Creating energy-efficient designs in the homes we build is something we pay special attention to in both the Design & Construction phases of each project. Many aspects of a home affect how well it will perform from an energy-efficiency standpoint: floor plan & layout, amount of glass, site location, climate, materials used, and more. Furthermore, there have been many new methodologies and products introduced to the industry to help create a more comfortable home.
How a home is insulated is a critical component in building one that is high-performance. Traditionally, most homes use what is known as Batt Insulation. This type of insulation typically looks like that “pink & fluffy stuff” with a paper backing. When installed, it sits within the stud bays in the walls of your home. Traditional Batt Insulation has been the standard and most common type of insulation for many years. It is a low-cost solution with desirable results, significantly reducing the amount of energy required to heat and cool a home. One drawback with Batt Insulation are the voids and cavities that are left in the walls. These voids will reduce the efficiency of your home, causing a loss of both air and energy from inside.
One of the newer, tested products that we like using in our homes is called Spider Insulation. Unlike the Batt Insulation that you are used to, Spider Insulation is blown into the wall cavities. This is the key difference between Batt Insulation and blown-in, Spider Insulation. Spider Insulation itself is not only going to give your home a higher R-value than Batt Insulation (the R-value is the industry standard scale for testing insulation performance), but will also eliminate the voids and cavities that you see with Batt Insulation without any settling in the future.
The process is fun to watch. The blown-in, Spider Insulation will stick to every surface within the wall cavity. Then, using a special rotating tool, any excess is sheared from the wall to the thickness of the stud. A vacuum will suck up any excess insulation laying on the ground, send it back to the truck it came from in a series of tubes, and then recycle it into another batch of insulation to be blown into the rest of the house. This process allows for superior results and an efficiency with materials.
Keep in mind, there will never be only one answer in the best way to insulate your home. Many factors need to be considered to understand a holistic approach. Spider Insulation is one of the “tools in our toolbelt” that may make your home even more energy-efficient.