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Understanding Insulation

Insulation in your home provides a barrier between indoor ambient air and the outside temperatures. It plays an essiential roll in keeping the air produced by your heating or cooling sources inside your home. By definition, insulation provides resistance to heat flow which works in the winter to maintain warm air inside you home and keep warm air out during the summer. Properly insulating your home not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but also improves comfort.

In order for insulation to be effective two major things must happen. First, the insulation (or thermal) barrier must be continious around all surfaces you are trying to insulate. For a typical home, that means the insulation must placed in the attic, crawl space and walls continously with any large voids or gaps. Failure to provide an adaquate thermal barrier can lead to high energy bills and uncomfortable rooms. Secondly, the insulation must be in contact with the surface you are intending to insulate. Rolled fiberglass insulation in attics often lays between the rafters coming in contact with the drywall. In the crawl space however, rolled figerglass insulation begins to sag and separate from the floor becoming ineffective. 

Types of Insulation


Cellulose is an easy, durable and cost-effective insulation used to insulate existing homes or new construction. Cellulose is made from recycled materials allowing it to be one of the most green materials available on the market. Unlike traditional fiberlgass batts, cellulose insulation provides a continuous blanket stopping air infiltration.

  • Cellulose that has been properly installed in your walls will not settle.
  • Cellulose is non-corrosive to steel, copper and aluminum.
  • Cellulose will not lose it's energy saving abilities over time.
  • Cellulose will not rot, decay or mildew, and it does not support fungus or mold growth.



Blown fiberglass insulation is another product that can be installed over existing insulation in the home. This insulation has similar properties to the cellulose insulation but tends to settle more after the install.


Fiberglass batt insulation can also be install in the attic area, but it is important that it is installed properly. Exposed floor joists diminish the R-value collectively, so installing it perpendicular to existing insulation makes it more effective.

Insulating the crawlspace is essential for comfort, indoor air quality,  and moisture concerns. Total Home Performance primarily installs conditioned crawlspace systems which utilizes the installation of spray foam insulation. Instead of installing fiberglass insulation to the floor, spray foam insulation is installed to the foundation walls and band joist. The spray foam provides a number of benefits:

•Prevents moisture intrusion through the foundation walls

•Provides a more adequate thermal barrier

•Seals all exterior penetrations that cause cold floors and moisture issues

•Encapsulates the space to bring duct work into the conditioned environment

•Reduces pest intrusion






























For insulation to be effective, it must be in contact with the surface you are trying to insulate.