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Understanding Insulation And Why You Need It

There are many products in the market today that are used to insulate the walls, ceilings, basement, attic

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Insulation
There are a number of things that one need to have in mind when installing insulation. Pixabay

When building your home, proper insulation is one of the things that cannot be ignored whether you are having a tight budget or not. It is a misconception that insulation is only necessary during winter, but the truth is that it is useful all year round and saves majorly on energy costs.

There are many products in the market today that are used to insulate the walls, ceilings, basement, attic, and crawl spaces in the house. One of such products is the roll insulation.

The Difference Between Roll And Batt Insulation

These two insulating materials are constructed using natural wool and mineral wool fibers. In as much as they have a similar function, their design is different and definitely affect the outcome but they both work just fine. Here are some of their difference however their prizes remain the same.

Insulation
When building your home, proper insulation is one of the things that cannot be ignored . Pixabay
  1. Size

Even though both the roll and batt insulation are pre-cut to fit perfectly between the ceiling, floor joists, and wall studs, only the roll insulation can provide great coverage and this is because of its extended length.

  1. R-Value

This is the determinant of how much heat the insulating material can retain. Both of them have an R-value of 3.2, however, an better performing fiberglass roll and batt insulating material have a rating of 3.8.

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  1. Vapor Barriers

The materials can come with or without backing. Other manufacturing companies have products with either a plastic or paper backing and this acts well as a vapor barrier and helps to prevent any moisture from condensing.

  1. Installation

Batt insulations are easier to install in crawlspaces, ceilings, and attics. This is because of the oddly shaped nature of roll insulations.  There are some batts that have flame resistant backing making them perfect in basements. Roll insulations are best for walls because their paper backing is easy to secure between wall studs.

Insulation
It is a misconception that insulation is only necessary during winter. Pixabay

How Houses Lose Heat

In order to be able to understand and appreciate the benefits of insulation for your house, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which your house loses heat.

  • Conduction: this is the transmission of heat through two materials when they come into contact with one another. The transmission of heat is different with each material.
  • Convection: this is when the heat is transferred via gas or liquid. This is the exact explanation of why water is hotter at the top.
  • Radiation: the transmission of heat from a hot surface directly to a cool surface. The perfect example of this is sunlight.

When this occurs in the house, you are bound to lose a lot of heat and this translates to higher electrical bills.

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Benefits Of Roll Insulation

Apart from saving on energy costs, there are some other benefits of this kind of insulation.

  1. Roll insulations are quite easy to install. They are manufactured in different sizes and this makes it easy to transport them. Their sizes make it easy for contractors and if you to install should you decide to take on a DIY project.
  2. Insulation works best when all air leaks are sealed and roll insulation provides for just that.
  3. Roll insulations have a high R-value and this with thicker insulation you can be sure to have a higher R-value. The fact that this insulation come in an array of sizes means that you can be able to achieve better insulation for your house.

Roll insulation has fibers that are very flexible and are also woven together in strips with different thickness and width. This makes them one of the most common insulating materials in the market.

There are a number of things that one need to have in mind when installing insulation. You need to know the amount of insulating material you require and this is determined by your location. You should also have proper insulation around any electrical and plumbing lines while at the same time having proper ventilation in the attic and crawl spaces. In order to get this right, you will need to consult with a professional.

Tips from the pros

  • Insulate all gaps especially around door corners and windows.
  • Repair any rip and tear that might exist in the vapor barrier. You can use a duct or a polyvinyl tape
  • Split insulations where there is electrical wiring to prevent compaction
  • Insulate the areas between the pipes if there are any plumbing pipes. This will prevent the pipes from freezing.

Remember, insulation works only when done right. This means if you cannot do it yourself well them you should let a professional handle it.

Next Story

House Passes Equality Act, Sweeping Bill to Expand Gay Rights

Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people

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House, Equality Act, Bill, Gay Rights
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., speaks before a House vote on the Equality Act of 2019, an LGBT rights measure, at the Capitol in Washington, May 17, 2019. The bill later passed the House 236-1. VOA

Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.

Called the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said it would bring the nation “closer to equal liberty and justice for all.”

Sexual orientation and gender identity “deserve full civil rights protections — in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations,” Pelosi said.

The vote was 236-173, with every Democrat voting in favor, along with eight Republicans. Cheers and applause broke out on the House floor as the bill crossed the threshold for passage.

House, Equality Act, Bill, Gay Rights
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the chamber after passage of the Equality Act of 2019, anti-discrimination legislation that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, at the Capitol in Washington, May 17, 2019. VOA

The legislation’s chief sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said it affirmed fairness and equality as core American values and ensured that “members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind.”

Cicilline, who is gay, called equal treatment under the law a founding principle of the United States, adding, “It’s absurd that, in 2019, members of the LGBTQ community can be fired from their jobs, denied service in a restaurant or get thrown out of their apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identify.”

GOP opposition

Most Republicans oppose the bill and call it another example of government overreach. Several GOP lawmakers spoke against it Friday on the House floor. President Donald Trump is widely expected to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

At a news conference Thursday, the Republicans said the bill would jeopardize religious freedom by requiring acceptance of a particular ideology about sexuality and sexual identity.

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Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., called the legislation “grossly misnamed” and said it was “anything but equalizing.”

The bill “hijacks” the 1964 Civil Rights Act to create “a brave new world of ‘discrimination’ based on undefined terms of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Hartzler said. The legislation threatens women’s sports, shelters and schools, and could silence female athletes, domestic abuse survivors and other women, she said.

A similar bill in the Senate has been co-sponsored by all but one Senate Democrat, but faces long odds in the Republican-controlled chamber.

‘Poison pills’

A Trump administration official who asked not be identified, because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the president’s intentions, said the White House “opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all. However, this bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.”

House, Equality Act, Bill, Gay Rights
FILE – Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 25, 2014. VOA

Some critics also said the bill could jeopardize Title IX, the law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Former tennis star Martina Navratilova co-wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post urging lawmakers not to “make the unnecessary and ironic mistake of sacrificing the enormously valuable social good that is female sports in their effort to secure the rights of transgender women and girls.”

Ahead of the vote, Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., called the House bill “horrifying” and said it could cause Catholic schools to lose federal grants for school lunches or require faith-based adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples.

House, Equality Act, Bill, Gay Rights
FILE – Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 17, 2015. VOA

Neena Chaudhry, a lawyer for the National Women’s Law Center, said the bill does not undermine Title IX, because courts have already found that Title IX protects against gender-identity discrimination.

“It is way past time to fully open the doors of opportunity for every American,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., one of the Senate bill’s lead sponsors. “Let’s pass the Equality Act, and let us rejoice in the bells of freedom ringing for every American.”

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In the Senate, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also supports the bill, while Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the sole Democrat who is not a co-sponsor.

The eight House Republicans who voted for the bill Friday were Reps. Susan Brooks of Indiana, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas, Greg Walden of Oregon and New York lawmakers John Katko, Tom Reed and Elise Stefanik. (VOA)