As the weather turns cooler, many of us are looking forward to chilly evenings around the fire and the busy holiday season. However, to keep warm this winter, you’ll need to be sure your home’s insulation is ready to keep out the freezing temperatures. 

Home insulation can keep you comfortable in the winter and save major money on your electric bills. Here are four types of insulation broken down by description, usage, and cost. Use this as a guide to keep your home’s insulation ready this season and next. 

Expanding Foam

What it is: This foam is made of either open-cell or closed-cell polyurethane and is applied as a soft foam that fills spaces and stiffens in place. It is only applied by professionals, making it a costlier option. The material can expand up to 100 times its volume, so it is superior in plugging air leaks.

Best use: Use when cost isn’t a barrier and you want to invest in long-term comfort.

Cost: About $1.50 per square foot, including labor, if the wall is open – but, $2.25 per square foot for existing walls.

Insulation Batt

What it is: Batts are like thick blankets that are purchased in long rolls or pre-cut to fit in between studs. Most commonly, they are made of fiberglass, but they also exist in cotton and wool forms.

Best use: Use when you want to do it yourself, but the walls must be broken down to the studs.

Cost: Batts will run you anywhere from 40 cents per square foot uninstalled to about $1. However, wool is most expensive, at about $2.75 per square foot.

Loose Fill

What it is: This material consists of dry bits of insulation that is blown into wall cavities through holes 1 – 2.5 inches wide. It can be blown in from interior walls, requiring you to patch holes, or from the exterior, requiring you to lift up siding and drill through the sheathing.

Best use: Use loose fill to shore up attic-floor insulation or inside existing walls to save money.

Cost: Fiberglass and cellulose fill cost about $1.20 per square foot when blown in from the inside and $2 per square foot from the outside.

Sprayed-on Fiber 

What it is: This option works only for stud walls that have yet to be drywalled. Professional installers add water and adhesive to insulation materials and spray it between studs. 

Best use: Use sprayed-on fiber when you want a pro to handle the job and you are on a budget. 

Cost: This option costs about 50 percent more than loose fill.

Now is the time to beef up your home’s insulation, whether you intend to DIY or hire a pro. To build energy efficiency into your home from the ground up, give us a call. We can design and build your dream Green home right here in Northern Virginia.