If you don’t want your home to freeze up during winter or become a fiery volcano during summer, you strongly need to consider home insulation. When you mention home insulation, batt insulation readily comes to mind. But is it worth it?
Batt insulation has excellent temperature regulation capabilities. When appropriately installed, they modulate heat transfer between your home and the surrounding. Research has shown that batt insulation can reduce your energy bill by as much as 50%. Furthermore, batt insulation is flexible and one of the easiest insulation types to install.
Of course, there is a lot more to know about batt insulation than we mentioned above. How much does installing batt insulation in your home cost? Can batt insulation catch fire? Compared to blown-in insulation, is batt insulation superior or inferior?
What are the Benefits of Batt Insulation?
Batt insulation is predominantly fiberglass and mineral wool. Batt insulation comes with a bevy of advantages. Hence they are the most popular home insulation type in residential homes.
The ease of installation, affordability, longevity, energy efficiency, and flexibility are batt insulation’s most attractive selling points.
With batt insulation, you can successfully slash your energy bill by half. That is how efficient their thermal capabilities are.
Batt insulation is also easy to install. Compared to other insulation types, you don’t necessarily need a professional installer to get your batt insulation deployed.
Their flexibility is another attraction. Batt insulation typically comes in pre-cut panels or as rolls. This enhances their versatility (regarding deployment), as you can use them between rafters, joist blocks, and studs without worrying about gaps that would denigrate the insulation project.
Batt insulation is also affordable (we will be addressing this shortly). Lastly, on longevity, batt insulation is one of the most durable around, typically outliving the homeowner.
Batt Insulation Costs
The cost of batt insulation typically varies with the insulation rating. For example, a square foot of fiberglass insulation with an R-13 insulation rate costs anywhere from 30 cents to 40 cents.
For the same size, R-19 rated fiberglass insulation could cost from 40 cents to 55 cents. R-21 rated insulation costs from 48 cents to 55 cents per square foot.
The prices for these respective fiberglass insulation measurements (R-value and square foot) increase by at least 40% (and at most 60%) for their mineral wool insulation equivalent.
Should you go with a professional installer, you can expect to pay him between $40-$80 hourly. Some installers prefer to charge per square foot. For the latter, they could charge you $0.45-$1.35 per square foot.
Factors like size, material choice, insulation type (faced or unfaced), and accessibility also affect the cost of a batt insulation project.
Naturally, if you are insulating larger spaces, you would spend more as there is more need for insulation material and the time the professional installer would take.
Less accessible areas like vaulted ceilings are a bit more challenging to reach. So you would expect the installer to charge you more.
If you are going with faced batt insulation, you should budget higher as they cost more than unfaced insulation.
This is because the former is more suited for first-time insulation projects, whereas the unfaced variant is better suited to an insulation improvement project.
How Long Does Batt Insulation Last?
Batt insulation is famed for its durability. Typically if your batt insulation is not damaged, you can expect it to last up to 80 years before the need for replacement comes in.
While the batt material lasts that long, there are instances of fiberglass batt insulation where the insulation falls off the batt as soon as 15 years.
You can always carry out an energy audit to ascertain if you are spending more on warming and cooling your home than when you installed your insulation. If affirmative, your batt insulation could have deteriorated.
Is Batt Insulation Good for Soundproofing?
Yes, batt insulation excels at soundproofing. Sound waves incident on batt insulation are unable to rapidly penetrate, significantly reducing their intensity.
Nonetheless, different types of batt insulation come with varying soundproofing capacities. Specifically, mineral wool batt insulation is better at soundproofing than fiberglass batt insulation.
Statistically, wool insulation delivers 120% of the soundproofing capabilities you can expect from equivalent fiberglass insulation.
This superiority in soundproofing (in mineral wool) can be traced to their structure. Wool insulation has significant air pockets.
These air pockets work excellently in trapping the sound waves.
That said, the denser batt insulation is, the better it is as soundproofing.
Thicker batts can dull louder sounds, while thinner batts can only dull quieter noises.
Is Batt Insulation Combustible?
Batt insulation is not combustible. Such non-combustibility applies to mineral wool and fiberglass batt insulation. That said, both have differing thresholds for fire resistance.
While fiberglass batt is fundamentally not combustible, it will melt when sustainably exposed to extreme temperatures.
Mineral wool batt resists fire better than fiberglass batt.
Can Batt Insulation Get Wet?
This depends on the type of batt insulation. For example, while fiberglass doesn’t soak up water, it can get wet.
When wet, fiberglass losses a large chunk of its insulating capacity. It will recover such thermal resistance if it manages to dry out without compacting.
For mineral wool, you get more water-resistant batt insulation. Nonetheless, mineral wool is not waterproof. The goodnews is that wool doesn’t soak up water into its fiber.
Wool has remarkable draining strengths, allowing it to retain its insulating ability better.
Does Batt Insulation Need to be Covered?
The answer to this depends on the location of the batt insulation. Here, is the batt insulation deployed in areas where people are actively staying or in isolated areas with significantly reduced human activity?
If you are deploying batt insulation in unoccupied locations, you may not have to bother about covering them.
For example, if you are deploying batt insulation in your basement or probably in your attic (where people rarely go), you may go away with exposing your batt insulation.
Conversely, it is strictly prohibited to expose batt insulation in locations with substantial human activity.
This is because exposed batt insulation (especially fiberglass batt) comes with the risk of respiratory irritation for the humans in that space.
When exposed to air, fiberglass can cause coughing, scratchy throat or even skin irritations.
Aside from the health dimension, it is worth considering covering your batt insulation if you install them in locations with a strong possibility of moisture exposure.
Installing batt insulation in locations adjoining leaky roofs and punctured barns will cover to protect the integrity of such insulation.
Is Batt Insulation Better than Blown-in?
Batt insulation beats blown-in insulation in ease of installation, durability, and cost.
Let us start with the cost. A square foot of blown-in insulation costs anywhere from $0.5 to $1.10.
It is cheaper for batt insulation. The latter (a square foot) goes for $0.30 to $0.90.
Batt insulation is way easier to install than blown-in insulation. While you can install batt insulation on your own with minimal technical experience, you compulsorily need a professional installer for blown-in insulation.
Based on longevity, batt insulation lasts more than blown-in insulation. While blown-in insulation lasts between 20 to 30 years, batt insulation can last up to 100 years.
On insulating strength, batt insulation provides superior thermal regulation abilities. Unlike blown-in insulation, batt insulation will not settle and consequently experience depreciation in its R-value.
Let us talk about moisture. Blown-in insulation soaks water. This commonly causes the material to bond and lose its insulation. Batt does better at repelling water.
Lastly, compared to blown-in insulation, rodents find it harder to penetrate batt insulation. This is more particular to fiberglass batt insulation. It is almost impossible for rodents to dig through fiberglass material.
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