Insulation is important, but it is more important that your assembly is air tight. When air leaks through your building envelope it makes it hard for the insulation to stop the transfer of heat. Imagine wearing a thick coat but forgetting to zip it up. Its hard to stay warm with cold air blowing through, no matter how thick your coat. This picture shows how we sealed the tops of all the walls, light fixtures, and all other ceiling penetrations to prevent conditioned air from leaking into the attic. If conditioned air from the inside leaks into the attic it will pull unconditioned air in from somewhere else (doors, windows, or other cracks in the building envelope). This is where you feel the cold drafts in the winter. Cold air drafts in the winter do not make for a comfortable home!
There are many different ways to achieve a great insulation package. The exterior of this home is completely covered with 1 inch rigid foam insulation board. This method reduces thermal bridging in the wall and raises the overall R-value of the wall. No matter how great the insulation is between your wooden wall studs, the wood itself is the weak link in the insulation envelope because it has a much lower R-value and and will transfer heat much faster. Covering ALL the wooden framing with rigid foam gives you thermal protection over the entire wall.
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This wall pictured is getting R-40 blown in fiberglass (which is around 3 times what current building code requires). The fiberglass completely fills all the voids in the wall cavity. When completed, the insulation will be completely covered on all sides and the wall cavity will be air tight to the exterior, eliminating any drafts that can rob you of your R-value.
What makes a new home "Perform"?
Insulation has a HUGE impact. It can lower your heating and cooling costs. It can make your home more comfortable to live in. It can also help to improve your indoor air quality and have a positive impact on the overall health of the people living in the home!
But the MOST important thing about your home's insulation is that it MUST be installed correctly or you are wasting your time and money. Insulation that doesn't perfectly fit the cavity it's going into or is not fully covered and air tight will NOT give you the advertised R-value. If you are paying for a particular R-value, doesn't it make sense to do it correctly and actually achieve that value?
Getting what you pay for and having a product do what it is designed to do is what we call PERFORMANCE!