When building a new home or upgrading an existing one, insulation is an important consideration.

Why Is Insulation Important?

Insulation maintains the temperature inside your home by blocking heat flow. In cold weather, insulation prevents heat from escaping; in warm weather, it keeps heat out. This helps the furnace and air conditioner run more efficiently, reducing costs, environmental impact and wear and tear on your system.

What Is Insulation Made Of?

Common insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, foam and mineral wool.

Fiberglass

When homeowners need insulation in Pittsburgh fiberglass insulation is the most popular choice. It consists of very fine glass fibers and should be handled with care, as it can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Cellulose

Cellulose is loose insulation made of recycled paper that has been treated with flame retardant chemicals.

Foam

Foam is popular for rigid board insulation. It can also be sprayed to fill gaps and cracks.

Mineral wool

Mineral wool consists of finely spun fibers of rock or slag, a byproduct of metal production. It is naturally fire-resistant.

What Types of Insulation Are There?

Insulation comes in rolls or boards or as loose-fill.

Rolls

The most popular choice, rolls, also called blanket batt insulation, are affordable and easy to install.

Boards

Boards are usually made of foam. They are ideal for basement walls because they resist moisture.

Loose-Fill

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is a fluffy, shredded material that is sprayed into the space with a blower. It’s a popular choice for hard-to-reach places like attics and crawlspaces.

Can Homeowners Install Their Own Insulation?

A homeowner with basic skills may be able to install blanket batt or board insulation. Loose-fill insulation is more difficult because it requires special equipment, and the area must be sealed properly to protect it from moisture and mold. When in doubt, it’s best to hire a professional to avoid future complications.

With the right insulation, you can enjoy a more comfortable, energy-efficient home.

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