As long as the temperature continues to rise and fall, the place of insulating our homes, workspaces, or any space where people can be found can never be underestimated. Yes, insulation remains a necessity in the world. This is however an established fact already. So, instead of going on about the relevance of insulation in these spaces, this article will be focused on a type of insulation- the Batt insulation.
Batt Insulation is one of the six common insulating materials used in homes. It is usually made of fiberglass or mineral wool. Batt Insulation is one of the most relevant, affordable, easy to install, easy to access, and most effective of all insulations.
In the coming paragraphs, I will make a detailed exposition as to the peculiarities of the Batt Insulation, the range of the R-value, some of the other types of house insulation, and the relevance of the Batt insulation today.
Table of Contents
Batt insulation, What is it really?
Batt Insulation is an energy-regulating mechanism that is installed on the framing of the home, ceilings, floors, attics, and walls in the home. It essentially locks vapor in and reduces the amount of cold within the house. Hence, cutting down on energy bills.
Usually, batt insulation is made from fiberglass, mineral wool, or plastic fibers. It sometimes comes with a polished face and at other times, without. The face is made of kraft paper or foil-kraft paper and is the most vapor-resistant part of the insulation. It is however advised that before installation, users should insist on fire-resistant batt faces. So in addition to being vapor-resistant, the facing must be flame-resistant especially if the plan is to leave the insulation without covering.
Refer: Faced vs unfaced insulation
Types of Batt Insulation
Polyurea Batt Insulation
Polyurethane Insulations are high-quality, heat-resistant insulations. They are relevant for buildings in the industrial sector and construction industries. They maintain thermal balance as well as sound. They are asbestos-free and can be used for solar collectors and water heating systems.
Jacketed and Non-jacketed Batt Insulation
Batt Insulation can either be jacketed or not. While some are permanently jacketed, others follow a removable jacketing model. These jackets are called insulation covers, insulation blankets, insulation jackets, or insulation pads.
They are made from pure PTFE(Teflon), PTFE/fiberglass composites, and silicone/fiberglass composites. Jacketed Batt Insulation is majorly for industrial spaces. They not only maintain thermal balance but they also regulate chemical exposure.
The non-jacketed Batt Insulation is naked. They are mostly in residential spaces or recreational centers.
The Pros and Cons of Batt Insulation
- Batts are a very available lot. They are easily accessible. And not only that, they are also versatile in use. The batt insulation can be installed in almost every home space including unfinished spaces like unfinished floors. It is also relevant in the attic, crawl spaces, walls and ceilings.
- Batt Insulation follows a simple installation procedure and can be executed as a DIY project. It does not require professional services.
- Batt Insulation does not have a long shelf life as compared to other home insulation types. While other types of insulation stay for as long as 15-20 years. Batt Insulation may only stay a couple of years beyond a decade. So, after a decade of use, users are advised to run a home energy audit on the installed insulation. This will help predict how much time the insulation has more.
- The R-value of the insulation type sets a limit to its applicability. So, it is either users opt for other insulation options with higher R-value per inch, or spend more on stacking up inches upon inches of Batt. Typically, batt insulation has an R-value between R-2.9 and R-3.8 per inch of thickness. So, to get desired insulation results, users may need to install 10-12 inches of batt insulation. (Depending on the area of the house, it may be more).
The R-Value of Batt Insulation
The R-value of an insulation material is a very important factor in determining your choice of an insulation option.
R-value is the measure of the insulation’s ability to resist the heat that passes through it. So, in essence, the greater the R-Value, the more the thermal balance that is achieved.
Hence, in determining if the R-value of the Batt Insulation is fit for your house and its thermal-balance needs, you must consider the climatic condition of the area in which you live. Therefore, there is no universally recommended R-Value. It varies according to climate and location. For instance, residents of California will require a different R-Value when compared to residents of Texas.
Generally, insulation materials have a wide range of R-value. In the case of batts insulation, its R-value lies between 2.9 – 3.8 per inch. Therefore, for a 2 x 4 inch wall, between R-13 to R-15 is required and this will amount to almost five units of batts. Meanwhile, a 2 x 6 inch wall will require R-19 or R-21, hence amounting to almost 7 units of the batt material.
Remember that the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.
Batt vs. Roll insulation
Some people do not know that the batt Insulation and roll insulation are different. The common thought is that they are different forms of the same kind. But that has never been further from the truth, as this pair, although similar, are different insulation types.
Here is a detailed guide of the differences between batt and roll insulations. If you want to skip the details. here is a shorter version;
- Method of Installation
Batt insulations- The batt insulation requires some level of technical knowledge (although not professional). It is tough to handle and takes more installation time and energy.
Roll Insulations- The roll insulation is easier to manipulate and install. You do not need prior experience to install the roll insulations. It can be shaped and cut into different shapes and sizes.
Batt insulations come in fixed sizes and are heavier than roll insulations. Meanwhile, roll insulations are made from thinner, more flexible materials that come rolled up like tissue rolls.
Batt Insulation- As a result of the rigidity of the batt insulation, they come in prefixed sizes and users need to measure their spaces to get an exact measurement of the required insulation before going on to buy.
Roll Insulation- This is not the case with roll insulations. Roll insulations are more flexible. They come in packs, rolled up, flexible, and ready for use.