Residential Insulation 101: Understanding the Basics from D&D Insulation

10 August 2023

D&D Insulation presents Residential Insulation 101. Learn the basics for effective home insulation. Create comfort and energy efficiency.

Have you ever wondered how to keep your home comfortable all year round while saving on energy costs? The answer lies in proper insulation. Residential insulation is a crucial property component, providing thermal resistance and minimising heat transfer. This article will explore the basics of residential insulation, its types, factors to consider when choosing insulation, areas to insulate, and the benefits it brings to your home.

Why Residential Insulation is Important

Proper residential insulation is essential for several reasons. It is a barrier against heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer, ensuring a consistent indoor temperature. Insulation also reduces energy consumption by minimising the need for heating and cooling systems. Additionally, it improves indoor air quality, reduces noise transmission, and increases the overall comfort of your living space.

Types of Residential Insulation

Fibreglass Insulation

Fibreglass insulation is one of the most common types used in residential buildings. It consists of fine glass fibres that trap air pockets, providing excellent thermal resistance. Fibreglass insulation is available in batts, rolls, or loose-fill forms, making it versatile and easy to install.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper or plant fibres treated with fire-retardant chemicals. It offers effective thermal insulation, especially in areas with irregular shapes or hard-to-reach spaces. Cellulose insulation is blown or sprayed into cavities, creating a seamless and efficient barrier against heat transfer.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a versatile option that expands upon application, filling gaps and sealing air leaks. It provides exceptional thermal resistance and can be used in various areas, including walls, attics, and crawlspaces. Spray foam insulation is available in two types: open-cell foam, which is less dense and provides sound insulation, and closed-cell foam, which offers superior thermal resistance.

Rigid Foam Insulation

Rigid foam insulation is a dense, durable, and moisture-resistant material. It comes in boards or panels, making it ideal for insulating exterior walls, roofs, and foundation walls. Rigid foam insulation provides high R-values and enhances the structural integrity of buildings.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Insulation


The R-value measures the residential insulation’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation’s performance. Consider the climate in your area and consult with professionals to determine the appropriate R-value for your home.

Material and Installation Cost

Different insulation materials have varying costs. Fibreglass insulation is generally more affordable, while spray foam insulation tends to be more expensive. Additionally, factor in installation costs, especially if considering professional installation.

Moisture and Mould Resistance

Choose insulation materials resistant to mould growth and moisture absorption in areas prone to moisture or high humidity. This ensures the longevity and effectiveness of the insulation.

Fire Safety

Consider the fire safety properties of the insulation material. Some insulation types have inherent fire-resistant properties, offering a layer of protection for your home.

Areas for Residential Insulation Application

Attic Insulation

The attic is one of the primary areas where heat loss or gain occurs. Properly insulating the attic can significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Use insulation materials suitable for attics, such as fibreglass batts or blown-in cellulose insulation.

Wall Insulation

Insulating exterior walls minimises heat transfer and enhances the overall thermal performance of your home. Depending on your wall construction, you can choose between different insulation options, including fibreglass batts, blown-in cellulose, or rigid foam insulation.

Basement and Crawlspace Insulation

Uninsulated basements and crawlspaces can lead to moisture problems and energy loss. Insulate the basement walls and crawlspaces with rigid or spray foam insulation to create a conditioned space and prevent heat loss.

Insulating Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are common sources of drafts and heat transfer. Use weatherstripping and caulking to seal gaps around windows and doors, preventing air leakage. Additionally, consider using window treatments like thermal curtains or window films for added insulation.

Understanding the basics of residential insulation is crucial for homeowners looking to create a comfortable and energy-efficient living space. A properly installed and planned residential insulation system will ensure the insulation continues to perform optimally, providing long-term savings and environmental benefits.

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