Insulation. I have fond memories of crawling into the attic as a child and thinking I had landed in a heaven made of pink cotton candy clouds. I also have memories of picking out the almost microscopic strands of fiberglass that had imbedded in my fingers. Trickery. This was not cotton candy heaven.
This is a topic I will take on slowly. One, because my brain is showing all signs of resistance to understanding it. And two, there’s quite a few options in terms of materials and strategies, so we’re still weighing it all out. All feedback is greatly welcomed on this one.
The one material that we have settled on is Icynene spray foam. All this kind of stuff has some funk to it, but Isynene is hydroflourocarbon free and often polybrominated diphenylether free (big words, big yuck, good thing to not have).
1. Energy efficient: Can reduce heating and cooling bills by up to 50%.
So… insulation is usually described in terms of its “R-value.” This value describes the insulation’s ability to limit heat coming though it (conduction). The main mode of heat transfer though, is not by conduction, but rather convection-the heat leaking out. The R-value is obviously important, but so is creating a seal as to avoid losing heat. Isynene addresses both of these issues.
2. Improved air quality: keeps out dust, mold, radon and carbon monoxide.
3. Noise reduction: Cuts down on “airborne noise” (TV, talking, etc.) and “flanking noise” (noise within walls such as plumbing runs)
4. Potential tax deductions = more money in the latte fund.
Insulation 101, class adjourned. See you next time for the debate over open-cell vs.close-cell Icynene options and then on to batt insulation! Don’t get too excited.