Understanding Insulation and Heat Transfer

Types of Insulation and Their Benefits

Insulation is used to decrease the amount of heat entering from the outside during hot weather and traps warmth inside during cold weather. Most homes are insulated in the attic and any floor located above an unfinished basement or crawl space. While there are many different types of insulation, it is important to do your research and decide on an option that is best for you and your values as a homeowner.  

Types of Insulation

  • Fiberglass insulation is most often used in batts, rolls, and loose-fill insulation. It is a type of fiber primarily composed of glass used for both residential and commercial insulation. When disturbed, fiberglass insulation releases particulates into the air that should not be inhaled and can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and mouth. 
  • Cellulose insulation is a plant-based insulator produced from recycled paper products treated with chemicals to reduce its potential to ignite and insect resistance. 
  • Spray foam insulation seals walls, floors and ceiling cavities against airflow. Spray foam never loses its shape and fills cracks, gaps, and crevices that won’t settle over time. Foam spray, while effective, is rather expensive. 
  • Radiant barrier insulation (Thermal Shield) is made up of multiple layers of aluminum that reflect and reduce the emittance of radiant energy. The layers of aluminum (that separate when installed) form an enclosed airspace that blocks heat during the summer months and holds warmth during the colder months. Want to read more about Radiant Barrier Insulation? 
    • Radiant Barriers- What is it? 
  • Mineral wool is widely used in Canada and Europe and is made from melted basalt stone and recycled slag from steel mills. There are several types of mineral wool made from glass wool, stone wool and ceramic fiber wool. 
  • Natural fiber composite uses materials such as hemp, flax and wool that can deliver thermal and acoustic insulation. Natural fiber insulation is highly sustainable and non-toxic and requires no protective clothing or respirators during installation. 
  • Denim insulation is made up of post-consumer recycled denim and cotton fibers. The fabric is shredded and treated to make it flame retardant and insect resistant. 

The most commonly used installation materials are fiberglass, cellulose and foam. However, radiant heat barrier is gaining popularity due to our current energy crisis. 

Which Is Right for You?

As with any decision, there are trade-offs and different considerations to keep in mind. The best thing you can do is to do your homework and make a conscious decision that is best for your values and budget. 

 Insulation Barrier: Energy Crisis

Insulation barriers can also provide a fast return on your investment and will reduce your monthly energy costs. With energy costs increasing with no break in the trend, the Department of Energy is encouraging all Americans to weatherize their homes to lower demand on energy sources and lower utility costs. 

Radiant Barrier and NC Solar Now

A Thermal Shield (radiant barrier) is only as effective as the installer! At NC Solar Now, we team up with an experienced dealer who is a certified installer that carefully follows the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety precautions for proper installation. When you decide to install a radiant barrier along with your solar panels, you are getting an expert in each field that utilizes only the best products for your residential or commercial application. 

NC Solar Now

NC Solar Now is North Carolina’s Most Trusted solar panel installer and embraces the philosophy that solar is for everyone! We’ll be by your side from your first free virtual consult through our warranty period and beyond. Visit us online at NC SOLAR NOW or contact us for more information. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram. Want to chat with someone? Give us a call at 919-833-9096.

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