Throughout time the development ofinsulation has occurred as a product of many interest as a concept and apractice that is sometimes not very well understood. For architecture,insulation has long remained abstract and undetermined. Insulation in buildingare used for thermal purposes, and material will be chosen for its ability toperform several techniques.
Insulation usually, revolves aroundthe heat flow following by radiation, convection, and conduction. Thesesystems, conduct in different ways. Conduction is the way the heat movesthrough the material, convection in the other hand is how the heat circulatesthrough liquid and gases. Which helps homes feel cooler. Radiant, travels instraight light and the heat absorbs its energy. Most of the materials work byslowing the conductive heat flow.
Despite the system of insulation, heat flowsfrom warmer to cooler until the temperature differs. Meaning that during thewinter the heat usually flows from living spaces to basements or the outdoors.Though here in Florida is a bit different. Up North, the heat flows from theoutdoor to the interior of the homes during cold weather. R-Values is a rated term andinsulating material that resist to conductive heat flow. Typically, the higherthe value the better the effects, depending on the thickness and density. Theeffectiveness of the insulation material also depends on how its installed. There are type of insulation.
To findthe best one for your house or building, you would have to know where toinstall it and what the R-Values you need. Sometimes it varies depending on theclimate and location. R-Values are typically the max thermal performance tokeep your house warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Some types of Insulation include thefollowing; Blanket, concrete block, foam board, Loose-full and blown-in,Reflective system, Rigid fiber, and SIPs (Structural insulated panels). Blanket: Batt and Roll insulationare made from fiberglass, mineral wool, plastic fibers and natural fibers likecotton and sheep wool.
Which are very available and are easily installed in ceiling,floors or even crawl spaces.Fiberglass is one of the most available material as of today. Most of them havehigher R-Values than other standard batts. One of the best advantages is thatyou can install it yourself, which inexpensive. It is also very suited forstandard studs and joist spacing. Its applied on unfinished walls, floors andceilings unlike Rigid Fiber Insulation.
They are usually sold in bundles orrolls, but when cut into 4ft or 8ft each piece is called a batt and then theinsulation is sold in rolls, they are called blanket. These insulations aresaid to be bad for basements, due to the fiberglass being air permeable and thedangerous of the warm moist air that can pass through the fiberglass, ascondensation can occur on the cold surface. The mineral wool insulation, in theother hand, is made from molten slag, a steel product or natural rock. It has ahigher density than fiberglass and its more fire resistant than the fiberglass.
Though it is not really used as much like fiberglass. Concrete Block Insulation are also used onunfinished walls, new renovation or construction and concrete wall blocks.Unlike the Batts and Rolls insulation, Concrete block are harder to still and arequired professional to do it. Is the most effective to install over thesurface of the block on the exterior or the inside of thewall foundation.
Placing the insulationin the outside gives the advantage to have a neutral thermal mass of the block,giving the interior a greater temperature. They are usually stacked withoutmortar and with a bonded surface. Is incorporated with foam insulation. Manymanufacture make the concrete blocks accommodating the foam inserts. Some arealso made with coat polystyrene bead and put a thin film of concrete. Theeasiest way to make them is by mixing Portland cement, sand and chemicaladditives.
Concrete blocks are typically with perlite pellets. This blockinsulating system have 10 times the insulating value of conventional concreteunlike the other. Foam Board are made of Polystyrene,polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane – same as concrete blocks. They can be usedto insulate mostly any part of the house. The R-Value of the rigid foam or Foamboard are very effective and much higher than any other insulation systems.
Theyprovide better thermal resistant and minimizes the heat conduction through thestructural elements. ICFs – Insulating Concrete Forms, are pouredconcrete walls which typically creates wall with higher thermal resistance andthe R-Values are approximately R-20. They consist foams connected, andinsulation blocks, and fasten using plastic ties. To make the foam board muchstronger; rebar is added before the concrete is mixed, it also strengthens thewalls. Loose-Filled insulation in the other hand, also called Blow-Ininsulation, are made from small particles of fiber, foam and other kind ofmaterials. Compare to the Batt, Blow-In insulationprovides better performance. Is made from cellulose,fiberglass and mineral rock wool. Cellulose can be installed by drilling holesin the wall sheathing, plaster or drywalls, better for a good installer to dothe job.
For a lot of green builders, cellulose insulation is the first choicecompare to others, for top-grade walls and ceilings. It is ECO friendly andvery cheap. It is more resistant than fiberglass, and blows into finished areasand irregular shaped areas, sometimes it better to poured in. The R-values ofthe fiberglass depends on the density, but of course the higher the value thebetter. Unlike the usual insulation systems, RadiantBarriers and Reflective insulation systems, reflects radiant heat far away fromthe living space. As mentioned before the heat travels from warm to cold areasby combining conduction, convection and radiation. They are more effective inwarm climate, and can lower the cost of A/C, when used in sunny climate.
However, during cold weather it is more expensive to install thermalinsulation. Most of the material woks by slowing the conductive heat flow. Itconsists of aluminum foil, some of the products are fiber-reinforced which isgreat for durability.
To installed Radiant barrier, is best to use aprofessional or certified installer. In new homes, rolled foil radiant barriersare faced down between the roof rafter to minimize the dust on the double facedradiant. It is suitable for framing at a standard spacing and at preventingdownward heat flow. Sprayed foam, is also made fromPolyisocyanurate, polyurethane, cement and phenolic. Usually for enclosed wallsthat exist already, open new walls, and unfinished attic floors. Usuallysprayed, so it’s very easy to install if you carefully know how to.
It’s greatfor adding insulation to existing finished area and around barriers This insulationhowever, are not used as much due to the chlorofluorocarbons that can affectthe environment. There are two types of sprayed foams, the open cell is lessdense than the closed cell which are filled with gas that helps expand thefoams and fill the spaces perfectly. They also are expensive compare to thebatt insulation. But also has a great resistance to fire and air intrusion. Structural Insulating Panels or SIPS, are madefrom foam board or straw core.
It’s also great for unfinished walls, ceiling,floor and roof of new construction or renovations. They provide superiorinsulation compared to the tradition construction methods. Giving energy savingwhen installed property. They also have high R-Values and high strength toweight rations. Though have in mind that the quality of this insulation is veryimportant if you wish for it to last long and have a great performance.
Wheninstalled, it’s better to use a certified installer as well, they should meetall building codes requirements and pass the ASTM standard of Safety. SIPs arevery important insulation compare to all the previous mention above andrequired a lot of attention. Fire Safety is also a concern, when is coveredwith a fire rated material such as gypsum board, it protects the peoplein the building to scape in case of a fire. Also, have in mind that insectsalso get in between the SIPs. All these types of insulation are great for homes;especially for cool climate areas, ceilings, attics, and especiallyfloors. It can be used basically for anypurpose, though mostly used for thermal purposes. When we say insulation, wethink of all new ideas to make it ECO friendly and GREEN.
Having a greatinsulation is like having an energy efficient house. Some of the ecofriendlyinsulation, include recycled denim, wool, icynene and nanogel. So, whenthinking of putting insulation on your home, we must think on how to make it asECO friendly and GREEN as possible.