Benefits of Wall Insulation
|Properly sealed, moisture-protected, and insulated walls help increase
comfort, reduce noise, and save on energy costs. The insulation in a building should form
an uninterrupted boundary that defines the heated area of the building.
available in a variety of forms, including batts and blankets, rigid board, and loose
fill. Each type is designed for a specific purpose. Although rolls or blankets, usually
made of fiberglass, are often laid over the floor in the attic, you should also consider
using loose-fill insulation. Usually made of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose,
loose-fill insulation can either be poured in or blown in to spaces. Loose-fill
insulations require less energy to produce than other forms of insulation, and cellulose
loose-fill insulation is made from recycled materials.
Although batts, usually made of fiberglass or rock wool, are typically used between
studs or floor joists, rigid foam boards should be considered as an alternate approach.
Rigid foam boards are made of polyisocyanurate, extruded polystyrene (XPS or blueboard),
expanded polystyrene (EPS or beadboard), or other materials. These boards are lightweight,
provide structural support, and generally have an R-value of 4 to 7 per inch. Rigid boards
can also be added to basement walls, exposed foundations, cathedral ceilings, exterior
walls, and attic access.
Another option for exterior walls and ceilings is to use structural insulated panels
(SIPs, also called foam-core panels), which are thick slabs of foam insulation sandwiched
between two layers of a structural material such as plywood. They can be used in place of
stud-framed construction for both walls and ceilings. Although SIPs cost more than
traditional building materials, they require less labor to install, so the total cost is
roughly the same as stud-framed walls.
Benefits of Wall Insulation
Insulation to control noise should be a primary component in structures and processes
where noise can impact a worker's health and efficiency. The noise produced by appliances,
piping, heating and air conditioning systems, phones, radios and even talking are the
major reasons people are dissatisfied with their work place.
Special and standard insulation materials can be used to encase or enclose a noise
generating source, forming a sound barrier between the source and the surrounding area.
Insulation placed in walls and ceilings can provide a barrier to the entry of sound from
the outside or other rooms. Insulation is used to:
- Reduce obnoxious noise levels emitting from machines, equipment, lines or enclosures.
- Reduce general noise level in plant areas.
- Provide for better work conditions.
- Help facilities comply with OSHA and EPA noise level standards.
The most substantial return on an investment in insulation is in energy savings over a
period of time. Properly designed and installed insulation systems immediately reduce the
need for energy-a costly ingredient of every product made. Lowering the energy input of
each pound of product will result in enormous cost savings. Therefore, companies that
implement a comprehensive plan to reduce energy spending will gain a definite competitive
Used in combination with other materials, insulation helps provide fire protection in:
firestop systems designed to provide an effective barrier against the spread of flame,
smoke, gases and moisture; grease and air duct fireproofing; electrical and communications
conduit and cable protection.
Sources: US Department of Energy, Office of Building Technology, State and Community
Programs, Insulation. National Insulation Association, Why Insulate?