(MS) — By Scott McGillivray
Many of us know that insulation plays a key role in keeping our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But did you know the benefits can go well beyond achieving basic R-value requirements? Quality insulation can provide a number of added benefits that contributes to the comfort, safety and efficiency of a home, including:
Sound absorbency — Life is loud, but the right choice of insulation can help reduce noise transfer throughout your home. Insulating between floors and interior walls can help create a peaceful sanctuary in areas of your home, even when life is chaotic.
A safe indoor environment — Good indoor air quality goes a long way toward ensuring personal comfort. Choosing insulation that is water repellant and resistant to mold, mildew, fungi, bacterial growth and rot can help to prevent common issues behind your walls that may pose serious health and safety concerns and lead to costly repairs. Look to products that will not off-gas or emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Savings — A properly insulated building will be more energy efficient, a benefit that will continue to provide return on investment long after the insulation install is complete. The result is reduced heating and cooling costs, less stress on your furnace and air conditioner (potentially leading to a longer equipment lifespan) and, at the end of day, more money in your pocket.
Fire-resistance — Certain insulations, particularly stone wool insulation products such as Roxul Comfortbatt and Safe ‘n’ Sound, can help buy valuable minutes in the event of a fire, withstanding temperatures of up to 1,177˚C. Non-combustible, this insulation exceeds the limits of most other insulating materials, and it won’t produce smoke or encourage the spread of flames.
Performance — It’s important to remember that not all insulations are created equal. Some insulations can sag or contract over time, leaving gaps that can let outdoor air in and conditioned air out. Choosing insulation that is dimensionally stable, durable and that offers long-term thermal performance will ensure your home can stand up in even the most challenging conditions. Stone wool products are proven to perform in even the most extreme conditions, making them ideal for use in the United States.
Ultimately, you can purchase insulation as many do, based on basic R-values. But when it comes to quality, comfort, safety and efficiency, is basic really the best choice? Quality counts when it comes to all building materials. Always look for products that will deliver benefits well beyond the status quo.
Scott McGillivray is an award-winning TV host, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow him on Twitter @smcgillivray.