Choosing Efficient Insulation
LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got Mac in Texas who has an insulation question. What can we do for you today?MAC: Hi. I have about a ten-year-old new home and I am trying to figure out what will be more efficient; adding existing insulation with a radiant barrier versus the – enclosing the attic with that spray foam insulation and I’m just kind of curious as what y’all think pros and cons and which one will probably be more efficient. I know the spray-in is going to be probably a little more expensive but kind of take that out of the mix and I’d like to hear your thoughts on that.TOM: Well, if you use a spray-in-place insulation, you’re going to do a much better job of sealing up any chases (ph) or other places where you can get a transfer of hot or cold air between the attic and the house but it’s a lot more work, that’s for sure. A basic insulation coupled with a radiant barrier in Texas is a good idea and probably least expensive. Whether or not you’ll get the payback by going with the foam, hard to tell. Depends a lot also on how long you’re going to be in that house, Mac.MAC: OK.TOM: You’re going to be there, you know, a really long time, you may get the payback. Doubt it would have – you’d be able to make an argument that your house is worth more with one versus the other.MAC: OK. I plan to be there quite a long time.TOM: OK. The expandable foam is not a bad way to go but also remember this: once you do that, makes it really hard for you to make changes like running wires or extra lights and things like that; another thing to consider.MAC: OK. Alright.TOM: I would go easy. You know, there’s so many other things that you could do to save money in your house and improve your energy-efficiency. I wouldn’t put all my marbles in one basket like that.MAC: Got it. OK.TOM: Alright?MAC: Spend the money on adding insulation and get the radiant barrier.LESLIE: Mm-hmm.TOM: Exactly, and then look for the other things that you can do. You know, get an energy audit done. I bet you’ll find a ton of other things that you can do that will save you some money and not cost nearly as much.MAC: OK.TOM: Alright, Mac? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.