Twin Cities MN Insulation Contractor | Frequently Asked Questions
With over half of the American population owning homes, the insulation questions are numerous. Century Insulation would like to address some of our most common insulation questions – to better inform home, business and property owners. We feel that the best type of consumer is the informed consumer. If your question(s) expand(s) further than what we have discussed below, don’t hesitate to contact our Minnesota insulation professionals. We have the experience, certification and knowledge to help you with any residential or commercial insulation applications. Twin Cities MN Insulation Contractor
Twin Cities MN Insulation Contractor | Century Insulation is here to help answer your questions!
Why Insulate Your Home or Building?
Insulation is an upgrade that pays. Lack of proper insulation located within your property’s roof, windows and walls will require your heating, air and ventilation systems to work harder to get to and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
More Benefits of Insulation:
- Lower your monthly air and heating bills
- Increase your indoor air quality
- Rebates and other Incentives are available for those who improve their energy efficiency
- Reduces noise travel
- Adds value to your property
- Fire, allergen, mildew and mold protection
What is R-Value?
R-Value is what the building and construction industry uses to measure thermal resistance. The higher the R-Value is, the more the material can resist heat and cold loss; depending on size, thickness or weight. All insulation materials, such as Fiberglass, Cellulose, Spray Foam and any other insulation options are tested for R-value. But the material’s R-value doesn’t necessarily mean that your home will have that same level of R-value. That’s why correct insulation installation is so important.
How much will I save by adding insulation to the walls, ceilings, and floors of my home?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the typical U.S. family spends close to $1,500 each year on energy bills. And in Minnesota, it is doubtful you’re on the low end of this list, with our dramatic seasons. DOE statistics show that, typically, 44% of a homeowner’s utility bill goes for heating and cooling costs. DOE states that homeowners may be able to reduce their energy bills from 10% to 50% by taking certain steps. One of the major steps is increasing the amount of thermal insulation in their existing homes or purchasing additional insulation when buying new homes.
Unless your home was constructed with special attention to energy efficiency, adding insulation will most likely reduce your utility bills. The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Energy conserved is money saved, and the annual savings increase when utility rates go up.
How much insulation should my residential or commercial building have?
Different areas of a home or building have different recommended R-values. If your home or other property was built before the 1980s, chances are high that your home does not have the proper amount of insulation. And you could be paying for it, month after month.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends home insulation R-values based on where you live – use the R-Value Calculator – link http://web.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_16.html – to help determine your correct level, in each area of your Minnesota building.
It is also important that your new residential or commercial building complies with current Minnesota building code requirements – link http://www.insulate.org/tech4.html – for insulation. These building codes establish minimum levels of insulation for ceilings, walls, floors, and basements for new residential and commercial construction.
What is the difference among fiberglass, rock and slag wool, cellulose, and foam insulations?
- Fiberglass is made from molten sand or recycled glass and other inorganic materials under highly controlled conditions. Fiberglass is produced in batt, blanket, and loose-fill forms.
- Rock and slag wool are manufactured similarly to fiberglass, but use natural rock and blast furnace slag as its raw material. Typical forms are loose-fill, blanket, or board types.
- Cellulose is a loose-fill made from recycled materials, much of it paper and flame retardants are added to it in order to give it a permanent fireproof element.
- Foam insulations are available as rigid boards or foamed-in-place materials that can fill and seal blocks or building cavity spaces. Foams are also used in air sealing to fill gaps, cracks, or openings.
- Reflective materials are fabricated from aluminum foils with a variety of backings such as polyethylene bubbles and plastic film. Reflective insulations retard the transfer of heat; they can be tested by the same methods as mass insulation and therefore assigned an R-value.
- A Radiant Barrier is a building construction material consisting of a low emittance (normally 0.1 or less) surface (usually aluminum foil) bounded by an open air space. Radiant barriers are used for the sole purpose of limiting heat transfer by radiation.
Why hire a professional insulation contractor rather than a home improvement contractor or general contractor?
Professional insulation contractors devote their time to insulation contracting services and focus on your energy conservation and comfort. Proper installation is essential for insulation to perform properly.
Knowledge of vapor retarders, air infiltration, ventilation, recessed lighting, and water pipes are just a few of the areas critical to installation techniques. Professional insulation contractors have access to a wide variety of training, are familiar with local codes and regulations, and can offer guidance about the type and amount of insulation to be used.
Can insulation help reduce unwanted sound?
Yes. Insulation is an efficient way to reduce unwanted sound, and it is commonly used to provide a more comfortable and quieter interior environment. Insulation effectively reduces noise transmission through floors, ceilings and through interior and exterior walls. A professional insulation contractor can help you select the proper insulation for your needs.
Where can I get more information about insulation?
- General: U.S. Department of Energy – link http://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy , and Energy Star – link http://www.energystar.gov/ia/home_improvement/home_sealing/IncreaseInsulationFS_2005.pdf a service of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Fiberglass, Rock and Slag Wool Insulation: North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) – link http://www.naima.org/index.php
- Cellulose Insulation: Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association (CIMA) – link http://www.cellulose.org/
- Spray Foam: Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) – link http://www.sprayfoam.org/
For a “green home,” do I really need a high-efficiency furnace, high-efficiency appliances, and new windows?
It’s better to go low-tech according to Lane Burt, a building-energy expert with the Natural Resource Defense Council. Hire a professional to find all the leaks in your home and plug them up. This should cost much less than a new heating system, so you won’t be heating the outside of your home. The best energy efficiency measure you can take is insulating and air sealing your home – according to McKinsey & Company.
Twin Cities MN Insulation Contractor | For More Information
For any further questions contact Century Insulation; our Minnesota Professional Insulation Contractors are more than happy to answer your questions at (763) 270-8765!
Some of this information is publicly available information reproduced from http://www.insulate.org/consumerinfo.html