VIDEO: An Inside Look at Insulation

Your facility likely uses fiberglass, cellulose or foam materials for insulation. But how do they work?

In the summer, heat tries to come into your facility; in winter, heat tries to leave. Insulation provides a barrier that slows conductive heat flow, which passes through materials. But it should also prevent convective heat, which is due to air infiltration.

Fiberglass batts are the most commonly used type of insulation. They’re made of thin strands of glass fibers that trap air and prevent it from passing heat back and forth. If backed with paper or foil and properly installed, they do a great job of slowing both types of heat transfer.

Cellulose is made of recycled newspaper. It works similar to fiberglass, except it’s not available with backing. This requires additional steps to help protect against air infiltration.

Closed-cell foam insulation not only slows heat conduction; it also provides an excellent air seal. It even acts as a vapor barrier to protect against moisture.

Regardless of what type of material you use, poor installation or not enough insulation will lead to poor performance. With the right level of insulation and proper installation, all three types can increase the comfort and productivity of your facility.