What Are The Different Types of Home Insulation?

December 23, 2015

Having a dictionary handy – a digital one works – helps make understanding big words easier. But – holy verbosity, batman – what about when your local insulation installation contractor starts tossing your way phrases like “rolls,” “batts,” “loose-fill,” “rigid foam” and “foam-in-place”?

It’s enough to make even the most prim and proper grammarian blush with etymological embarrassment. But hark, Capitol Machine is here to answer that most erudite of questions: What are the different types of home insulation? (Or, what’s this dude talking about anyway?)

To answer that question, let us head directly to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Batts in The Belfry

example of insulation

First stop: rolls and batts. This form of insulation is a flexible material made from mineral fibers. Blankets of this type of insulation vary in width to fit standard spacing between wall studs and attic or floor joists, according to the DOE.

Loose-fill comes in the form of loose fibers or fiber pellets, which are made of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose. This type of insulation is blown into walls and other spaces with insulation blowers. This is one of the most effective and thorough forms of insulation because it conforms to odd-sized cavities in houses and buildings and easily fills attics, especially around wires and pipes.

Rigid-foam insulation, typically the most expensive, is effective in exterior walls and interior walls in basements. It can also be used in attic hatches.

Foaming at the Attic

Foam-in-place insulation is often used to reduce air leaks. It is blown into walls, on attic surfaces and under floors from small-pressurized cans. It is useful in tight areas around windows and to fill holes and seal cracks. It can also be used around door frames and electrical and plumbing inlets.

Foam-in-place comes in two forms: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell, which is denser and more expensive, is considered more effective. Open-cell is filled with air and has a spongy texture. It is lighter and shouldn’t be used below ground level because it can absorb water.

We conclude our English lesson today. Now that you have a firm grasp on the insulation installer’s lexicon, it’s time to hire one to guide you through the morass of deciding exactly what type of insulation you need.

And remember, our powerful Capitol Machine insulation machines don’t give you any back talk or speak with big words.  These machines roll up their metaphorical sleeves and pack your walls and attics with insulation protection.


Did you find this article useful? What do you think about home insulation? Feel free to contact us with questions or to learn more.