One of the key reasons homeowners insulate their homes is to realise energy savings. Lack of insulation paves the way for massive heat gains and losses, which can affect indoor comfort and increase annual heating and cooling costs. Whole-home insulation creates an airtight indoor space and prevents heat loss and gain. It also introduces a vapour barrier that safeguards the home from moisture damage and mould growth. When insulating a new construction, it's crucial to observe these steps to improve the performance of your insulation materials.
Assess your building's insulation needs
New constructions are easier and cheaper to insulate than existing homes. Therefore, to create an effective thermal barrier, you should insulate the building's envelope. This comprises the exterior walls, roof, attic and exterior doors. If your home has a basement or crawlspace, insulate it to prevent humidity issues and heat transfer between the basement and your floors.
Defining your insulation needs enables you to assess the scope of the project. It also allows you to decide at what stage of the construction to install insulation materials. For example, wall insulation should be placed after the rough-in stage. This allows you to insulate the plumbing pipes and HVAC ductwork as well. If you want to soundproof some interior walls to create an acoustic barrier, do so before the plastering stage to avoid costly plaster teardowns.
Choose the right insulation materials for each space
There are various types of insulation, but the most common ones are fibreglass, foam, batts and cellulose. When choosing materials, assess their suitability for the intended space. For example, exterior wall insulation should create a thermal and vapour barrier between your home and the outdoors. In this case, foam board and open-cell spray foam are excellent choices.
Foam-based insulation is great for floors, basements and crawlspaces because it creates an air barrier to prevent humidity issues in your subfloors. Conversely, roof insulation depends on the type of roofing design. If you don't have an attic, opt for closed-cell spray foam because it both insulates and creates a moisture barrier. However, if you have an attic, you can install loose-fill insulation materials such as fibreglass and mineral wool.
Don't forget glass doors and windows
Modern home designs feature large windows and glass doors. Conventional glass windows and doors can cause significant heat losses and gains in a home. Therefore, to create a thermal barrier around your home, insulate your glass patio doors and windows as well. Invest in double-glazed windows to block solar heat and regulate indoor temperatures. You can also use glass tint to improve the energy efficiency of your glass doors and windows.
Whole-home insulation is a complex project that requires careful planning and execution. Consult your contractor to learn more about residential insulation.
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