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What Is the Best Insulation?

If you’re looking to increase the amount of insulation in your home, you undoubtedly want to choose the best material for the job. So which is it, fiberglass, spray foam or cellulose? The answer largely depends on the area you’re insulating.

What Is the Best Attic Insulation?

The attic is the most cost-effective place to insulate in any home. This helps prevent heat from rising up and out of your home. The best types of attic insulation include:

  • Fiberglass: As the most affordable insulating material, fiberglass is also the most popular. It comes in convenient batts and rolls that make it easy to install between ceiling rafters and attic floor joists.
  • Cellulose: Blown-in cellulose is an eco-friendly way to insulate your attic with bits of recycled newspaper treated with flame-retardant chemicals. You can install it in a bare attic or directly over existing fiberglass batts for an added layer of insulation.
  • Spray foam: Good for filling oddly shaped spaces and blocking airflow as well as heat transfer, spray foam makes for very effective attic insulation. The biggest drawback is the higher cost per square foot compared to other materials.

What Is the Best Wall Insulation?

While you need to hire a professional to install wall insulation in your home, it’s possible to do so without tearing down the drywall. Your two options include:

  • Cellulose: With a row of siding removed from the outside of your home, the contractor can drill a hole between each joist and inject loose-fill insulation into the wall cavity. Sealing the hole and replacing the siding makes it appear as though the job never happened, but your energy bills will certainly reflect the upgrade.
  • Spray foam: You can also inject spray foam using the method described above. Spray foam is especially effective because it air seals as well as insulates against heat flow.

What Is the Best Crawl Space Insulation?

If you need to insulate the crawl space beneath your home, you have two options:

  • Fiberglass for the crawl space ceiling: If the floor joists are built to code, you can easily fit fiberglass batts here to improve the insulation between your home and the crawl space. This method is recommended for ventilated crawl spaces.
  • Spray foam for the crawl space walls or ceiling: If your crawl space is unventilated, you should seal it off from the elements with wall insulation. Because the walls of your crawl space are prone to condensation, you need moisture-resistant insulation, making spray foam your best option. Spray foam is also appropriate for insulating the crawl space ceiling.

What Is the Best Basement Insulation?

Insulating a basement has similar rules to insulating a crawl space. We recommend these materials:

  • Fiberglass for the basement ceiling: If the basement is unheated, seal it off from the living area above with fiberglass batts between the floor joists. If you have an unheated garage with a room above it, insulate the ceiling here in the same manner.
  • Spray foam for the basement walls or ceiling: As the best insulation for damp spaces, spray foam is perfect for basement walls and ceilings where moisture is common.

What Is R-Value & Why Is It Important?

When discussing construction and home improvement, the term “R-value” comes up often in conversation — especially when deciding between insulation materials. But what exactly does R-value signify, and why is it vital in insulation?

R-value stands for thermal resistance, a measure of how well a material can resist heat transfer. It indicates how effectively an insulating material prevents heat from flowing through it. The higher the R-value, the greater the material’s insulating properties — and consequently, the better it can maintain desired temperatures within a space.

One critical aspect to consider when discussing R-value is the regional variation dictated by climate zones. The suggested R-value for insulation varies depending on the climate zone in which a building is located.

For example, areas with harsher winters will require higher R-values to effectively trap heat indoors during colder months, while regions with scorching summers will prioritize insulation that keeps the interior cool by resisting heat transfer from outside.

The ideal R-value isn’t solely dependent on the climate zone; the area of the home or commercial building matters, too. Different rooms or places within a structure, such as walls, attics, floors and ceilings, may require varying insulation levels to optimize energy efficiency.

Attics often have higher R-value requirements than interior walls, as they’re more exposed to extreme outdoor temperatures. Similarly, basement walls may need different insulation levels than above-ground walls due to differences in temperature and moisture levels.

Understanding and adhering to the recommended R-value for insulation is crucial for several reasons:

  • Energy efficiency: Proper insulation with the right R-value helps minimize heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, reducing the workload on HVAC systems and ultimately lowering energy bills.
  • Comfort: Adequate insulation ensures more consistent indoor temperatures, enhancing comfort levels for occupants throughout the year.
  • Environmental impact: Proper insulation improves energy efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating and cooling, contributing to a more sustainable environment.

R-values are a cornerstone in insulation selection and installation, dictating the material’s effectiveness in regulating indoor temperatures.

Install the Best Insulation in Your Albany, NY Home

No matter which part of your home requires an added layer of insulation, let Builders Installed Products Albany complete the installation for you. Our proven techniques ensure the best results for a more comfortable home and less expensive heating and cooling bills.

To learn more about our insulation products or request a free job estimate, contact Builders Installed Products Albany today.


Builders has earned our business by partnering with us to research and deliver quality products combined with professional workmanship, and I look forward to working with them in the future.

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Fiberglass Insulation

Our insulation team adds energy efficiency, comfort and value to homes and buildings.

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Foam Insulation

We spray foam both open and closed cell in existing and new construction homes.

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Cellulose Insulation

Our team installs cellulose for both new construction and retrofit projects.

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Leaf Protection

Our leaf protection products are second to none.

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Air Sealing

We include air sealing in our insulation projects

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We strive to maintain ventilation in our insulation projects.

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We offer all types of mirrors - from standard sizes to custom cuts.

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Bath Accessories

We supply bathroom hardware and accessories for new homes.

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