If you’re just starting out researching insulation for your Long Island, NY home, it can be a little intimidating! There are several options and it can be hard to know what is the best insulation for your attic, basement, and walls. So here’s a quick primer to get you started on the different types of insulation materials used in our area.
Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspaper and treated with borate. Cellulose insulation is a fire retardant and one of the best insulators on the market for keeping your home cozy, warm, and energy efficient. Cellulose insulation should be installed after meticulous air sealing to keep air from leaking in or out of living spaces, and to allow the cellulose insulation to perform properly.
Other benefits of cellulose insulation Include:
- Moisture control
- Health safety (non-carcinogen according to the EPA)
- Dampens outside noise
- 50+ year durability factor
- No shrinkage or breakdown like fiberglass insulation
Cellulose insulation is blown into the areas that need to be insulated, including attics. Often considered the best insulation for exterior walls, it can also be blown into wall cavities as a dense pack.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is also an excellent insulator and provides superior protection against heat loss with a greater R-value-per-inch compared to other types of insulation materials. Unlike cellulose, which needs a separate step for air sealing, spray foam seals as it is applied and hardens.
Spray foam insulation can be applied in several areas of the average Suffolk County home.
- Air Sealing
In the attic, spray foam is applied to fill gaps, cracks, and voids for plumbing or electrical penetrations or outer wall top plates and open chases, before installing cellulose insulation.
- Attic Insulation
Attic roof slope application is often called a spray foam “hot roof.” This solution is best for homes where insulating the attic floor is not a good option. Many Cape Cod-style homes have small knee wall attics for storage where spray foam insulation is a great solution.
- Rim Joists
Another area where spray foam is used effectively is in the rim joist area of unfinished basements or crawlspaces. These areas are often poorly insulated and many times will have holes directly to the outside. When uninsulated, these rim joists can cause a “stack effect” that pushes cold outside air up through the home creating cold floors and drafty rooms.
Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation combines several features: air sealing, moisture barrier, and insulation in one. Foam board insulation is rigid and can be applied in moisture-prone areas like basements and crawlspaces, around attic pull-down ladders, around attic storage sheets and knee wall hatches, and for duct sealing.
How to Choose Insulation for Your Home
The best way to choose the right type or combination of insulation materials for your Nassau or Suffolk County home is to schedule a free energy audit from the insulation pros at Home Efficiency Experts. Our certified energy auditor will perform a series of inspections and testing from attic to basement to analyze your home’s insulation needs. Once the data is compiled we can recommend the best insulation for your house and develop a plan to improve your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and health.