Residential and Home Insulation Services
Feeling a draft creep in around winter time? Don’t settle for Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Why does cold air always seem to find a way in? If you experience a frigid wintertime home, we at Bruni and Campisi know the cause of your problem.
The source of cold air isn’t always a door or a window seal, it’s often the home insulation. Many homes suffer from poor insulation. When winter comes, so does the cold. All the warm air escapes through the walls, and people end up heating and reheating their homes. Overworking your furnace ends up costing a lot of money. Give your heating bill a break this winter by installing some proper insulation. It’s worth the investment.
Many people avoid extra insulation because they don’t know where to start. What type should you get? How much is necessary? Where should it go? We’ve put together a short guide to help outline your home insulation options.
This guide to insulation will include many helpful home insulation tips relating to the core areas of house insulation. We’ll discuss:
- Ways to effortlessly increase your current insulation
- How much insulation you need using the R-value guide
- Areas you should insulate
- Types of insulation
- What to expect from a professional certified installer
By the end, your insulation hesitations will disappear like your cold air drafts. Pump in a little extra insulation, and your warm feet and bank account will thank you.
Reinforcing Your Current Insulation
There’s no reason to go under insulated. It’s easy to increase your level of insulation in some choice spots. Knowing which areas to target and how to fill them up is key in the battle for heat.
Many older homes lack sufficient insulation. But don’t blame your home’s builders. Insulation technology has greatly improved since then. The first step in deciding whether to add more insulation involves contacting a trained professional to perform an evaluation.
At Bruni and Campisi, we offer energy assessments to target your home’s trouble spots. After determining where you require more insulation, we’ll suggest ways we can remedy the problem.
When we investigate a home, we generally consider two main factors:
- Type of insulation required
- How much insulation is needed
Depending on your location in the U.S., we’ll analyze your R-value index and couple this knowledge with recommended insulation types. In the world of insulation, not many high level terms apply, but one you need to know is R-value.
What is a Home Insulation R-value?
Simply put, r-values refer to the strength of thermal resistance. The greater the r-value, the better your heat protection. This applies directly to homeowners.
When you shop for insulation, you want the most practical value. Only buy what you need. The r-value helps you know what level of insulation you’ll need for your home.
What’s Your R-value?
It shouldn’t surprise you that some parts of the U.S. are colder than others. You don’t need a degree in climate science to know it’s warmer in Florida than Minnesota. To help breakdown the rough temperature differences, insulation experts refer to the R-value system.
The R-value system includes 8 separate zones. These zones range from south to north. They begin with 1, at the tip of Florida and run up to 8, in northern Alaska. Thankfully, we’re not all living in the arctic. Most of us in the northeastern part of the U.S. fall into the 5 to 6 range. We recommend consulting an R-value zone map to gain certainty.
Of course, the R-value only serves as a guideline. There’s no law saying you need to follow the rules, but it does help to determine the level of insulation you likely require. Knowing this will help inform your choice as to which type of insulation will serve you best.
Of course, we’ll help explain any confusion as to which zone you inhabit and the relevant recommendations the r-value system suggests for your home.
Constructing New Homes or Additions
The r-value guide works great for new homes and additions. By making specific recommendations for insulation, it simplifies your consideration for insulation amounts. Many constructors refer to the r-value guide when installing insulation in new homes.
If you’re in the process of overseeing such decisions for your new home, ensure that your contractors know the r-value zone your home. If you’re in the process of expanding or refurbishing your home with an addition or renovation, consult your r-value to best decide on the level, type and location for insulation.
Different R-values for Different Areas
So how does knowing your r-value relate to insulation strength? For those of us in the northeast, we’re in the 5 to 6 r-value zone. This means we need some strong insulation come winter. For an uninsulated attic, we recommend a range of R49 to R60.
Insulation comes in several levels of strength. So when you’re shopping for insulation, consult the r-value protection of that insulation type. Not only does the strength matter, so does the amount. You can also double your insulation to meet your needed protection. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to insulation.
Areas in your home all require different attention to insulation. Naturally, uninsulated attics frequently leak heat, but many other situations require r-value knowledge. Every part of your home requires an individual regard for insulation. Maybe you have some existing attic insulation, or completely uninsulated floors and wood frame walls — they all need specific considerations for the level of insulation.
We suggest that you consult the official energy.gov website for the full spectrum of scenarios. There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you need.
Where to Insulate in a Home
If you feel cold in winter, you have a problem. You know you need extra insulation, but where do you need it? There’s lots of places where you heat might escape. To understand where you’ll need the most protection, consider the nature of heat — it rises.
Attic Roof Insulation
The most common culprit from heat loss is the attic. Unfinished attic spaces leak a truly astounding amount of heat. If you have bare beams in your attic or crawl space, you have a problem.
The recommended type of insulation for attics is loose fill type. Thankfully, we specialize in loose fill (spray foam and cellulose) insulation. Padding every nook and cranny with batt type insulation (those square, usually pink insulation sheets), involves a ton of work. You can imagine the difficulty in measuring and fitting specific pieces for every odd angle in your attic — what a headache.
Spray foam and cellulose make adding additional insulation in an attic area a breeze. These flexible products also play well with existing insulation types.
Home Wall Insulation
Okay, you’ve done the attic, but you still feel a draft. Your exterior walls might need a little extra insulation. Again, blow-in insulation like spray foam and cellulose come to the rescue. This pair compacts nicely into existing spaces and expands to create an insulated super wall.
When picturing where to put insulation, people often forget the basement. After all, heat travels upwards. However, it’s wise to insulate your basement walls. Otherwise, the cold air in your basement will suck the hot air down from your living quarters. (If you need a visual, imagine how a lava lamp works!)
Insulating your basement walls and foundation greatly aids with preventing heat loss. Obviously, it’s difficult to insulate the exterior walls of your basement, but increasing the insulation in the interior walls often isn’t too hard. Additional insulation in your basement also helps stop bugs from getting in to your home.
Now you know your r-values, let’s review some common insulation types. Without a doubt, the two most common insulation types are cellulose and spray foam.
These two types offer an effective and easy solution to your insulation woes. Not only do cellulose and spray foam keep the cold at bay, they plug any crack or crevice. Upon close inspection, many homes possess a porous shield of insulation. These two types simply close the gaps.
Without a doubt, cellulose and spray simplify the insulation game. They offer durable, cost-effective protection and high r-value option. Since they offer differ strategies, let’s learn what makes them different, and great, in their own ways.
Unlike other insulation types, spray foam isn’t hampered by existing obstructions in your architecture. It expands and perfectly molds to any surface required. This allows it to fill any space you need.
Spray foam offers a versatile option for additional insulation. Many homeowners require extra insulation in areas like attics, basements and walls. Such under insulated areas frequently let thermal energy escape. Spray foam doesn’t care if you already have some insulation, it helps improve the overall effectiveness of your entire insulation situation.
Applied in layers, spray foam can cover a lot of area. This makes it perfect for whole attics where spray foam forms a hard, impermeable layer of heat protection. Spray Foam’s material also makes more delicate insulation spots much easier to cover than traditional insulation.
Spray foam consists of two materials: polyol resin and isocyanate. These two ingredients react and rapidly increase in volume. This results in a highly insulating, strong, adhesive foam, useful for a variety of purposes.
In addition to insulating your home from escaping heat, spray foam provides the added bonus of preventing unwanted critters and insects from entering by sealing off the nooks and crannies of your home.
Cellulose Home Insulation
Nowadays, people often prefer the most eco-friendly products available. Given that their performance matches less environmental options, green is the way to go. Cellulose offers a perfect answer for those of us concerned about the environmental impact of our purchases.
Cellulose consists of materials from a variety of recycled sources, often including newspapers, sawdust, cardboard, cotton, straw and other organic materials.
Moreover, cellulose offers a variety of other advantages, such as:
- Excellent r-value thermal protection
- Inexpensively priced
- Low labor output resulting in lower installation costs
- Additional soundproofing
- Increased ability to conform around any obstacle (pipes, window frames etc.)
- Plus it plugs every gap, sealing out unwanted pests.
Perfect for the environmentalist or practical homeowner, cellulose offers another great option for home insulation. Similar to spray foam, cellulose employs a hose relay system to blow the material into the desired space. It’s easy to coat a large surface such as an attic, but cellulose’s versatility permits many other uses.
For instance, to pump cellulose into your floor or wall, we increase the density of the material by pumping it at high pressure into the available space, filling up every inch of area in a given cavity.
Additionally, cellulose is treated with a flame retardant material. This gives your home extra protection from any possible flammable threats.
Other Insulation Options
At Bruni and Campisi, we have had great results and rave reviews from homeowners thrilled with the versatility, cost savings and other benefits achieved by spray foam and cellulose, in addition to standard insulation. That said, we don’t just limit ourselves to these options. In addition, we offer the following home insulation options:
Roxul Fire and Soundproofing Insulation
Insulation serves a number of purposes, including soundproofing. All insulation offers a certain level of noise reduction, but Roxul takes it to the next level.
Perfect for music lovers (or noise haters), Roxul is the preferred option for insulation to add soundproofing to your home adds an ocean of tranquility and control to any environment. Many recording artists or sound engineers turn to Roxul as their go-to choice. The difference between Roxul and other insulations centers on its material: stone wool.
The Roxul Company claims that the original idea came from volcanoes. The first manufacturers of stone wool observed the way that lava became spun and twisted by gusts of wind. What if this cotton candy lava were poured into molds? The result became the incredibly sound resistant product known as stone wool, which Roxul manufactures.
Roxul recreates the furnace of a volcano to forge their insulation. Using incredibly high temperature ovens, they melt basalt rock and slag. Many industrial projects produce these rocks as a byproduct. Utilizing the spirit of recycling, these rocks get smelted into a liquid. Then, Roxul whips up the molten rock into a moldable material. They stack and compress layers of this stone wool into their sound eliminating final product.
Roxul differs from the other insulation types in a number of ways. First, it can only be administered into your home in batting sheets. Batting resembles the standard pink insulation most people are familiar with and is generally more difficult to install, requiring precise measurements, cuts and fitting to work effectively. Roxul falls under this category. Unlike the spray foam and cellulose types, Roxul must undergo expert fitting to create a soundproof seal in a given space.
For situations when you need maximum heat insulation and energy savings, the cellulose or spray foam options will work best, but when you need soundproofing or added fire protection, Roxul’s your best bet.
You guessed right, denim insulation is made from old blue jeans. Like Roxul, Denim insulation uses a recycled product to make quality batting insulation. Similar to cellulose, it’s incredibly environmental. And like Roxul’s stone wool, denim insulation undergoes processing before it’s ready to use.
Denim insulation’s environmental bonus even garnered the praise of the California Academy of Sciences. Their museum, which prides itself on sustainability, is insulated by 68% denim.
The final type of insulation is blown fiberglass. Similar to cellulose insulation, blown fiberglass is sprayed from a hose into whichever space needs insulating.
We offer blown fiberglass as an option, but tend to recommend cellulose over it. Several factors contribute to this stance:
- Pound for pound, cellulose actually offers a higher r-value.
- Cellulose boasts a lower environmental impact
- Fiberglass poses certain health concerns when inhaled. However, tucked safely away in an attic, where no one risks exposure, blown fiberglass offers a perfectly safe alternative.
What to Look For in Insulation Experts
It can be difficult to install your own insulation, especially if you want spray foam or cellulose insulation where years of experience and the proper equipment can make all the difference.
At Bruni and Campisi, we are here to help with any insulation questions you have and to help you choose the best option for your home or business. For almost four decades, our friendly and knowledgeable team of professional certified installers has proudly served the homeowners in Westchester County, New York, Greenwhich and Stamford Connecticut, as well as surrounding areas.
We love to bring new technology and solutions to the insulation game. We also offer several other services such as licensed plumbing, heating and air conditioning, in addition to insulation.
Contact us today and we’ll provide a free consultation and estimate, including a free infrared scanning of your home to locate insulation problem areas. We will also explain how you can take advantage of any applicable or current rebates and incentives offered by New York State for the upgrade and installation of insulation.