Insulation Basics

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Step away from the thermostat. If you find yourself constantly adjusting your home thermostat, your insulation probably needs some TLC. What exactly is that cotton candy-looking stuff doing in your attic or garage? Let us explain.

Breaking It Down

Here's a little insulation 101 for you. Simply speaking, insulation provides a barrier that controls heat flow by preventing heat from transferring too quickly. It's all about air flow. Heat moves from warm to cold. So, in the summer, hot air flows from outdoors to inside your home and makes the temperature go up. This is called heat gain. When the temperature increases, so does your air conditioning bill. And the opposite (heat loss) happens in winter. That's where insulation comes into play. It slows down the rate that heat moves in and out of your home.

Insulation is measured by R-value. It's basically just another number that shows how resistant a material is to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the material. Higher R-values are necessary for insulating in cold climates, while lower R-values are perfect for insulating warmer regions.

Home Pro Installing Attic Insulation

Which Is Which?

Now that you know the basics of insulation, it's time to figure out which type best fits your home. Generally, there are four forms of insulation that each have their own benefits.


Blanket insulation is the most widely used insulation method and comes in the form of rolls and batts. It is made up of flexible fibers, like fiberglass, that is sold in regulated sizes that accommodate most homes. But, if your wall stud spacing is irregular, continuous rolls of blanket insulation can be cut and trimmed to fit your home.

This kind of insulation comes with or without facings. Facings are attached by insulation manufacturers to create a vapor or air barrier. They can even be flame-resistant too.

Blanket Insulation


Unlike Blanket insulation, Loose-Fill insulation is made up of tiny pieces of foam, fiber, or other recycled waste materials. The best thing about Loose-Fill insulation is that it's a bunch of small pieces of insulation. This allows the insulation to fit into all of the places that other insulation methods can't fit.

Sack of Fiberglass Loose-Fill Insulation

Foam Board

First things first: Foam Board insulation is the same thing as Rigid Foam insulation and can be used interchangeably. But, for the sake of clarity, we'll just call it Foam Board.

Foam Board insulation is a great option because it can be used to insulate almost any area of your home including the attic, roof, and garage. Although it is pricier than Blanket insulation, Foam Board insulation has a higher R-value without having to be really thick. It's perfect for places like Minnesota, don't 'cha know?

Foam Board or Rigid Foam Insulation


Foam-In-Place is a liquid alternative for insulation. It is sprayed in a thick foam that is ideal for small areas around windows and doors to keep air from leaking out of your home. But, Foam-In-Place insulation can also be used in your whole home. Talk about a package deal!

Foam-In-Place Insulation

Need More Help?

If your insulation project needs a professional touch, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree  Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!


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