There are a multitude of insulation recommendations out there, but keeping a few factors in mind will help you to make the best choice for your home. First and foremost is the R-value, or the insulating capabilities of a given material. The R-value of the insulation should be within the guidelines set forth for your region. Cost of installation should also be considered, as well as the decision between professional installation and DIY. While there are many insulation materials available, it appears that one stands out above the rest for several reasons, especially for larger homes.
The best choice for insulation overall is closed-cell polyurethane spray foam. This insulation boasts one of the highest R-values among common insulation materials at 6.0 to 6.5 per inch. This means that it is very energy efficient and will help to lower energy costs. Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam requires professional installation and can be used in walls, floors and ceilings. It is the most practical to add to walls in an existing structure. It also has some structural value and improves soundproofing.
While there are several insulation recommendations for larger homes, this spray foam is a great choice as it expands to fill nooks and crannies and is not permeable by air or moisture. This will prevent mold and mildew growth and will also protect your home better than other insulation. This resistance to moisture sets it apart from open-cell polyurethane spray foam which is less expensive but also requires the installation of a moisture barrier and only has an R-value of 3.5 to 3.6 per inch.
One drawback to closed-cell polyurethane spray foam is the price. Averaging about 3 dollars per square foot, it is one of the costliest insulation recommendations out there. However, when the advantages are taken into account, it is definitely worth the extra investment to have a comfortable home throughout the year.
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