Installing insulation as a house is being built is easy to do. Beefing up the insulation in an existing home is a tougher task, especially when you don't know what insulation-if any-is already in place. Senior editor Justin Fink takes a look at the most common types of insulation that exist in homes today, including balsam wool, urea-formaldehyde foam, vermiculite, fiberglass, rock wool, and cotton batts. Fink then provides information on contemporary insulation upgrades, such as rigid foam (EPS, XPS, and polyiso) and blown-in options (cellulose and fiberglass). This article includes sidebars on determining what type of insulation is already in walls and on ways to remove old insulation (if that is necessary for performing an upgrade).
Plus, use our Insulation Upgrade Payback Estimator to estimate how long it will take to payback your investment based on savings in energy costs.