Even as today's homeowners continue to look for new ways of making their homes as comfortable as possible, traditional insulation methods like installing internal wall insulation remain a key part of efforts to moderate indoor temperatures, especially when the weather is extremely hot or cold. Insulating interior walls have the potential to significantly prevent heat gains or losses within the home, thus minimising the need to keep air conditioning systems running longer. This, in turn, can lead to considerable savings on annual heating and cooling costs. This is particularly important for the frugal homeowner.
With so many different types of insulation materials available on today's construction market, choosing the best product for your interior wall insulation installation is a decision that requires a cautious approach.
Here is a rundown of some important aspects to consider to ensure you select the right product for your particular project.
Thermal resistance (R-value)
When adding insulation to your home's interior walls, it is best to use the material with the lowest thermal conductivity possible. Why? Because the material with the lowest thermal conductivity will provide the highest thermal resistance possible. The effectiveness of an insulating material when it comes to resisting heat transfer via solid walls is measured in terms of its R-value. The greater the R-value of an insulating material, the greater its ability to prevent heat flow and the shallower the depth of material needed to realise optimal thermal performance.
Thickness of the insulating material
While a higher R-value reduces the need to use thicker insulation, it's a no-brainer that the deeper the depth of the insulation material built into your interior walls, the more effective the material will be at minimising heat flow through your walls. It is, however, important to point out that the greater the wall insulation thickness, the more your project will cost. Also, keep in mind that the minimum recommended thickness for insulation may vary from product to product.
Risk of condensation issues within the home
Moisture levels can vary from home to home and from room to room within the same home. When selecting insulation to install into your home's interior walls, it is important to have this point in mind. With regards to water vapour-handling, internal wall insulation can be categorised as either hygroscopic or hydrophobic. Hygroscopic insulation products are ideal for use in interior walls with a high risk of condensation building up. This is because hygroscopic insulation will absorb the condensation and release it when temperatures fall.
On hydrophobic material, on the other hand, the condensation will form on the insulation itself, and this can potentially damage the material and reduce its effectiveness at preventing heat flow through the walls. Hydrophobic insulation may work a treat in a house with little to no condensation issues.
If you need expert help to choose the right type of insulation for your interior walls, you can always consult a certified insulation installer.