How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?
Written by Barrier Insulation

How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?

The cost to insulate a house depends on how much you plan to insulate.  For example the cost to insulate an attic ranges between about $300 and $2,000.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as each house varies in size, condition, and whether there is already insulation.

The cost will depend on if it’s a new home your building or if an older home will need insulation removal before installation of new insulation.

Read below to get an idea of how much it may cost to insulate your house by insulation type.  Prices will vary depending on the brand and type of each insulation along with how much of the home needs to be insulated.


How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?

There are four main categories of insulation.  Each have their pros and cons and will have a different cost for the insulation materials and labor to install them.  The four main categories of insulation are;  fiberglass batt insulation, spray foam insulation, blown-in insulation, and radiant barrier insulation.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation Cost

The average insulation project usually involves about 500 square feet of insulation.  Cost for 500 feet range between $145 and $200.  For installation labor, fasteners, cutters, and tape it can run from about $170 to $420 dollars.

Fiberglass rolled insulation or batt insulation is one of the least expensive ways to insulate homes in the United States.  This is especially true if the wall or attic is open in new construction or during a remodel.  The cost of this insulation depends on the brand, type, if the insulation is boxed or comes in rolls, and the area that needs to be covered.

Batt insulation can be effective but only if it is installed carefully.  Any tears in the backing or gaps will throw away the value of the insulation.  Each roll will display an “R-value” which is a measurement of how well the insulation performs.  As high as that number is if the insulation isn’t installed correctly it will not be effective.

Spray Foam Insulation Cost

To calculate the cost of spray foam insulation you take the square feet x depth.  This gives you the “board feet” needed to complete your insulation project with spray foam. Then you can multiply that number against the cost per board foot for two options for spray foam insulation.  There are two options for spray foam, open and closed cell.

  • The cost of open cell spray foam is about $0.35 to $0.55 per board foot
  • The cost of closed cell spray foam is about $1.00 to $2.00 per board foot.

So if you have a 500 square foot area needing spray foam at 6 inches deep you’d need 3,000 board feet.  You can take that 3,000 board feet needed and multiply that against the price per board foot.  For 3,000 board feet of spray foam in a 500 square foot area at $0.35 the cost for materials would be about $1,050.  Rates for installation vary by company, for specific information about your home please get in touch with your local insulation contractor.

Spray foam insulation is popular for a number of reasons.  Firstly it has great thermal performance.  Secondly it seals up air gaps and leaks to keep your home more comfortable. This means that it solves two problems when installed and helps reduce energy bills.

Blown-In Insulation Cost

Blown-in insulation is popular due to how inexpensive the material is.  For a 1,500 square foot area you might only pay about $500 dollar for materials. This makes it an attractive option for DIY homeowners, however there is a learning curve to installing it correctly.  Trained professionals will help ensure your insulation is installed correctly and is the right investment for your home.  Rates vary from company to company and for the area you need insulation installed.  Contact your local insulation contractor to get specific information about what their labor rates will run for your home.

Radiant Barrier Insulation Costs

The cost to install radiant barrier insulation depends on it is boxed, rolled, brand, and type.  With that said costs for radiant barrier range between $0.15 and $0.30 per square foot. That means that for a 550 square foot attic you’d be looking at spending between $83 to $165.  Double sided radiant barrier is a bit more costly but more effective.  Professional installation of radiant barrier costs between $500 to $750.  So plan accordingly when budgeting for your insulation project.

Insulation Return On Investment

Whenever we spend money on our lives, homes, and hobbies these days we are concerned with the return on investment.  Investing in quality insulation which is installed correctly is a great way to get bang for your buck.  Quality insulation makes your home more energy efficient and improves the value of the home.  In addition, insulation just keeps your home more comfortable and reduces strain on your HVAC system.  This leads to reduced energy costs which add up to big savings!  So it does cost to install insulation, but the savings more than pay for your investment and keep saving you money on utility costs.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Contractors

If you’re searching for insulation contractors in the Phoenix Valley, we can help!  As one of the leading insulation installers we offer whichever type of insulation you prefer that fits your home and your budget best.  For more information about how much it would cost to get your home insulated please give us a call to discuss the size of your home, which areas you’d like to insulate, and what type of insulation will work best.

Call Today for more information at 602-499-2922

Benefits of Garage Door Insulation-1
Written by Barrier Insulation

Benefits of Garage Door Insulation

Garage door insulation helps keeps cold and heat out of your garage and helps maintain comfort inside the home.  This saves energy on heating and cooling which lowers your utility bills.


Whether you work in your garage during the heat or cold keeping your garage a comfortable temperature saves energy.

The wall between the garage and the home isn’t always a perfectly insulated barrier. That means during the summer and winter the heat and cold in the garage can affect how much energy it takes to stay comfortable inside your home.

Garage door insulation, attic fans, and insulation for your garage walls and under the roof will help!


Insulating A Garage Door

Whenever you combine the benefits of insulated garage doors with an organized garage, you will have endless possibilities.

Insulated garage doors are no longer considered to be a vital thing in cold climates. They offer a lot of great benefits for all homes. Below are a few:

  • Creates a stronger garage door
  • More energy efficiency if the garage is attached
  • Climate control in the garage
  • Less noise in your attached home

In older days, insulated garage doors were hardly seen. Wooden garage doors were the norm and steel garage doors were a single layered, cheap alternative for those who couldn’t get wooden ones. Things have really changed.

Click to read: How to keep a garage cool

Insulated Garage Doors and Climate Control

If you often spend most of your time in the garage than what it takes to leave your car and go inside, then an insulated door needs to be on your shopping list. Modern garages often tend to serve as not only a parking space, but a craft room, rec room, workshop, and a showplace for your cars and much more.

Based on the time of year and your climate, you may want to heat or cool your garage to make it more comfortable. Your garage is one of the biggest rooms of your home, so why not maximize the use.

If you cool or heat your garage, then you need an insulated garage door to minimize heat transmission through the door and keep your costs for cooling and heating lower. Whenever you combine the benefits of insulated garage doors with an organized garage, you will have endless possibilities.

Energy Efficiency of an Insulated Garage Door

Insulated doors have a lot of benefits for attached garages. The insulation in the home reduces transmission of heat into your garage, and the insulation within the garage door limits that transmission even more. If your garage door isn’t insulated, then that is a barrier that keeps your cool or warm air in, and one less barrier to get money from your wallet.

Even if the garage door is insulated, if there aren’t proper door seals in place, then you may be costing yourself money. The most common seals are the threshold, bottom, and weather stripping. These insulating devices are inexpensive and simple and can provide comfort and save your money.

Less Noise in your home

If you have an attached garage and a living space above or next to the garage, then insulated garage doors will offer noise buffering. Just like insulation keeps in the cold out and the heat in, insulation also keeps the noise out as well. If you live next to a noisy neighborhood, then you should consider an insulated door.

Stronger garage doors

Your garage door strength will depend on the rigidity and strength of your construction material and how it was constructed. For instance, a single layer steel door isn’t as strong as an insulated door with triple or double layer construction.

The double layered garage door is normally made of galvanized steel with polyurethane or polystyrene insulation on the inside. Even though it is called a double layer, it actually contains a third layer of plastic or vinyl on the inside for cleaning ease and looks.

The triple layered garage door will sandwich insulation between 2 layers of wood or steel. The outer layer can be created to match your home, and the inside is smooth. The higher R-value and highest soundproofing come with this strong garage door option and it is the ultimate insulated garage door.

What is the best insulated door?

When it comes down to the door, it depends on your taste and your needs. If you are wanting the benefits of economy, energy efficiency, low maintenance, and design, then you need a steel door. Steel doors have endless design options and are great for insulating.

If youare looking for a traditional option, then wooden doors can be custom designed to fit your style. Even though by wood it is better insulated and has better soundproofing than steel. Multilayered wood construction provides decent insulation by sandwiching polystyrene insulation between 2 different layers of wood.

If you are wanting a raised panel door or something besides smooth designs, then insulation may still be maintained between wood with added wooden elements added to the outer skin of the door.

What is the best insulation?

There are 2 types of insulation: polyurethane and polystyrene. Polyurethane is an injected foam type of insulation that bonds to the garage door. It is similar to the cheese in grilled cheese. It is in there, but it is bonded to the outer layers. Polystyrene is a rigid block that is placed in between the layers of your garage door. It is similar to the meat on your hamburger, it is in there but it isn’t attached to anything.

Polystyrene is less expensive but polyurethane is a better insulator as it has twice the R-value. It also makes your door much stronger. When you use a polyurethane foam with wood or steel, it will chemically bond to the door and creates a more rigid and stronger structure.

How important is the R-value?

The higher that your R-value is, the higher the resistance for heat flow. R-values when it comes to insulated doors will normally run between 5 – 10, with some being as high as R-17. Whenever people think of R-values, they think of keeping heat out of or in their home, depending on the season and what their climate is like.  You need to consider your lifestyle such as how you will use the garage, climate, where its located etc. for your R-value to be picked.

If you plan to control the climate in your garage with an air conditioner or heater, the insulated garage door that have higher R-values will be vital. This will be the case if your plan to use the garage as a rec room, craft room, or workshop. The higher that the R-value is, the lower the cost will be to cool and heat the garage. Remember thatyour garage door is the largest opening in your home, it is simple yet often overlooked.

If you happen to live in a very cold or very hot climate, your garage may be attached to your home and higher R-values will contribute to the efficiency of your area, but to your home as well.

Your higher R-values will also contribute to quieter garages and a quieter home. This is great if your garage is attached to your home or if you happen to have bedrooms above the garage.

Radiant Barrier Garage Door

Radiant barrier garage door insulation works to reflect the energy of the sun the same way it does in attics.  In many cases garage doors don’t have room for thick sheets of foam board insulation and radiant barrier garage door insulation is a better fit.  It can reflect up to 95% of the radiant heat that’s trying to get into your garage.  This is especially effective if your garage door faces south or west.  The more direct sunlight your garage door gets per day, the more effective radiant barrier garage door insulation is.

Installing the radiant barrier garage door insulation consists on settling on a product, cutting the sections to fit, cleaning the inside of the door, and applying the radiant barrier.  For longer durability some homeowners choose to add aluminum tape to increase the lifespan of their radiant barrier insulation.

Insulated garage doors are for all climates

Depending on where you live and how you use your garage, you need to consider an insulated door. One last thing that you should think about is how well the door will be sealed.

If you happen to have a new door with a high R-value, but there is a gap under the door, then you are losing a lot of the benefit of the insulation. Ensure that your garage weather stripping is attached and in good shape and ensure that the gaps between your garage door panels are sealed completely when the door is closed.

Phoenix Valley Garage Door Insulation

If you want to keep your home cooler and get more use out of your garage insulation is the key.  Insulating your garage ceiling, walls, and garage door will make it so you can use your garage during the heat of summer and cold of winter.  It also makes it so your home stays more comfortable as heat isn’t infiltrating through the garage walls into the living areas.  If you are interested in having garage door insulation in Phoenix contact the insulation experts at Barrier Insulation.

Call Today – 602-499-2922

How To Install Spray Foam Insulation
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Install Spray Foam Insulation

To Install spray foam insulation you’ll need to select which type you want, cover windows and doors with plastic, wear protective gear, and follow spray foam installation guidelines.


Cooling and heating homes is costly and saving money is a priority.

Installing spray foam insulation provides homes with the best insulation you can buy.

This post will show you how the pros get the job done and save homeowners money!


How To Install Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation isn’t as easy to install as say fiberglass batt insulation.  There’s no hold up the section and staple it into place.  Spray foam is a two part water based spray that expands quickly upon contact with air.  You’ll need to have a plan, continue to spray, and ensure you change out the tips if you stop for more than 30 seconds.  Spray foam is installed best by trained and experienced professionals.

Step 1. Select Your Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is available in two main categories, open cell and closed cell spray foam.  Closed cell spray foam is higher performance, but is more costly. If you’ve seen those cans of foam insulation at the hardware store, it’s not what the pros install.  Canned spray foam is for filling in gaps and cracks around wiring or plumbing coming through your walls.

Step 2. Cover Windows & Doorways

Spray foam insulation by nature is sticky.  You don’t want to spray onto windows or past doorways and onto the floor.  Much like you do when you’re painting you’ll use tape to protect the widows, doors, and doorways.

Step 3. Wear Protective Clothing & Safety Gear

As much as you don’t need spray foam insulation on your windows, you don’t want it on your skin.  In addition you don’t want to breathe it in or get it in your eyes.  So a protective suit, googles, gloves, and a respirator are all necessary to safeguard your health.

Step 4. Only Apply To Dry Surfaces

Spray foam insulation is designed to be installed on dry surfaces.  If sprayed onto a surface that’s got greater than 20% moisture it will not stick.  The plywood, wall studs, and joists need to be measured to ensure they are dry enough for spray foam insulation.

Step 5. Plan Spray Foam Installation

As you cannot stop for more than 30 seconds you need to plan what sections you’re spraying and in what pattern.  Have the plan worked out in your head before you pull the trigger on your gun.  If you’ve got high sections that need to be insulated, make sure you have ladders set up before getting started.  It’s also a good idea to plan for ventilation to remove the fumes from your workspace.

Step 6. Spray Perimeter First

To apply it correctly and fill in the gaps and cracks that spray foam is famous for filling you’ll need to spray the top, sides, and bottom first.  Allow this to dry before filling in your center sections in voids between your wall studs.  It’s a good practice to do a large set of these perimeters on the walls in a room.  This will allow them to dry in succession and make it so you can start over filling them in where you started in the first place sooner.

Step 7. Fill In Sprayed Sections

Allow your perimeters to dry for a few minutes and then fill in the center sections of your spray foam insulation areas.  If you spray too soon before the first perimeter was applied you’ll impact your R-values and not get the full benefit of your spray foam insulation investment.

Step 8. Remember To Keep Applicator Lubed

It’s important to make sure you lube the applicator each time you replace a spray tip.  If you’ve stopped spraying for more than 30 seconds replace the tip and apply the lube to the gun.  Each gun has a different approach for this so follow the manufacturer directions on which lube to use and how to apply it.

Spray Foam Insulation Service

There’s a lot that goes into installing spray foam insulation correctly.  To get the most from you investment and ensure you’re saving the most money heating and cooling your home; hire the pros.  If you live in or around the Phoenix Valley our team can help!  Barrier Insulation is Phoenix’ #1 Spray Foam Insulation Contractor with decades of experience.

Call 602-499-2922 or CONTACT US

How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer

To keep a garage cool you need good insulation, ventilation, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and should consider awnings and painting the roof and door heat reflecting colors.


Working in a hot garage during summer is unpleasant and forces you to take more breaks.

It’s possible to keep your garage comfortable to use during the summer.

This post will give you ideas on how to keep your garage cool so you can work.


How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer

This post gives you great ideas on how to make your garage more comfortable in the heat of summer.  Even though your home may stay cooled down in the hot summer months, this rarely says much for the garage, and it does not make any difference if it is attached to the home or not. If your one of those people that use your garage on a regular basis, it can get pretty hot at times and you work up a sweat.

There are several different approaches to keeping your garage cooled down, depending on your budget you can choose the way that is right for you.

Garage Cool Ideas:

Here are several different ways to keep the garage cooled down when the temperatures outside get high:

Have an insulation upgrade:

Since garages are usually poorly insulated, and that is the reason they are hot in the summer and cold in the winters. You can pick-up some Batt insulation for very little cost and it is easy to install anywhere there is not any drywall. If your local building code allow it, you can use foam board to cover it with, however, you can always use drywall to cover it with, whether or not the building code allows foam to be used or not. If the drywall in your garage already exists, you can use insulation that is blown in. Then just put in some weather stripping and caulk, then paint your garage door. Keep an eye out for other areas of the garage that could use a little attention.  Homeowners also have the option of installing insulated garage doors or applying garage door insulation products.  Insulation products for garage doors include sections for the inside of the door and garage door radiant barrier.

Natural ventilation:

Have the doors facing the outside open, including all other doors and the windows (if any), this will increase the amount of air to circulate inside the garage. If your garage is attached to the home, do not open the door going into the home. The noxious fumes that are sometimes in garages can get into your home. This should be enough to give relief from the heat long enough to do what you do in the garage. A fan or two could also be added.

Install ceiling fans:

If there is enough height in your garage (8 ft. or more), the installation of ceiling fans would be an effective way to go, and the cost would not be that much. If you go with ceiling fans, make sure that the blades on the fan are going to be between 7 and 9 ft., higher than the floor, and at least 10 to 12 in., below the ceiling. Most ceiling fans in garages work more sufficiently when the diameters are measuring between 36 and 44 in. However, should your garage be bigger than 225 sq., ft., then you should get a ceiling fan that is 52 in., in diameter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Go with air-conditioning:

It can be very costly to extend your home’s air-conditioning system into your garage. It would be less costly to install a window unit, and there are also floor units that could be used. Another option is to install the mini-split air-conditioner, they do not have to have a window to be used, and you would not need to install any additional ducts to the garage. Let’s not overlook dehumidifiers, which can help to reduce the humidity in what small space a garage has, and they can be used with the other cooling choices that you decide on.

Take into consideration some additional options:

While looking for ways to cool down the inside of the garage, you need to give some thought to the outside as well. The sun in the afternoons comes from the west, so if your garage faces the west you can expect the heat to come into the doors and windows. Since light reflects heat, you could paint the garage doors a light color. Remember, anytime your garage is in need of a new roof to choose a light color.

How To Cool A Garage With No Windows

In addition to insulation and the other tips in this post you can cool a garage with no windows by fitting an ac unit, improving ventilation, and using fans.

Install A Window AC Unit In The Wall

You don’t have windows but most times you can cut a hole to fit a window AC unit.  This project requires that you’re good with hand tools and a circular saw, but it is possible.  You’ll also need to know how to frame in the opening to support the AC unit. If you have the tools and time it’s a great way to cool off your garage.

Install Attic Ventiliation

Just like in garages that have windows giving hot air a way out is critical.  This is especially true for when you’re not actively cooling the garage to work.  Attic fans and ventilation help keep the garage naturally cooler.  So when you do need to work in your garage it will take less for your ac system to cool the space.

Use Portable Fans

Simply moving the air makes it feel cooler against our skin.  If it’s cooler outside of your garage you can set it near a door to pull in cooler air from outside.  If you’ve got a large garage you may consider more than a single fan to feel a good solid breeze while you work.

Garage Insulation Phoenix Valley

If you live in the Phoenix Valley and want to maximize your home’s comfort and keep your garage cooler during the summer use these tips and consider having professionals install garage insulation and insulate your garage door.  The combination of tips and insulation for your garage will make it a usable space during the summer and help keep the heat out of the rest of your home.

Call 602-499-2922 or Contact Us

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona
Written by Barrier Insulation

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona

If you own a home in Arizona using the best insulation material is an important element of staying energy efficient.  Summer’s skyrocketing temperatures force homeowners to run their AC all day and night to keep occupants comfortable.  Cheap insulation materials work for some situations while investing in higher performance insulation options makes sense for many home owners.  Read more about your insulation options that work best for Arizona in this post.

The Best Insulation Saves You Money!

FiberglassWoolCellulosePlasticNaturalPolystyrene
PolyisocyanuratePolyurethaneSchedule

This means that you’re using much more electricity during the summer.  The best insulation materials will lower your electricity usage and help save money on your utility bills.

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona

There are many types of insulation materials, bulky fiber type materials include rock, slag wool, fiberglass, natural fibers and cellulose, to more rigid foam boards or sleek foil. Each have a different purpose. The bulky materials are able to resist conductive heat, and to a point convective heat flow within the building. Whereas, rigid foam boards are used for trapping air or gases while resisting conductive heat flows.

Choosing the Best Insulation Is Easy With Barrier Insulation Inc.

Radiant barrier or foils that are highly reflective are used in reflective insulation systems and radiant barriers for reflecting heat from the area, which makes them useful for cooling. Although, less common materials include phenolic foam and cementitious, perlite and vermiculite.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass, also spelled fiber glass, is fabricated using fine glass fibers. It is the leading insulation materials and commonly used for two various insulation types: loose-fill and blanket (batts and rolls). It also comes in rigid duct and board insulations.

Today, manufactures are able to produce high and medium density fiberglass batting insulation providing R-values a bit higher than a standard batt product. This denser product is intended to be used with insulation where cavity space is limited, like a cathedral ceiling.

A high density fiberglass batting that is fabricated for a 2-inch by 4-inch (51mm x 102mm) stud-frame wall provides an R-15 value, whereas low density offers R-11. Meanwhile, medium density batting provides R-13 for the same area. The high density batting fabricated for a 2-inch by 6-inch (51mm x 102mm) framed wall offers R-21 value, and the high density batting for 8.5-inch (216mm) areas offer around R-30. However, when designed for 12-inch (304mm) areas, it can have an R-38 value.

Safe Modern Fiberglass Insulation

There is an unconventional fibrous insulation which uses two forms of glass, fusing them together.

When these two type of materials cool in the manufacturing process, it forms random curling material that could be less irritating, and potentially safer to handle. In addition, it does not require a chemical binder or holding the batting together, and has a perforated plastic sleeve to help with the handling of the product.

Whereas, fiberglass loose-fill insulation gets fabricated using molten glass that is blown or spun into usable fibers. The majority of manufactures use 20-30% recycled glass. The process requires an insulation blowing machine to apply loose-fill insulation, using either a closed-cavity application (i.e those found in covered attic floors or inside the wall), or open-blow applications (attic spaces). Want to learn more on areas to insulate?

Another type of loose-fill fiberglass insulation is the Blow-In-Blanket System (BIBS). This is blown-in dry, with testing indicating BIBS insulated walls have a significantly higher quality fill compared to other forms of fiberglass insulation, such as batting.  There is a more recent economical hybrid system called BIBS HP, combining spray polyurethane foam with BIBS system.

Mineral Wool Insulation Materials

Mineral wool is a term commonly referring to two forms of insulation materials:

Slag wool, which is a material fabricated using blast furnace slag, which is the scum on molten metal surfaces.

Rock wool, which is a material constructed of natural minerals such as diabase or basalt.

On average, mineral wood consists of 75% post-industrial recycled contents. Additional chemicals are not required to provide fire resistance, and it tends to be available as loose-fill insulation or blanket (rolls/batts).

Cellulose Insulation Material

Fabricated from recycled paper product, cellulose insulation is mostly made from newsprint, with a high amount of recycled material, commonly between 82% and 85%. First, the paper is shredded and fiberized to create a product which can be tightly packed in the cavities of a building, while inhibiting airflow and offering R-values between 3.6 to 3.8 per inch.

There are times when manufactures add borate, blended using less expensive ammonium sulfate for ensuring insect and fire resistance. Usually, cellulose insulation does not require a moisture barrier, and with proper density installations, is unable to settle within the building cavity.

Cellulose Is Considered Eco-friendly and Inexpensive

Cellulose insulation applications are used for new and older homes, while loose-fill applications are applied to attics and packed into cavities like cathedral ceilings and walls. Within existing structure, the installation requires removing strips of exterior siding at waist height, drilling three inch holes into stud bays. This creates an entry for positioning a special tube at the top of the cavity for blowing insulation. Usually, the density is applied at 3.5lb per cubic foot. Afterwards, holes are sealed using a lug and the siding is placed back with necessary touch ups to match the wall.

Within new construction, cellulose applications can be installed dry behind netting or damp-sprayed. Damp-spray applications add a little moisture at the spray tip to activate the natural starches within the product to adhere properly. This type of application tends to be ready to cover within 24hrs. If celluloseis applied dry, it is held behind netting with staples.

Plastic Fiber Insulation Material

The majority of plastic fiber insulation is created with recycled plastic, such as milk containers (PET/polyethylene terephthalate). These fibers form into batting insulation, similar to that of a higher density fiberglass insulation.

Plastic fiber insulation is treated to be fire resistant, although it will melt when exposed to extreme heat it reduces risk of bursting into flames.

Plastic fiber insulation has R-values that vary based on batt density and ranges from R-3.8 per inch for 1lb/ft3 density, to R-4.3 per inch for 3lb/ft3 density. Also, plastic fiber is considered non-irritating, but batts have been reported as challenging t cut and handle using standard tools. In many areas of the U.S, plastic fiber insulation may not be available.

Natural Fiber Insulation Materials

There are natural fibers, such as sheep’s wool, cotton, hemp, and straw used for insulation material.

Cotton

Consisting of 85% recycled cotton with 15% plastic fibers, cotton insulation is treated using borate for adding insect, rodent and flame resistance, similar to that of cellulose insulation. There is a product using recycled blue jean trimmings. This enables the manufacturer to reduce energy. Cotton insulation can be found in batts with R-value of R-3.4 per inch. Also, cotton insulation is nontoxic and can be installed without the use of skin or respiratory protection. Although, it can cost up to 20% more than fiberglass insulation.

Sheep Wool

There are times sheep wool is applied as insulation, also treated using borate for pest and fire resistance. Sheep wool is able to hold larger water quantities, making it an advantage in some areas. Although, repeatedly getting wet and drying eventually reduces the effectiveness of the borate. The R-value or thermal resistance of sheep wool batting is roughly R-3.5 per inch, similar to fiber types.

Straw

Straw was a popular insulation type over 150 years ago in the Great Planes of the U.S. There has been recent interest in straw insulation as bales of straw were tested by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory resulting in R-values ranging R-2.4 to R-3.0 per inch. However, there are claims that R-2.4 is more representative due to the gaps of stacked straw bales.

The straw fusing process constructs boards without adhesive, introduced during the 1930s. Generally, panels are 2-inch to 4-inch (5mm to 102mm) thick with a heavyweight kraft paper on either side. While the R-value claims vary between manufacturer, the realistic range is R-1.4 to R-2.0 per inch. Straw constructed boards can be used to absorb sound, and some manufactures use multi-layered and compressed straw to develop structural insulated panels.

Hemp

Not commonly used in the U.S, hemp insulation is relatively unknown. However, it has an R-value of 3.5 per inch, similar to that of other fiber insulations.

Polystyrene Insulation Materials

Polystyrene is a transparent and colorless thermoplastic often used with making bead board or foam board insulation, some loose-fill insulation constructed of small polystyrene beads and concrete block insulation.

Molded expanded polystyrene (MEPS) is often used with foam board insulations and can be found as small foam beading. Polystyrene bead are available as a pouring insulation for hollow cavities and concrete blocks, offering a lightweight option that has the ability to withstand static electricity charge. However, they are known for being challenging to control.

There are polystyrene insulationmaterials that are similar to MEPS, including extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS). Both of these are created using polystyrene, however, EPS is conducted using small, fused plastic beads. Meanwhile, XPS starts as molten material pressed into sheets. It is common for XPS to be used as foam board insulation, while EPS is often constructed in blocks. Both XPS and MEPS are commonly used with insulation of structural insulation panels (SIPs), and insulating concrete forms (ICFs).

Polystyrene foam board’s R-value or thermal resistance varies based on the density, ranging from R-3.8 to R-5.0 per inch. However, polystyrene bead or loose-fill insulation tends to have a lower R-value of R-2.3 per inch.

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Material

Polyisocyanurate, also known as polyiso is a type of thermosetting plastic, which is a closed cell foam containing a low conductivity hydrochlorofluorocarbon free gas. The gas has a high thermal resistance providing the insulation material a range of R-values between R-5.6 to R-8 per inch.

The polyiso insulation is available in liquid, rigid foam board, or spray foam. In addition, it can be used to fabricate laminated insulation panels with various facings available. Whereas, a foamed in-place application tends to be cheaper compared to foam board installation, and performs better due to the liquid foam molding to cavity surfaces.

In time, Polyisocyanurate insulation’s R-values can decrease when portions of the low-conductivity gases escape, being replaced by air. This is referred to asthermal drift. However, experimental data has shown the majority of thermal drift happens in the first two years after manufacturing the insulation. For instance, if insulation initially had R-value of R-9 per inch, within two years it may drop to R-7 per inch with no further change unless damaged.

Plastic and foil facings on rigid polyiso foam panels are able to aid in stabilizing R-values. Tests have indicated stabilization of R-value on rigid foam with metal foil facings were unchanged after 10-years. In addition, if properly installed to face open air spaces, reflective foil is able to act as a radiant barrier. Based on the overall orientation and size of air space, this may provide an additional R-2 to thermal resistance. Foil facing panels have stabilized R-values ranging between R-7.1 and R-8.7 per inch.

There are manufactures which use Polyisocyanurate for structural insulated panels (SIPs). Although, liquid or foam board may be used when fabricating SIPs. A liquid foam is able to be injected between wood skins with extreme pressure. When foam hardens, it provides a powerful bong between the wood skin and foam. Typically, Polyisocyanurate based thickness are as follows:ceiling panels are 7.5-inches (190mm) and wall panels are 3.5-inches (89mm). Although these panels cost more, they have higher water vapor-diffusion and fire resistance compared to EPS. Additionally, they provide improved insulation per thickness, on average 30-40% better.

Polyurethane Insulation Materials

Polyurethane foam insulation material has cells with low conductivity gases. The gas provides a high thermal resistance, providing polyurethane insulation material a range of R-values between R-5.5 and R-6.5 per inch.

In addition, polyurethane foam insulations can be purchased in open-cell and closed-cell form. The closed-cell foam provides a higher density cell that is closed and filled with gas to assist with the expanding of foam to fill cavity spaces. Whereas, open-cell foam is less-dense, filled with air and provides a spongy texture to the insulation, but has a lower R-value.

Like with the R-value of polyiso foam, the closed-cell polyurethane insulation’s R-value may reduce over a period of time as air replaces the low-conductivity gases that escape due to thermal drift. The majority of thermal drift happens within the initial two years after fabrication.

Plastic and foil facings are available on rigid polyurethane foam panels which assist in the stabilization o R-values reducing thermal drift. When properly installed facing open air space, reflective foil is able to act as a radiant barrier. Based on the orientation and size of air space, an additional R-2 may be added to the thermal resistance. Foil facing panels have an average stabilized R-value of R-6.5 per inch.

Polyurethane Or Spray Foam Is The Highest Performance

Polyurethane insulation can come in rigid foam board, or liquid spray. It may be fabricated as a laminated insulation panel, with various available facings.

Generally, foamed in-place or sprayed polyurethane insulation applications are less expensive compared to foam boards. In addition, the performance is often better due to the liquid foam being able to mold to cavity surfaces. All of the closed-cell polyurethane foam insulations manufactured are now produced using non-HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) gas.

Open-cell polyurethane foams have a lower density and use air, rather than gas, for the blowing agent with an R-value around R-3.6 per inch and do not change. While this type of foam is similar to that of conventional polyurethane foam, it provides higher flexibility. There are varieties of low-density foam that use carbon dioxide (CO2) for the foaming agent.

A low density foam is applied by spraying into cavity spaces, then quickly expanding to fill and seal the space. There are also slow expanding foams available, commonly used within existing homes. Liquid foam slowly expands to reduce risks of wall damage due to overexpansion. The foam remains flexible and water vapor permeable. It is also resistant towards moisture. With a good air seal, this type of foam offers R-values about R-3.6 per inch, while being fire resistant.

There are also polyurethane liquid spray foams available which are soy-based. Cured R-value is roughly R-3.5 per inch and this type of foam uses the same equipment for application as petroleum-based polyurethane foam.

There are manufacturers that use polyurethane for structural insulated panels (SIPs). Liquid or foam board can be fabricated as SIPs. In addition, liquid foam is able to be injected within layers of wood skins using extreme pressure. Once the foam hardens, it develops a powerful bond between skin and foam. Typically, polyurethane based products have the following R-values per thickness: ceiling panels are 7.5-inches (190mm) thick, wall panels are 3.5-inches (89mm) thick. Although they cost more, this type of insulation panel provides better water vapor diffusion and fire resistance compared to EPS. Additionally, they provide better insulation with an average of 30-40% more per thickness.

Perlite and Vermiculite Insulation Materials

Perlite and vermiculite insulation materials are common attic insulation found in homes built prior to 1950. Because vermiculite insulation could contain asbestos, it is not a common insulation material used today. Although, asbestos is in all vermiculite according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Trace amounts of asbestos have been found in a few vermiculite sources, but if you have vermiculite insulation in the attic – leave it alone!

If you are wanting to add more insulation to the attic, you should have an insulation contractor with the experience and certification to work with vermiculite insulation and asbestos. This is for the safety of you and your family.

Perlite and vermiculite contain pellets that are small and lightweight, fabricated using heated rock pellets to the point they pop. This results in a form of loose-fill insulation that provides thermal resistance up to R-2.4 per inch. The pellets are poured in place or may be mixed in cement to fabricate lightweight concrete that is les heat-conductive.

Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Material

Urea-formaldehyde (UF) insulation foam was commonly used in homes build between the 1970s and into the 1980s. Although, because of improper installations leading to various health-related court cases, this type of foam insulation was banned for use in residential buildings. Additionally, it has been discredited due to the shrinkage and formaldehyde emissions. Today, it is mainly used with masonry walls in industrial and commercial buildings.

Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation has an R-value around R-4.6 per inch. Compressed air is often used for a foaming agent, because nitrogen-based UF foam insulation can require many weeks of curing. In addition, UF foam does not expand much, unlike polyurethane insulation. Furthermore, water vapor is able to pass through easily, and prolonged exposure to temperatures above 190°F (88°C) can deteriorate it. Also, it is not fire resistant.

Cementitious Foam Insulation Material

Cementitious insulation is cement-based foam material that is applied using a foam in-place or sprayed method. Air krete is one sprayed foam insulation, containing magnesium silicate and provides an R-value around R-3.9 per inch. Initially, it has a consistency that’s similar to that of shaving cream. It is pumped in enclosed cavity spaces. With similar cost to that of polyurethane foam insulation, cementitious is nonflammable and nontoxic, fabricated from minerals such as magnesium oxide that are obtained from sea water.

Phenolic Foam Insulation Material

Years ago, Phenolic (Phenol-formaldehyde) insulation foam was a popular option in the form of rigid foam boards. However, currently it is only available with a foamed in-place application.

Phenolic foamed in-place insulation uses air for the foaming agent and provides an R-value around R-4.8 per inch of thickness. Phenolic foam provides one major disadvantage, it is able to shrink nearly 2% once cured, this has made it less popular.

Insulation Facings

During the process of manufacturing, facings get fastened to the insulation material. Facings are added to protect the surface of an insulation, holding insulation and building components together. There are some facing types that act as air barrier, vapor barrier, and/or a radiant barrier. Some facings add flame resistance to the material.

Some of the commonly used facing materials today include white vinyl sheets, kraft paper, and aluminum foil. Each material acts as a vapor barrier and air barrier. However, aluminum foil provides the added benefit of acting as a radiant barrier. The type of facing used for insulation installations in your home depends on the climate in your region, determining which barrier or facing, if any you may need.

There are some insulation facing materials that can be separately installed to offer a vapor barrier, radiant barrier and/or air barrier.

Schedule Insulation Installation in Phoenix

If you are looking for the best insulation materials for Arizona installed by the best insulation contractors, Barrier Insulation is at your service.  We have numerous 5 star reviews, countless satisfied customers, and the best energy saving insulation options for your home or office.  We proudly serve every city in the Phoenix Valley including: Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert, Tempe, and more.  If you are tired of paying out the nose for keeping your living space or office comfortable, contact the insulation professionals at Barrier Insulation today!

Call Today To Start Your Insulation Installation – 602-499-2922

Cellulose Insulation Vs Fiberglass
Written by Barrier Insulation

Cellulose Insulation Vs Fiberglass

If you are searching Google for “Cellulose Insulation vs Fiberglass” this post will help you understand the differences and which might be better for your home.  Anyone interested in saving money on energy should install insulation or upgrade insulation.  Insulation will help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.

Side-By-Side Comparison of Fiberglass & Cellulose Insulation

Fiberglass and cellulose insulation are the two cheapest insulation types you can install in your home.  While fiberglass is much more common cellulose is still the second most popular insulation material in the country.  For customers who can’t afford the higher performance spray foam insulation these types of insulation offer the layer of insulated comfort homes need.

Insulation Similarities

People search for which is better between cellulose insulation and fiberglass as they do have a lot of the same performance, cost, and ease of installation.

Cost Of Insulation

One hard decision is that the two types of insulation have a similar cost.  If one is cheaper than the other it makes the decision for a lot of homeowners.  But with the price point being so similar it takes a little research to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.  When compared to all other types of insulation both fiberglass and cellulose insulation are on the most affordable.

Installation Difficulty

Both types of insulation are easy for a contractor to install with the right training and equipment.  Some homeowners do the job themselves but don’t get the full value of the insulation as it can be tricky to install correctly to avoid voids in the job or air leaks from loosely attached fiberglass batts.

Blown-in cellulose insulation does take about a single extra finger being lifted to install it.  An insulation blowing machine is required and some training is involved.

Air Gaps & Cracks

No matter how good the contractor is all homes will have some gaps and cracks that lead to air leaks.  This is only made more prominent over years of age on a home as it settles and these air leaks get bigger. Neither of this insulation options seal these gaps or cracks.  The only insulation that effectively seals air leaks is spray foam insulation.

R-Value Performance

One very similar element between cellulose insulation and fiberglass is their insulation R-value performance rating.  When installed correctly they both offer around 3.5 to 3.7 R-value per inch.  If there is settling or other issues such as wind-washing it can affect these performance numbers.

Wind Washing

With loose blown-in insulation strong winds can move insulation around on the floor of an attic.  Homes that have attic vents can end up having uneven insulation in the attic and problems with under insulated areas of the home.

Moisture

Both types of insulation absorb water very easily, but also dry quickly as they have high air permeability.  If there is a vapor barrier in the attic along with moisture it can lead to mildew or even mold.  So care must be taken when there is roof leads and yearly roof inspections help prevent damage to the insulation in your attic and walls.

Insulation Differences

While the two insulations do have a lot in common, there are some important difference to keep in mind when choosing an option for your home.

Flammability

No one wants to think about the possibility of fire in their home, but it is a reality for many unfortunate homeowners.  It might seem like cellulose would be the worse choice as it is made of recycled paper.  The reality is that cellulose has become an great inexpensive fire retardant insulation option.  Fiberglass simply melts in high heat, but the kraft paper it is mounted on does burn.  Cellulose is now made with about 15% fire retardant borax nitrate, boric acid, or ammonium sulfate.  In this element modern cellulose insulation takes the win for keeping homes safer.

Air Leaks

Cellulose insulation is applied a loose fill insulation and does settle into some of the tighter areas.  While neither insulation creates a true air leak barrier; cellulose insulation does take the win for helping restrict some of the air leaking from or into your home.  This can also help preserve indoor air quality as it will help reduce some of the allergens from getting into your home.

Cellulose Insulation vs Fiberglass Winner

While it’s up to each homeowner to choose cellulose insulation does have an edge on air leaks and flammability.  As they have a similar cost many homeowners seeking a new insulation option should consider cellulose insulation for improving the comfort and energy efficiency of their home.

Phoenix Insulation Contractor Service

Whether you prefer cellulose insulation or fiberglass insulation our team here at Barrier Insulation will help you keep your home more comfortable and energy costs down.  We are happy to provide all of the most popular and effective insulation options to Phoenix Valley homeowners and businesses.  We welcome you to discuss your property’s needs with us and allow us to find an option that’ll fit your budget.

Call to find out more about insulation installed 602-499-2922

Fiberglass Insulation R Value
Written by Barrier Insulation

Fiberglass Insulation R Value

If you’re searching for “Fiberglass Insulation R Value” you’re probably like many homeowners who want to know they’re making the best decision in which type of insulation to install in their home.  Whether you’re building new or replacing old insulation knowing the R Value or performance of each insulation type helps ensure you’re spending your money smart.

R Values For Fiberglass Insulations

Fiberglass insulation comes in two forms, batts and loose fill.  Batts are typically sold in rolls of paperbacked fiberglass insulation which are stapled up to hang between attic rafters or wall studs.  Loose fill fiberglass insulation is installed via a blowing machine and is either installed on the attic floor or inside a netting system that holds it in between roof rafters or wall studs.

Loose Fill Fiberglass Insulation R Value

Depending on the product and brand you are considering the exact R Value will vary for loose fill fiberglass insulation.  The R Value also depends upon an adequate layer of insulation being laid on the attic floor or installed in the voids of your roof and walls.  R Values for loose fill fiberglass insulation vary between 2.2 and 2.9 [1]

The biggest key to this type of insulation is installing an even layer which is thick enough to do the job.  Many times it takes a professional with experience to create the correct depth and even layer necessary to insulate a home.  Fiberglass batts do have a significantly higher R Value performance in comparison to loose fill fiberglass insulation.

Rolled Batt Fiberglass Insulation R Value

Depending on the brand and product you buy the insulation R Values for fiberglass rolled batt will vary.  With that said the range of R Values for fiberglass rolled batt insulation are typically between 2.9 and 3.8 per inch [2].

Rolled batt fiberglass insulation is the traditional insulation type that most people think of when you mention insulation.  It is installed by using heavy duty staple guns to secure the paper backing to the edges of studs and rafters.  It is well suited to wide open regular spaces but struggles to insulate in odd shaped tight corners and odd areas.  While it is still widely used, there are higher performance insulation alternatives such as spray foam insulation.

Fiberglass Insulation R Value Comparison

While fiberglass insulation is a great option for a lot of homes and businesses there are higher performance insulation products available. As we know from above fiberglass insulation R Values land approximately between 2.2 and 3.8 per inch.  Spray foam insulation products vary depending on chemical make up yet range from 3.6 to 8.0 [3].

Clearly spray foam can offer dramatically higher R Values when compared to fiberglass insulation.  In addition spray foam insulation is the only option which seals cracks and gaps in your property’s construction.  This characteristic of spray foam is a secondary yet critical difference and benefit.  When spray foam expands into these gaps and cracks it seals air leaks.  There is no other type of insulation that provides air leak sealing.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Installation

No matter what type of insulation you choose for your home or business Barrier Insulation is here to help!  Our professional team of insulation contracts will help you install the best insulation solution for your home, office, or commercial location.  For more information about how we can help you insulate to stay comfortable and keep your utility costs down please call 602.499.2922.

Citations
  1. “Insulation R-Value.” Today’s Homeowner, www.todayshomeowner.com/insulation-r-value/.
How Radiant Barriers Work
Written by Barrier Insulation

Insulation 101: How Radiant Barriers Work

Most homeowners are familiar with rolls of pink fiberglass insulation or even spray foam insulation but don’t know what radiant barriers are, or how radiant barriers work. This post is meant to define what a radiant barrier is and how it helps keep your home cooler during the summer.  With rising electricity prices reducing cooling costs by saving energy is on everyone’s mind.

What Is A Radiant Barrier?

A radiant barrier is a highly reflective material which reflects radiant heat.  This is in contract to traditional insulations which absorb heat instead of reflecting it.  This means that the heat radiating down from the sun reflects off of the radiant barrier material and away from the home.  Doing so can dramatically reduce heat gain and reduce load on the air conditioning.

Radiant barrier is designed for benefit during the summer at rejecting heat but does not insulate conduction heat transfer.  Conduction heat transfer is best handled by traditional insulation methods such as spray foam insulation.

How Does Radiant Barrier Work?

Heat moves from warm to cold by three methods, either: convection, conduction, or radiation.  Convection is when a gas or liquid such as the air in our home is heated, becomes less dense, and then rises.  Conduction is when heat travels from a hot location to a cooler location through a material.  A good way to picture this is when a spoon in a hot drink and the heat travels from the part of the spoon in the cup to the end of the handle.

Traditional insulations seek to slow conductive heat down.  Much like the insulation in an insulated coffee mug tries to keep the heat in your coffee or hot coco.  These insulations slow the heat being conducted through attics, roofs, and walls. Radiant barriers differ in that they aren’t thick layers of insulation but highly heat reflective thin layers of foil or paint.  The best radiant barriers are those that are installed facing an air space and in such a fashion to minimize dust settling on it.

Hot Sun, Hot Attic, Hot home

As the sun heats our roofs it is the radiant energy from the sun that makes the roof hot.  A large portion of this heat travels by conduction through your tile or shingles, then roof decking, and into the attic side of the roof.  The hot roofing material then radiates that heat into the attic.  The air, floor, and ducts are heated from the radiant heat coming from hot roof materials.

Radiant barrier insulation’s job is to reflect this heat away from the attic floor, attic air, and duct systems.  It is most effective when it is perpendicular to the direction that energy is hitting it.  It is also worth mentioning that radiant barrier offers the best benefit the greater the temperature difference between the two sides.

Benefit Of Radiant Barrier

Radiant barrier isn’t something that has much affect in places like the north where summers are fairly mild.  It has its greatest benefit in sunny and hot climates such as Arizona and the rest of the southwest.  In fact some studies have shown that in hot climates homes using radiant barrier can save between 5% and 10%.  This means you may be able to use a smaller air conditioner or at least use it less.

Radiant Barrier Installation

If you want to install radiant barrier in the Phoenix Valley, Barrier Insulation can help.  Our team understands the Valley of the Sun and how to make homes as energy efficient as possible.  We can show you how adding a radiant barrier could save you as much as 5% to 10% on your cooling energy costs.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help
please give us a call at 602-499-2922 today!

How To Stay Warm Without A Heater
Written by Barrier Insulation

Saving Energy: How To Stay Warm Without A Heater

If you’re searching for “How to stay warm without a heater” the power is out or you’re just looking for a way to save on your monthly energy during the winter.

Whether you are low on money, a college student, or frugal, if you are staying in a cold home, then you understand that isn’t best for your health. Luckily, there are some great ways to keep you warm even though you don’t have a heater and in the process you may just improve the efficiency of your home.

Heating your home without using a heater

1. Close all the windows in your home properly. This does include ensuring that your storm windows have been installed and closed in place, if you have them. Windows need to be latched. Only open them during the day, if the temperature outside is higher than what it is in your home.

You will want to keep the windows air tight. You may even want to purchase removable plastic or window caulk to keep them sealed better. At a minimum, stuff a shirt or towel in front of any leaks.

2. Use clear, cheap shower curtains over windows that get sunlight. This will keep the cold air out and the warmth of the sun will help to heat your home without the cold air coming in. You can also use clear plastic sheets to cover the windows.

3. Put up Curtains. Using a set of heavy curtains may block the heavy drafts of air. Only open them when the sun is shining and be sure to close them when it is not.

4. Seal the Doors.Check the door frame and under the door. You could use a door sweep or weather stripping. Again, at the minimum, you can stuff a towel in the door’s bottom.

5. Let as much sun hit your house as possible. Check for any obstructions such as sheds or plants that may keep the rays of the sun from reaching your house. Remove any items that are leaning against the walls on the sunny side of your home. Be sure to put them back again at night to help with additional insulation.

6. Close off unused rooms. The closed door makes the room a barrier between you and the cold outdoors. It will also stop the air from circulating around as much, which reduces the loss of heat.  There are home improvement stores that will sell register covers that are magnetic that will shut off the registers in the unused rooms. So, when you do use a heater, it will only register in the rooms that you use and will pump the heat out there. This makes it more efficient use of your heater.

Be sure to check that your heat registers are open, especially where the plumbing pipes may freeze. Unblock any cold air returns in the heated rooms, they could be blocked with a rug or furniture, so that heat may be circulated efficiently.

7. Put down a carpet or Rug. Carpets and rugs help to prevent heat loss through the floor. They are normally warmer to touch than stone or wood, and they also offer a warmer surface to walk on.

8. Add insulation to the crawl space and attic. A whole lot of air actually goes through the roof of the attic, simply because cold air sinks and warm air rises. You want to make sure that your attic has plenty of insulation.  Click here for: Phoenix Valley insulation contractor services. 

9. Start a warm fire. If you happen to have a fire place, then you can heat your home by having a fire. If you don’t have a fireplace, you may want to consider installing one. Be sure to always supervise the fire when it is lit.

10. Cook. Cooking can help you to stay warm as it is an activity, and through the warmth of the oven and eating something warm and tasty after.

Bake pies or cookies. The over will help to dry the air and heat up the house a bit. Only leave your oven on for about 20 minutes so that you don’t waste energy.

You will want to limit any cooking that causes any steam, as this actually increases the humidity that is in the air which will make the house damp. Lowering the humidity in winter will help you to feel warmer. Water vapor or humidity will have the ability to absorb heat instead of dry air. So, the result is that humid air will feel quite cold in winter than dry air which means that it will take more heat to make damp air even feel comfortable.

11. Light candles. A single candle or multiple candles is able to produce a bunch of heat, be aware of where they happen to be placed and don’t leave them unattended. Going to a discount store or grocery store can provide you with plenty of candles for cheap. Use a candle heater. It won’t create as much heat as a real heater or fireplace, but it will create some warmth for cheap.

12. Turn on some lights. A regular incandescent light bulb will release up to 95% energy as a heat instead of light, which make it really efficient heat source.

LED lights and compact fluorescent lights aren’t helpful when it comes to warming a room, so save those for warmer days and use the money that you saved to pay your heating bill.

Staying Warm in a Colder House

1. Drink Warm beverages. A warm beverage will raise the core temperature of your body. This process can be relaxing as well as stimulating. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea. Sip on warm broth.

2. Dress Warmly. A lot of people will state that you release most of your body heat from your head, but despite this common belief, you actually release heat equally throughout the body. Either way, a hat is a great friend in times like this. A onesie, or turtleneck sweater are also wonder workers. Dress yourself in layers, especially in cotton or wool clothing. Wear warm socks or slippers. Whenever you are sitting still, wrap yourself in a pure wool, thick blanket. You may even want to purchase thermal shirts to wear under a sweater, which makes for a really comfortable shirt which provides a lot of warmth.

If you are getting cold legs, purchase the 2 pack of tights from the local store. You want to make sure that they are opaque. Wear one or even multiple pairs over each other and place them under clothes. This provides your body with another layer of clothing that will trap warm air inside. Men may use thermal long-johns instead of tights or stockings.

3. Use smaller rooms. If you happen to have a bedroom that is much smaller than your regular living room, then you can choose to use your bedroom as a bedroom and sitting room.

4. Exercise. Just 20 minutes of vigorous exercise can actually warm you up and keep you warm for a while after you are done. Not to mention that a healthy body is more tolerant to the cold.

Be active. Moving around will produce body heat. The more active that you are, the better circulation of your blood. This means that your warm blood will get to your toes and fingers and keeps them warm.

5. Find a pet or friend to snuggle with. The living body of any one is a furnace. Snuggle with your friend or your pet to keep each other warm.

6. Use a hair Dryer. Quickly heat parts of your body or use it to warm up your cold clothes or shoes before you put them on. You may even use it to warm your bed before you get in it. Never cover the hair dryer as it could overheat and cause a fire.

7. Sit on heating pads. Rather than just heating your whole room or house, use a heating pad. You may even make a heating pad:

Use a hot water bottle which is great for warming your lap and hands when sitting. You can also place hot water bottles at the end of the bed under the covers to warm up sheets.

Microwave your socks or small homemade heat packs that are filled with dried corn, beans, or rice for a minute in the microwave and use them as a bed warmer or heating pad.

8. Buy a thick dressing gown or bathrobe. Think of it a huge fluffy blanket that has sleeves. They are comfortable and warm and you can even sleep in them.

9. Go vacationing or visiting. Purposefully spend time in locations that are heated at no cost to you such as the church, library, or a friend’s house, etc.

10. Consider using an electric blanket. Electric blankets can keep your comfortable and warm in the night and it is much more economical than using an expensive and inefficient wall heater. Over the knee versions for sitting are also available and normally they are covered with a fluffy, warm and nice fabric.

11. Purchase a sleeping bag. You don’t have to camp to be able to use a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag will be able to warm you while you are at home. Place your sleeping bag on the bed to keep your insulated and warm all night.

Preventative Measures

1. Consider how you got into this position. If you are dealing with a cold house because of an energy blackout, then the above tips can help you to get through this short term emergency. However, if you are living with a nonworking heater because you are low on funds to pay for heat repairs, then you will need to begin saving money for this type of emergency. Put money back so that you can get through all and any emergencies as they come up. Don’t leave yourself in the cold.

2. If you are unable to afford to heat your home, contact energy suppliers. They may be able to work with you to find a payment plan that you can afford. Additionally, you may also be eligible for federal assistance to help pay off your heating bill.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Contractors

If you’re interested in saving energy during the cold months and all year long Barrier Insulation can help!  Our team can help you evaluate what insulation you have and what needs to be done to make your home energy efficient.  With ever rising utility costs the importance of insulation has never been higher.  Quality insulation which is installed by professionals will help you save money year in and year out.  If you’d like to find out what we can do to help you stay warm in winter and cool in summer, please give us a call at 602.499.2922.

Spray Foam Insulation Vs Fiberglass Insulation
Written by Barrier Insulation

Spray Foam Insulation Vs. Fiberglass Insulation

Most homeowners are faced with deciding which is better, Spray Foam Insulation Vs. Fiberglass Insulation.  Whether it’s a new home you’re building or an older home where you’re removing insulation and installing a better alternative, you want to know you’re making the best decision.  Two popular options in Arizona are spray foam insulation and fiberglass insulation.  Both of these options are installed between studs in attics and inside walls.

New Insulation = Big Savings

The U.S. Dept of Energy stated that a lot of older homes have damaged, inadequate, or improper insulation when compared with homes today.  They went on to state that new insulation can pay for itself in just a few years.  This is especially true for homes in areas that experience extreme heat or cold.

Pros & Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is unique in that not only does it act as an insulation barrier, but expands into tiny gaps and cracks.  This seals off many of your home’s air leaks, to keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  Open cell spray foam expands to an incredible 100 times its original volume in just seconds.

The primary components of spray foam are an organic chemical compound made from petroleum extracts and water.  It is mixed and blown onto the inner wall and attic surfaces to seal the home and insulate it.

Pros of spray foam:

These are just a few of the pros for spray foam insulation.

  • Rated for fire safety for walls and attics
  • It’s an environmentally safe insulation
  • Spray foam doesn’t attract insects or pests
  • Will not retain water from roof leaks
  • Helps create a semi conditioned space in attic
  • Seals off air leaks to help reduce energy bills

Cons of Spray Foam:

Spray foam insulation does cost more than traditional insulation up front, yet it is a more effective insulation option.  Over time the difference will get paid back with superior performance.

  • Spray foam costs more up front
  • Spray foam must be installed by a pro
  • Some brands might have an odor for a short time

Pros & Cons of Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation has been installed in homes for many decades.  It is comprised of extremely fine glass fibers which reinforce a pillow like plastic.  The fine glass is added to increase the overall strength of the insulation and help it resist sagging.  It usually comes in one of 3 types, loose fill, rolls, or batts.

Pros of Fiberglass:

Fiberglass insulation has the advantage of being relatively easy to install and simply costs less than spray foam.

  • Works well if the attic or walls are common stud construction
  • It costs less than spray foam insulation
  • Experienced handy men may be able to install it themselves

Cons of Fiberglass:

While it might be easy to install it simply doesn’t seal off your home from air leaks and isn’t as efficient.  In addition there are some health and safety concerns in handling the insulation and a potential for mold in the insulation if your roof leaks.

  • Fiberglass has tiny glass fibers that may be released when touched and inhaled
  • It can trap moisture, dust, and allergens which lead to mold or poor indoor air quality
  • Safety equipment must be used for installation or at any time it must be disturbed
  • Inhaled fibers may cause respiratory ailments, nosebleeds, and coughing
  • The fibers also can cause incredible itchiness, irritation, or even rashes
  • Fiberglass insulation does not seal off air leaks, a major source of energy loss

Which Insulation Is Right For My Home?

Which insulation you choose will be based largely on a few key factors.  Your budget for installing insulation is one of these key factors.  Another consideration is how long you intend on staying in the home.  If you plan this house as your last move, then the added cost of installing premium insulation will pay you back for years to come.

If you are planning on moving soon you may still consider spray foam insulation as it will increase the overall value of the home.  Ultimately the question of which will be best for you, your home, and your budget is a conversation for you and your professional insulation contractor.

 

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