Batt Insulation Buying Guide
Insulation batts are one of the most popular types of insulation. They come in thick, flexible sheets that can easily be attached around equipment and between studs. If you are planning on insulating a property with batts, you will need to learn all about your different options. These tips will tell you everything you need to know about buying and using batt insulation to protect your home.
Which Type of Batt Material Is Best?
Batts can be made of many different options. Fiberglass is a very common choice since it is affordable and insulates well. However, those who want an all-natural choice may like insulation batts made of eco-friendly cotton or wool. You can also find batts made from mineral wool, which is essentially a fibrous form of melted down basalt stone. This insulation has a higher insulation value and more fire resistance, but it can be pricier. There are also different types of materials for the outer layer of the batt. Paper is quite common and very affordable. However, plastic encapsulations can reduce the chances of fiberglass getting everywhere during installation, while aluminum backings can resist moisture even better.
Understanding the Importance of R Values
After you decide on your type of insulation, you will need to start considering R-value. R-value is a unit of measurement that tells you how well insulation resists heat flow. A higher R-value means that heat does not travel easily through the insulation. This will keep hot summer air from making your AC run harder, and it will also keep all your heat from leaking outside during chilly winters. Not all batts have the same R-value. Standard fiberglass for a 2 by 4-inch wall joist tends to have an R-value of about 13, while mineral wool may have an R-value of up to 15. If you want a higher R-value though, you can get special high-density insulation with an R-value of around 20.
How to Figure Out How Much Batting You Need
To figure out how much batt insulation to order, start by measuring the length and height of your walls. Then multiply these numbers to get the square footage of the areas that need insulation. Next, figure out how many square footages you get in each bundle of batts you are ordering. You can then easily divide the square footage of your walls by that of the bundles to see how many bundles you should buy. When shopping for bundles, make sure you get the ones that are the same width as the space between your studs and joists. An important thing to keep in mind with batting is that flattening or compressing it can reduce the insulation’s R-value. Therefore, it is important to get the thickness that corresponds to your wall space. In some cases, you may need to double up on batts to get the appropriate thickness.
Choosing Between DIY and Professional Installation
Whether or not you can add insulation as a DIY project will depend on your priorities. It is possible to install batts at home if you want to save money, and you do not need any unusual or expensive tools for the project. However, a professional installer can save you a lot of time and effort. They have the experience to deal with difficult things like odd angles, electrical wiring, and moist areas. They also tend to be better at insulating behind existing drywall or working with fiberglass safely.
As long as you take the time to carefully consider material, R-value, amount, and installation method, you can make sure you buy the right insulation batting for your needs.