When building energy-efficient homes, you have several choices when it comes to insulation. How do you know which product is right for your needs? Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.
Take radiant heat from sunlight into account.
Areas where the sun hits the building will become warm, and if insulation is not sufficient, this heat will transfer to your interior. This is a big concern in hot climates. Often, reflective insulation, such as that lined with aluminum, is used to reflect the sunlight and prevent this radiant heat affect. The most common area the sun hits is the roof.
Remember to consider condensation risks.
This is a big problem in cooler climates. Lower temperatures inside walls can cause condensation to form, increasing the risk of molding and structural damage. To prevent these issues, it's wise to use moisture-resistant insulation, such as spray foam, in walls in cooler climates.
Talk to a contractor to determine exactly how much insulation is necessary for your home in your particular climate. Make sure your insulation choice does not exceed the recommendation, since this can lead to internal wall surfaces that are too different in temperature from the exterior of the home. This extreme temperature difference makes condensation more likely.
Make sustainable choices.
When choosing an energy-efficient insulation, also pay attention to how sustainably that insulation is made. Look for products that are made from recycled and reused components, and those that are known not to give off dangerous organic compounds.
Spray foam insulation is excellent for building energy-efficient homes. Sustainably made, it's a safe and moisture-resistant choice for most climates. Visit NCFI Polyurethanes' website to learn more about spray foam, or to find a certified applicator in your area.