Insulation may be the single most important aspect in the energy efficiency of a home. Poor building materials and construction techniques can lead to a leaky and poorly insulated house that makes heating and air-conditioning systems work much harder than normal.
Dense Pack Cellulose is a great option for new construction or renovations. It can be sprayed into wall cavities during construction or through holes drilled into existing construction. It provides high quality air tightness without the same concerns around Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) found in traditional spray foam insulation. Cellulose performs very well in walls and ventilated roofs, but should be avoided for unventilated roofs.
Spray Foam Insulation can be a good option for both new construction or renovations because of it's high R value and strong ability to provide an air tight barrier. Soy-based spray foam insulation is better for occupant health and reduced environmental impact than traditional spray foam insulation.
Rigid Insulation can be used independently or in addition to cavity insulation to form a continuous layer of insulation that is not interrupted by studs and helps prevent thermal bridging. Look out for toxic ingredients like halogenated flame retardants.
Ventilation, handling of moisture, and the provision of fresh air need to be taken into consideration when major improvements to insulation are made in the crawlspace, walls, or roofs.