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Building Efficiency: Insulation0

I know next to nothing about insulation. Except that our old house doesn’t have enough of it.

But I work with a colleague who recently taught me a little bit about the different kinds of insulation and, most importantly, what a difference proper installation of insulation can make. He used phrases like “nice face stapling”, “low density” and “band joist”. A new vocabulary for me that rolled off his tongue as easy as pie.

It turns out there are a few different types of insulation used by building efficiency experts. The least expensive and most commonly known is pink fiberglass batt insulation. It’s used to fill wall cavities and in attics. It’s really important to make sure there are no exposed gaps when putting in the batts. And not to compress it into an area since this degrades the insulation value.

Then there’s fiber insulation that’s blown into spaces in attics and walls. Again, proper installation is critical for maximum effectiveness. 

You can see the difference in how these three examples in the photo.  The best installation is on the left hand side where the fiber insulation is tight and uniform. The fiber insulation in the center is loosely installed and full of gaps and holes. The fiberglass batt on the right is crunched and compressed. These might look like small differences but have big implications on building efficiency.

What’s the story on your insulation? 

text and photos by Ann D. Travers

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