How Much Insulation Is Recommended in a Cold Climate

Wisconsin is in a climate zone map 6 which is considered a cold environment.  In this type of climate, the US Department of Energy and the EPA Energy Star Program recommends R49 to R60 attic insulation, in cathedral ceilings R30 to R60, exterior walls R13 to R21, for insulated sheathing under your siding R5 and for a slab on grade floor R25 to R30.  The “R” stands for resistance and the ability to resist heat traveling through the material.  So the higher the number the greater it can provide this resistance and reduce your energy consumption.

Now that you have the “how much” you also need to consider the type of insulation, the benefits and the cost.  First let’s discuss the most common form and least costly type of insulation, fiberglass batten or rolls.  Here the batten or roll is cut to fit into the area it is being placed with care being taken to make sure that the batten or roll is not compressed lessening its R value.  Batten Insulation

Next is blown in insulation which offers a higher R-value inside the wall but is costlier than regular batten or roll.  In this application a netting is placed across all the wall cavities where the insulation will be blown into, then they make a 3-small holes into the netting at various heights and lastly mechanically blow the insulation in completely filling the wall cavity taking care to neither under fill nor overfill the cavity.  Blown In Insulation

The other option is spray foam.  This is the best product to use for preventing drafts plus achieving a high R value in a wall cavity but the costliest.  When considering spray foam, we recommend using closed cell foam for its ability to achieve a higher R value per inch plus providing a higher tensile and bond strength.

Spray Foam ApplicationWe at Cobblestone Builders use a blending of these products by using spray foam and blown in insulation achieving a R-26.22 inside the wall cavity eliminating drafts and providing a system that saves you money each and every day by reducing your energy costs.

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