Insulation regulates the heating and cooling inside the house. If you’re environmentally-conscious and want to reduce energy consumption, insulating your home is one of the first and most crucial steps. That’s right, new home insulation isn’t just about keeping your house cool or warm. It’s about making your home energy efficient. Here’s what you should ask the seller before buying the house.
6 insulation questions to concern yourself with when buying a new home
A well-insulated home can prove to be cost-effective. While most of the new homes are made per the national insulation codes, it’s your job to get educated.
1. What type of insulation is in the home?
There are five common types of new home insulation:
Probably the easiest to install, fiberglass is the most popular type of insulation. Also called glass wool, fiberglass is applied on pitched roofs, walls, and floors internally as it can lose its effectiveness when wet.
Fiberglass can be used on uneven surfaces and by anyone for new home insulation. Because it’s cheap and resistant to molds, it’s the most commonly found insulant in the country. That said, fiberglass can compress if it comes in contact with water, which can only be fixed by a complete replacement.
- Mineral wool
Due to its density, mineral wool or mineral fiber is generally used to soundproof walls and ceilings besides just new home insulation. It neither absorbs water nor gives in to extreme heat, making it a perfect insulant. Since mineral wool is quite flexible, you can contour it to fit your spaces. This ensures that you cover every corner of your home.
But it still isn’t the perfect insulant for new home insulation. Mineral fiber is toxic. If you happen to inhale slivers of the material, you can possibly develop severe conditions such as lung cancer and cell mutation.
An environment-friendly choice, cellulose is made from recycled paper and is used as loose-fill for new home insulation. It comes in dry and wet variants and is resistant to mold and vermin.
Unlike fiberglass and mineral wool, cellulose has fewer health risks. However, being a paper product, cellulose can quickly absorb moisture and rot.
Although it’s nearly 30% cheaper than its counterparts, you will have to pay more for installation as the dust released by the cellulose can cause breathing problems.
- Rigid foam
Unlike fiberglass, rigid foam is installed externally on the walls of your home to prevent seepage through the joints of the panels. But if not installed correctly, rigid foam can experience UV damage. Rigid foam can also be costly as it comes with additional costs, including that of a moisture barrier.
- Spray foam
Spray foam is probably the most reliable insulant for new home insulation today. It’s versatile and can be used to reach even the remotest corner of the home. Given its state, spray foam can be used to fill in gaps and cracks, instead of merely covering them.
Another reason why spray foam is being preferred today is that it can be quickly applied. In just 3 hours, you can complete an entire room. Besides, spray foam neither sags nor allow the growth of mold in your home. And just like mineral wool, spray foam can also be used for soundproofing your new home.
There are two kinds of spray foams – open cell polyurethane foam and closed cell polyurethane foam. While the open cell foam is light and expandable, the closed cell foam is dense and more resistant. In the case of new home insulation, open cell foam is recommended.
2.What areas of the home need to be insulated?
As a buyer, you must have complete knowledge about insulation when buying a new home. The key areas that require insulation are the walls, ceilings, roofs, attics, basements, dormers, and floors.
Since spray foam insulation can cost around $15,000 for a 2,500 sq.ft home, insulating the house yourself can significantly add to your expenses if not properly projected.
If you’re ready to DIY your new home insulation, this set ofspray foam supplies can help bring your costs down.
3.How much does this home’s current insulation add to my monthly electricity bills?
Speaking of expense, poor insulation will not be only harmful to the environment but also increase your monthly power bills by 50%. Depending on the size of your home and lifestyle, you can save anywhere between 20% to 40% simply by properly insulating your house.
4.Does the current insulation meet the building codes and national insulation standards?
The U.S. Department of Energy has set different thermal recommendation standards for different geographical locations. So, it’s crucial to check with your state and building’s insulation codes before you go ahead with the insulation process.
Having said that, spray foam insulation does pass the national insulation standards, so all there’s left to do is check your state’s R-Value requirements.
5.Will spray foam insulation prevent airflow?
The short answer’s yes, it will.
Spray foam insulation covers up all the awkward spaces and makes your home air-tight, which will prevent heat loss and make your house highly energy-efficient. It will also drastically reduce condensation.
Additionally, if you’re worried about your home becoming too tight, you can stop worrying about it right now. You can always customize your new home insulation process according to the spaces to promote better ventilation.
6. Is spray foam insulation better than normal insulation? What’s the difference in terms of money?
Absolutely, it is. Spray foam’s pros outweigh its single disadvantage – it’s more expensive than its counterparts.
That said, spray foam has high durability and performance. It can outlast all its counterparts. If anything, spray foam insulation is an investment in the long run.
You can also bring down your cost by choosing the right spray foam equipment. If you’re looking for something, we suggest youstart here.