Today, there are lots of cheap and common insulation materials available, and many of these have been around for quite some time. Each of the insulations have their own pros and cons. As a result, when deciding which insulation material is best for you, be sure to know what material would work best in your situation, and here are 5 of the most common insulation materials, in no specific order:
Fiberglass is the most common type of insulation used today, mostly because of how it’s made. Fiberglass effectively weaves fine strands of glass into a type of insulation material that is able to minimize heat transfer. The main downside of fiberglass, however, is the dangers of handling it. Since fiberglass is made of finely woven silicon, glass powder and tiny shards of glass are formed. These can cause damage to the eyes, lungs and skin if proper safety equipment isn’t worn. When properly equipped, however, fiberglass installation can be performed without incident.
If you’re seeking low-cost insulation, then fiberglass is the way to go, though installing it requires care and safety precautions. Be sure to use eye protection, masks, and gloves when handling this product.
Mineral wool actually refers to several different types of insulation. First, it may refer to glass wool which is fiberglass manufactured from recycled glass. Second, it may refer to rock wool which is a type of insulation made from basalt. Finally, it may refer to slag wool which is produced from the slag from steel mills. The majority of mineral wool in the United States is actually slag wool.
Mineral wool can be purchased in batts or as a loose material. Most mineral wool does not have additives to make it fire resistant, making it poor for use in situations where extreme heat is present. However, it is not combustible. When used in conjunction with other, more fire resistant forms of insulation, mineral wool can definitely be an effective way of insulating large areas.
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Cellulose insulation is perhaps one of the most eco-friendly forms of insulation. Cellulose is made from recycled cardboard, paper, and other similar materials and comes in loose form.
Some recent studies on cellulose have shown that it might be an excellent product for use in minimizing fire damage. Because of the compactness of the material, cellulose contains next to no oxygen within it. Without oxygen within the material, this helps to minimize the amount of damage that a fire can cause.
Not only is cellulose perhaps one of the most eco-friendly forms of insulation, but it is also one of the most fire resistant forms of insulation. However, there are certain downsides to this material as well, such as the allergies that some people may have to newspaper dust. Also, finding individuals skilled in using this type of insulation is relatively hard compared to, say, fiberglass. Still, cellulose is a cheap and effective means of insulating.
While not the most abundant of insulations, polyurethane foams are an excellent form of insulation. Nowadays, polyurethane foams use non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas for use as a blowing agent. This helps to decrease the amount of damage to the ozone layer. Another advantage of this type of insulation is that it is fire resistant.
Polystyrene is a waterproof thermoplastic foam which is an excellent sound and temperature insulation material. Polystyrene insulation has a uniquely smooth surface which no other type of insulation possesses.
Other insulation materials not mentioned are natural fibers such as hemp, sheep’s wool, cotton, and straw.
There are many forms of insulation available, each with their own set of properties. Only by researching each kind thoroughly can you discover which will be the right kind for your particular needs.
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When in doubt, we at Climate Partners would be happy to assist you! We’re dedicated to giving you the most comfort for the best price. If you’re in New Haven and Fairfield Counties, CT, or in the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to call 203-457-8581 or visit our contact page. We serve the following cities, and many more: Bethel, Cos Cob, Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, Beacon Falls, Branford, Middlebury and North Haven.
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