Whether it's new construction or improving the existing insulation on a completed home, there are a lot of different types of insulation materials from which to choose. Not all insulation is created equal though and not all insulation can be used on existing completed structures. Proper insulation will lower your monthly heating costs and cooling costs, but you must know how to shop for the right material.
The most commonly used insulation has been the traditional fiberglass batting that can be found in any brick and mortar home improvement store. Some home improvement stores even carry polyiso foam board insulation. Concrete insulation is not as common or as inexpensive as other types and is used while building new construction. SIPS or structural insulated panels are a relatively new and highly effective type of insulated wall, but is only used for new construction as well. Loose fill insulation is blown into wall cavities and is commonly found in attic spaces or walls. Each of these types of insulating materials will reduce costs. You need to check the "R" factor that is listed on the insulation to determine how efficient it is. The higher the R-Factor, the more efficient the material is and the lower your monthly air conditioning bill should be.
The last two types of insulation have become quite common and beneficial, especially for use in completed existing structures. Polyurethane spray foam insulation is commonly used in walls and ceilings, and are excellent for filling in irregular wall cavities. Radiant barriers and reflective foils are used quite frequently to drastically reduce heat transfer through attics, ceilings, and floors. Radiant barriers like Temper Shield help to regulate the temperature in the living quarters during the summer months and greatly reduce the loss of heat from the interior of the home during the winter months. This translates to more even temperatures and lower utility costs throughout the year.
Only fiberglass batting, spray foam, polyiso boards, and radiant barrier films are able to be considered do-it-yourself methods of insulation. However, it is only recommended for small areas should the homeowner decide to attempt the installation themselves. For larger areas or higher volume spaces, obtaining the services of a professional installer is highly recommended to ensure proper installation. This will guarantee maximum insulation benefits and maximum savings as well as a quick and frustration-free time for the homeowner.
Having a home energy audit performed is always a good method to identify where the worst and poorly insulated areas of a home are located. Once the results are learned, then the homeowner will be in a better position to determine the best type of insurance to have installed. Once that is done, the savings on fuel and electricity for heating and cooling a home will be realized over the expense of investing in the family's home and comfort.