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Wall Insulation
Wall Insulation
Benefits of Wall Insulation

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.

Insulation is 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.

Energy Savings
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 edge.

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?


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