Shared July 19, 2019
What is the best insulation for a new home? There are a dizzying number of different options available on the market today, but Jordan thinks Owens Corning Blown Pro Pink blown in fiberglass coupled with AeroBarrier is one of the best combinations out there.
TLDR; Owens Corning Pro Pink Insulation has a higher R value per inch than spray foam, but doesn't have spray foams ability to air seal. AeroBarrier is a airborne "caulk" that seals any gaps in a wall and roof assembly, making the building very airtight. This combination gives better performance at a lower cost and has less health concerns than spray foam.
Before we get into how we insulated and air sealed this house, maybe we should go over why we insulate or air seal a house at all.
We insulate our homes because we are ninnies. Or at least I am. I want my house a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit and around 50% humidity no matter what the weather outside is doing. So I put in a big mechanical system that pulls the heat from inside the home on hot days and puts heat back in the home on cool days. Easy enough, huh? The problem is that, with out insulation, my walls don't hold the heat out or in very well at all. This means that I will have to be spending more money and energy on keeping my house at the desired temperature. So we add insulation into the cavity spaces between the studs, and maybe we even add insulation on the outside of the studs to minimize thermal bridging and condensation risks inside the wall. But all that spray foam or fiberglass insulation is doing is keeping tiny air pockets from moving around and distributing heat. The effectiveness of fiberglass insulation goes down drastically if air is allowed to pass through. Air also carries in moisture that can damage building assemblies. Spray foam does not allow air to pass through and has been used extensively as an air barrier by builders (me included). However, spray foam does not provide an air tight structure because of installation errors and the products propensity to pull away from the framing after install.
Enter AeroBarrier. AeroBarrier is an airborne sealant that is forced through all the cracks and holes in a pressurized structure and seals them tight. Using this technology, we are able to get very tight structures. Tighter than spray foam. Cheaper than spray foam. Healthier than spray foam?
Because the AeroBarrier air seals the home, we can now use blown in fiberglass as our insulation. Fiberglass can have a higher R value per inch than spray foam and is much less expensive as well.
Fiberglass also does not have the VOC's of spray foam and is a more carbon neutral product
This combination is currently my favorite insulation/air sealing system. What's yours?
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