Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire a professional to install insulation?

If you're a home builder, you can build faster for less. An insulation professional will save you time on the front end and back end of a job. Experienced installers can insulate your homes faster than framers or general contractors, so you can keep your craftsmen focused on what they do best. Plus, you can be sure the job will be done the right the first time, eliminating callbacks. A professional contractor's expertise can help you in other ways too. A pro has access to extensive information about codes OSHA requirements and the most effective application techniques. They're not only familiar with how to insulate a variety of framing and construction techniques but how to provide proper ventilation around attic insulation to prevent structural damage.

If you are a home owner, hiring a professional installer makes sense. Properly insulating your home really pays-not only by reducing your utility bills but by also adding comfort and value to your home. A professional installer will save you time and money you wouldn't otherwise installing yourself. They have the specialized products and technical expertise to insulate your home quickly, making sure your home delivers the greatest comfort and highest energy savings possible. For example, a professional installer will know your proper installed R-value as well as have the latest information on building codes.

Why should I insulate my home?

Insulation increases the overall comfort of a home and adds to its resale value. It keeps a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter because it resists the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy and always seeks a cooler area. It flows out of the home in the winter and into the home in the summer. By reducing heat flow, a properly insulated home uses less energy for heating and cooling. When installed in walls, floors or ceilings, fiber glass insulation also acts as a sound absorber to reduce the transmission of sound from one room to another or from the outside.

How much insulation do I need?

The amount of insulation you need depends on where you live.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established thermal (or R-value) recommendations for homes based on geographic zones. Or, check with your utility company or state energy office.

Where should I insulate?

Typical areas to insulate are attics and outside walls. However, you should also install insulation in areas including basement walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings, floors over unheated garages or porches, knee walls, and in between interior walls, ceilings or floors for extra sound control.

If I add more insulation, do I need to remove what's already there?

There is no need to remove what you already have since R-values are cumulative. For example, if you layer two different batts of R-19 together, you get the combined R-value of both batts (R-38). You might want to consider using unfaced R-19, R-25 or R-30 fiber glass batts and laying them cross-wise to the existing insulation covering the joists.

Are there incentives currently available for installing insulation?

Financial incentives are offered in many states for the purchase and installation of insulation. Find out about ones available in New Mexico or go to naima residential tax incentives and rebates for your state.

What is the difference between fiber glass and cellulose insulation?

Fiber glass is made mostly of inorganic materials and, therefore, is naturally non-combustible; it is installed dry and does not absorb or retain moisture; and it has nearly no settling (less than 1%) which means the R-value is stable over time. In fact, it takes three times more cellulose material by weight than fiber glass to insulate a typical home. Cellulose, on the other hand, is made up of newspaper which is organic and naturally flammable (approximately 20% of the finished cellulose product is comprised of fire retardant chemicals); it is often installed damp and needs to fully dry after installation; and it can settle as much as 20% or shrink causing the R-value to deteriorate over time. Additionally, there has been very limited testing on the health and safety impacts of the chemical treatments and potential emissions from cellulose.

What types of fiber glass insulation are available?

Fiber glass insulation is available in two types: loose fill (blown in) and blanket. Loose fill insulation comes in bags. Blanket insulation comes in batts and rolls in various R-values, widths and lengths.

Does fiber glass insulation contain any recycled materials?

Fiber glass insulation typically contains 20-40% recycled glass, depending upon the manufacturing facility and product type.

What is the difference between a thermal batt and an acoustic batt?

Thermal batts are manufactured to a specific R-value and acoustic batts are manufactured to a specific thickness. Thermal products can be used in sound control applications, and sound control products can be used for thermal applications if they are labeled with a specific R-value.

Can a home be sealed too tightly?

A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a home. An energy specialist can perform an air leakage test with a "blower door" if you are concerned. If your home is too tight, fresh air ventilation can be added.