As the cooler weather arrives, many people around the country are dealing with a winter full of snow and ice. And while many Floridians are enjoying cooler temperatures during the winter months, air conditioners continue to run more often than not in southwest Florida. The best thing you can do about high energy costs is to make sure your home is properly insulated, especially if you’re remodeling or building.

Insulation is rated in terms of its thermal resistance, shares MyFloridaHomeenergy.com. This resistance, or R-value, refers to the performance of insulation by measuring the resistance to heat flowing through the insulation over time. An insulation with greater resistance (higher R-value) to heat flow means that less heat enters your home during warm months and less heat leaves your home in the cool months, when you are heating the interior space. EnergyStar.gov provides a map of recommended home insulation R-values, so you have an idea of how much insulation you’ll need in your remodel or new home construction.

Insulation serves as a barrier between you and the outside world. It keeps that lovely yet pricey air-conditioned air inside, so you don’t have to spend so much on cooling costs, or feel the guilt when you open the window to feel that rare cool breeze. To assess your insulation needs, start by learning about the insulation ratings and the different kinds of insulation available.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION

Spray foam insulation is a popular choice, considering it works well for existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions. The experts at Energy Monster, a south Florida-based energy solutions company, recommend spray foam insulation for Florida residents because it also has a high R-Value, can create an airtight seal, and has a resistance to moisture. Although it also can be expensive, spray foam insulation could save you potentially hundreds of dollars per year on energy costs. That means you could make back the money you spent on insulation installation in just a few years’ time.

BATT INSULATION

Blanket insulation, the most common and widely available type of insulation according to energy.gov,  comes in the form of batts or rolls consisting of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral, wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers, such as cotton and sheep’s wool. Batt insulation is a good basic insulation for attics, walls, crawl spaces, and ceilings. It’s easy to use and can be installed quickly and affordably by professionals. It can also come with or without facing, which must be placed per specifications to resist transfer of water vapor.

BLOWN-IN INSULATION

Blown-in, or loose-fill insulation provides a dense, effective barrier against heat loss that is also one of the greenest insulation options. It offers a low impact on the environment while providing immediate energy savings when installed in attics, walls and hard-to-reach spaces.

Some less common loose-fill insulation materials include polystyrene beads and vermiculite and perlite. Loose-fill insulation can be installed in either enclosed cavities such as walls, or unenclosed spaces such as attics. Cellulose, fiberglass, and rock wool are typically blown in by experienced installers trained to  achieve the correct density and R-values for your home. Polystyrene beads, vermiculite, and perlite are typically poured.

Proper installation is also key for blown-in insulation. Special equipment and safety measures are required to ensure long-term performance. In addition to being a mostly recycled product, cellulose blown-in insulation includes fire retardant properties. It also resists insects, rodents and mold and forms a good sound barrier.

With 20 years of remodeling and home construction experience, J. Sweet Construction can assess your insulation needs and provide quality work, with honesty and integrity. We’ll make sure your Florida home is outfitted with the proper insulation to suit your needs and your budget.