A Guide To All Those Confusing Insulation Terms

Insulation Terms: What Do They Mean?

When winter approaches, it can be easy to tell if your home is under-insulated with cold drafts, cold rooms, and cold floors. In most cases, you go to the web to search for help on what to do or what company to reach out to but it can get very confusing with so many different insulation terms. We’ve put together a list of common insulation terms you may see when you are searching for insulation.

  • Air Sealing install in attic
  • spraying cellulose in attic
  • Cellulose vs. fiberglass insulation
  • spray foam being installed in attic
  • R-value cellulose insulation in attic
  • stack effect on home in iowa
  • icicles hanging from home
  • image of a blower door test
  • hsi thermal heat map test
  • Air Sealing: Air sealing is a source that eliminates leaks and makes the home more comfortable and efficient. We seal up a variety of places like your plumbing and wiring penetrations through the floors, walls, and ceilings.

  • Cellulose Insulation: Cellulose Insulation is made from recycled materials that are ground into a fluffy, lightweight material. It is blown into areas like walls and unfinished attic floors that provide a much denser and more effective insulation layer than fiberglass.

  • Fiberglass Insulation: Fiberglass Insulation is made up of glass fibers. It usually comes in batts and rolls as this is a cheap form of insulation. Fiberglass is prone to mold and moisture issues and doesn’t fully insulate the home as it should be.

  • Spray Foam Insulation: Spray Foam Insulation is a foam that expands as it is applied. It outperforms all other insulation resistance to mold and moisture damage, durability, Air Sealing, and versatility. It provides an air barrier to wherever it is applied to help get rid of air leakage from the home.

  • R-Value: We use the R-Value to measure how much insulation needs to be installed. It is a way to measure and understand the effective insulation value of a specific material. Each state has a minimum R-Value it needs to be at but here in Iowa, it is recommended to have an R-Value from 50 to 60.

  • Rigid Foam Insulation: Rigid Foam Insulation is a unique insulation option that provides durability and insulating capabilities. It easily expands with graphite infused right into the foam while Air Sealing is done to the edges. This is the perfect insulation type for small spaces, attics, and the basement.

  • Stack Effect: The Stack Effect is how we describe how heat loss is in the home. Warm air rises and leaks out at the upper levels of your home, and the home sucks new unconditioned air in at the lower levels. This movement of air within your home can negatively impact the comfort level.

  • Ice Dam: An Ice Dam is the result of snow that has repeatedly melted and refrozen. It is when the warm air inside the attic transfers to the roof and it melts the snow causing the melting snow to run down your roof freezing on the edges of the roof. As more snow melts and refreezes, the layer of ice continues to build creating an Ice Dam.

  • Blower Door Test: A Blower Door Test is a calibrated fan that is set up in an exterior doorway with a computer attached to it. It changes the pressure within the house so that the home’s energy issues can easily be diagnosed.

  • Thermal Imaging: Thermal Imaging is a camera we use for our Heat Map Evaluation. We use this to detect the areas of your home that are under-insulated. This device collects the objects in the picture and creates an image that shows the different temperatures. Red for warm and blue for cold.

HSI Is The Solution To Your Home Comfort Needs

When you are searching for help on what to do with an underinsulated home, go ahead and reach out to a reliable contractor. At Home Solutions of Iowa, we offer custom insulation services. We provide the whole process starting with the Home Performance Evaluation. From there, we determine what type of insulation your Central Iowa home needs to provide you with the comfortable home you deserve!

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