfortable living environment for you and your family. Insulation also ensures energy efficiency throughout your house, which adds up to cost savings in the long run in terms of less frequent operation of your heating or cooling appliances.
There are many ways of insulating a house, the most easy of which is to install fiberglass insulation batts or rolls. These are the most common types of insulation solutions readily available in hardware stores or home improvement shops. The material is made of molten glass spun into fine fibers. Most of the glass used in the process is recycled, making it an eco-friendly option with a lower overall environmental footprint. Fiberglass is also non-flammable and made of non-organic material. This means it is resistant not only to fire but also to mold and mildew growth, which may present as a health hazard in homes that are frequently exposed to high-humidity or high-moisture conditions.
Another great news is that insulation batts are relatively easy to use and install—you may not need to employ the services of a professional contractor or builder at all. With just the right preparation and planning, you can easily apply insulation batts to replace or to enhance the existing insulation in your home. Here are a few helpful tips on properly installing fiberglass insulation batts on your walls:
Choose the Right Insulation Rating
Experts recommend a commensurate R-value of insulation material to use depending on the area of your house and the climate zone in which your town or city is located. R-value is an insulation rating that tells how well an insulation material can resist the conductive flow of heat, such as between your house and the outside environment. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation performance.
For most 2×4 walls in the house, R15 insulation products are recommended and would suffice to provide ample insulation. Larger 2×6 walls would necessitate slightly higher values of R19 to R21, while other surfaces or areas of the home such as floors, crawl spaces and the attic would require even more.
Use the Right Tools
The great thing is that you do not need any kind of fancy or professional equipment to install insulation batts or rolls on your walls. You would just need cutting implements such as a utility knife, a putty knife and a straight edge knife. A tape measure is also needed to accurately measure the walls and spaces. Finally, you can easily install fiberglass insulation batt on your wall with the help of a staple gun.
Make Sure You Are Protected
Working with fiberglass may be a health hazard. It may cause irritation to your skin and eyes, or cause certain respiratory conditions. If you will be installing a lot of fiberglass material or covering a large area, it would be best to don personal protective equipment such as a disposable overall suit or to wear long-sleeve clothing. Don’t forget to wear goggles, gloves, and a respirator mask that filters particulates.
Measure and Cut Accurately
Key to proper insulation is applying the exact size of insulation batt on your walls. Experts recommend measuring the area and adding an allowance of around a quarter of an inch all around to ensure a nice fit once the material is applied. When cutting up an insulation batt, lay it on a protective surface such as discarded plywood so you do not scratch your floor or other finished surfaces. You can also employ the help of a scrap piece of board to act like a ruler to make sure that you cut straight.
Do Not Compress Insulation
Stuffing or compressing insulation material affects its performance and lowers its R-value. This can also create air pockets that will not be well-insulated. Thus, do not force or fold the insulation batt material into narrow gaps or spaces between walls. Also be careful also not to tuck or squeeze it under electrical boxes, wires, or pipes. Rather, trace and cut out the necessary holes or shapes on the batt to properly fit around electrical boxes on the walls. You can also split the batt across its thickness and sandwich any wires or pipes in between.
Seal Off Gaps, Holes, and Crevices
These spaces can compromise the insulation system of your home by allowing air to come in or escape. You can easily remedy this by using spray foam insulation. This kind of material expands upon application, thereby easily penetrating hard-to-reach and even miniscule spaces caused by jambs, ducts and pipes. It helps create a more airtight seal around these areas when it hardens after application.
Insulating your home need not be a costly undertaking. All you need is a bit of elbow grease, lots of patience and keen attention to detail. You will find it a gratifying experience to be able to create a healthier and more comfortable home environment without much expense by simply using tried and tested materials such as fiberglass insulation batt.