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6 Most Common Types of Insulation for Walls and Attics

When it comes to optimizing the energy efficiency of your home or business in Northeastern Pennsylvania, one vital aspect cannot be ignored: insulation.

The harsh winters of NEPA make top-quality insulation for your walls and attics not just a luxury but a necessity. However, insulation is not a one-size-fits-all affair, though.

Different types of insulation have unique strengths and features that make them more suited to specific situations. Let’s examine six essential types of insulation used in walls and attics, helping you make the best choice for your needs.

1. Spray Foam Insulation

One of the most effective types of insulation on the market is spray foam insulation. This insulation method is lauded for its exceptional thermal performance and air-sealing capabilities. Because it expands upon application, it’s especially skilled at filling wall cavities and hard-to-reach spaces in attics, thus providing a comprehensive barrier against energy loss.

Understanding the Technology

Spray foam insulation is created by mixing two materials—polyol resin and isocyanate—that react and expand into a foam when combined. This foam can then be sprayed directly onto the surface needing insulation, rapidly expanding and hardening to form a protective barrier.

Why Choose Spray Foam?

Besides the obvious energy-saving benefits of superior insulation, spray foam insulation prevents water seepage, keeping your home dry and free of mold or mildew. Its ability to fill and seal nooks and crannies also reduces the amount of dust and allergens entering your home, contributing to a healthier living environment.

Spray foam insulation is ideal for new homes and renovations. Otherwise, the wall may need to be knocked down or an access point created to allow the insulation to be sprayed. 

2. Blown-In Fiberglass Insulation

For existing homes that desire a less-intrusive insulating material, blown-in insulation is an excellent choice. Blown-in fiberglass involves using a machine to distribute loose-fill fiberglass material evenly across your attic space, providing comprehensive coverage and significantly reducing heat transfer.

What Makes Blown-In Fiberglass Effective?

Fiberglass is an exceptional insulator because it traps pockets of air, slowing down the transfer of heat. When blown into an attic or wall cavity, it fills the entire space, leaving no gaps or seams that could lead to energy loss.

Why Choose Blown-In Fiberglass?

Besides its insulation qualities, blown-in fiberglass is also resistant to fire, pests, and mold, making it a safe and durable choice. Moreover, because it can be installed quickly and easily, it minimizes disruption to your home or business.

3. Blown Cellulose Insulation

Blown cellulose insulation is an eco-friendly alternative to fiberglass that can insulate attics and walls. Made from recycled paper treated with fire-retardant chemicals, cellulose offers excellent thermal performance while contributing to environmental sustainability.

The Process and Benefits of Blown Cellulose

The installation process for blown cellulose insulation is similar to that of blown-in fiberglass. The cellulose is blown into the attic, where it creates a dense, uniform layer of insulation. Because cellulose is denser than fiberglass, it often provides even better thermal and acoustic insulation. At EnergySmart, blown-in insulation can be installed from a hole drilled into your wall via your siding, which allows us to install the material without replacing the wall. 

Why Choose Blown Cellulose?

Choosing blown cellulose insulation means you’re opting for a green, energy-efficient solution. If you’re interested in making your home or business more sustainable, this could be the insulation method for you.

4. Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Fiberglass batt insulation is one of the most commonly used types of insulation for walls and attics. These pre-cut panels are designed to fit snugly between wall studs and floor joists, making them a quick and easy solution for many insulation needs.

Understanding Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Fiberglass batts are essentially blankets of woven glass fibers. They’re available in different thicknesses to suit different requirements, and their flexibility allows them to fit around obstacles like pipes and wiring.

Why Choose Fiberglass Batt Insulation?

Although fiberglass batts may not provide the same high level of thermal resistance as spray foam, they’re a more cost-effective option that can still significantly reduce your energy costs. They’re also non-combustible, contributing to a safer home or business environment.

5. Injection Foam Insulation

Injection foam insulation is an ideal choice for enclosed existing walls or open new wall cavities. Installers inject foam into the wall cavity, where it expands and hardens to provide high thermal resistance and excellent air sealing.

The Power of Injection Foam

Injection foam is particularly good at filling voids and sealing around obstacles, making it an excellent choice for irregularly shaped areas or spaces with lots of penetrations.

Why Choose Injection Foam?

This type of insulation is especially valuable in retrofit applications where it’s important to improve energy efficiency without causing major disruption to the structure. It also offers excellent soundproofing benefits, helping to create a quieter and more comfortable living or working environment.

6. Air Sealing

While not technically a type of insulation, air sealing is a critical component of any insulation strategy. By sealing the small cracks, gaps, and crevices that allow air to leak into or out of a building, air sealing can significantly enhance the effectiveness of other insulation types.

The Importance of Air Sealing

In an uninsulated or poorly insulated home, air leaks can be responsible for significant heat loss. By sealing these leaks, you can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable year-round.

Why Choose Air Sealing?

Air sealing is typically a very cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Plus, by reducing drafts and cold spots, it can also make your home more comfortable to live in.

In cities like Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the weather ranges from hot summers to cold, snowy winters, your insulation choice needs to meet diverse climatic demands. Whether you’re leaning towards state-of-the-art spray foam insulation, blown-in fiberglass, traditional fiberglass batts, or any other option, the primary aim is to improve thermal performance, reduce energy expenses, and increase comfort levels.

At EnergySmart, we have a wealth of experience and expertise to provide a range of insulation solutions, including spray foam, blown-in fiberglass, cellulose, and more. 

Regardless of whether you’re a homeowner or a business, our services are tailored to offer the best insulation options that make your property well-insulated and energy-efficient. Furthermore, we understand that every property and its requirements are unique, so we offer personalized services tailored to your needs.


What is spray foam insulation and how does it work?

Spray foam insulation is a highly effective and versatile type of insulation that is applied as a liquid and expands into a foam when sprayed. It is made by mixing two components: polyol resin and isocyanate. When these components react, they form a foam that quickly expands, filling gaps, cracks, and voids, creating a seamless and airtight barrier.

Three important features of spray foam insulation:

  • Exceptional thermal performance
  • Provides superior air sealing capabilities
  • Expands to reach hard-to-reach spaces for comprehensive coverage

What is blown-in fiberglass insulation and how is it installed?

Blown-in fiberglass insulation is a popular choice for insulating attics and wall cavities. It consists of loose-fill fiberglass material that is blown into the designated area using a special machine. This installation method ensures that the insulation evenly covers the space, providing effective thermal resistance and reducing heat transfer.

How does blown cellulose insulation contribute to a sustainable environment?

Blown cellulose insulation is an eco-friendly option made from recycled paper treated with fire-retardant chemicals. The cellulose fibers create a dense, uniform layer of insulation when blown into attics or wall cavities, offering excellent thermal performance and acoustic insulation while reducing energy consumption.

How does injection foam insulation benefit existing walls?

Injection foam insulation is an excellent option for insulating existing walls, especially in retrofit applications. Installers inject the foam into wall cavities, where it expands and hardens, providing high thermal resistance and efficient air sealing. It can also improve soundproofing properties and create a more comfortable indoor environment.