Insulation is made from a variety of materials, and it generally comes in four types: rigid foam, loose-fill, foam-in-place and rolls batts.

Rigid foam insulation

This is typically more expensive than rolls and batts or loose-fill insulation, but it is very effective when it comes to exterior wall sheathing, interior sheathing for basement walls and special applications like attic hatches.

Loose-fill insulation

This is generally made from rock wool, cellulose or fiber glass in the form of loose fibers or fiber pellets. Using special pneumatic equipment it should be blown into spaces. Since the blown-in material conforms readily to odd-sized building cavities and attics with wires, ducts, and pipes, it’s well suited for places where other types of insulation can’t be easily installed.

Foam-in-place insulation

In order for them to insulate and reduce air leakage this type of insulation can be blown into walls, on attic surfaces, or under floors. You can use the small pressurized cans of foam-in-place insulation to reduce air leakage in holes and cracks. Closed cell and open cell are the two types of foam-in-place insulation. They are typically made with polyurethane. Closed-cell foam is the most effective, the high-density cells are closed and filled with a gas that helps the foam expand to fill the spaces around it. Open-cell foam cells has a spongy texture, this is because it isn’t as dense and is filled with air. The type that you choose to use should be based on how you will use it and on your budget. Although closed-cell foam has a greater R-value and provides stronger resistance against moisture and air leakage, the material is much denser and more expensive to install. Open-cell foam is lighter and less expensive but should not be used below ground level where it can absorb water.

Rolls and batts

Also known as blankets, these are flexible products made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rock wool. They are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs and attic or floor joists.

One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable right through the year is to add insulation to your attic. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than R-30 (11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose), it would be beneficial to add more. If you have enough insulation and proper air sealing but still get a drafty cold feeling in the winter or is too warm in the summer, chances are your exterior walls need additional insulation. This is much more costly and requires a contractor most times but would definitely be worth the cost if you live in a cold area.