What Insulation is Best for Exterior Walls?

Proper exterior insulation is essential for keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. In our region, it’s best to insulate exterior walls to a level of between R-13 and R-21. The higher the R-value, the greater the comfort and the lower the utility bills.

Benefits of Different Types of Insulation in Exterior Walls

Fiberglass batt insulation is affordable and effective. It is one of the most popular choices for exterior insulation in the region. Each batt is manufactured to fit snugly between wall studs, which makes installing this insulation a breeze. Each batt is made of tiny glass fibers combined with other materials to give the insulation reliable moisture resistance, fire resistance and acoustic control. Per inch, fiberglass batts will provide an R-value of between R-2.9 to R-3.8.

Loose-fill cellulose insulation is more commonly known as blown-in insulation. Comprising mostly recycled materials, it is applied using a pneumatic device that blows the insulation deep within wall cavities, attics and other hard-to-insulate areas. Blown-in insulation is an eco-friendly option that won’t settle over time, which makes it an excellent investment in comfort and energy efficiency. Per inch, loose-fill cellulose insulation will deliver an R-value of between R-2.2 and R-3.8.

Spray foam insulation is another popular exterior insulation option. Composed of polyurethane, it can be applied in either open-cell (low-density) or closed-cell (high-density) formulations. Once applied, the spray foam expands to fill every nook and cranny within the wall space. As it dries, it creates a hard barrier that air, moisture, insects, etc. can’t penetrate. Per inch, spray foam insulation offers an R-value of between R-3.7 and R-6.2.

Call Mooney & Moses at (513) 341-8918 for more information about the benefits each type of insulation offers. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you choose the ideal exterior insulation for your home.

Signs You Need More Insulation

There are many signs that your home is insufficiently insulated. The following are the most common that you will want to watch for:

  • Constantly fluctuating temperatures
  • Energy bills that are rising without a known cause
  • Exterior walls or ceilings feel hot in summer and cold in winter
  • Drafts wafting through the home
  • Visible gaps in the insulation

Are you noticing signs that your home may need more exterior insulation? Call Mooney & Moses at (513) 341-8918 to speak with our team. We’ll answer your questions and schedule an inspection of your home’s insulation.

How to Insulate Thin Walls

It can be a challenge to reach the desired R-value in homes with limited capacity in the wall cavities. Insulation works by slowing down the transfer of heat between the indoors and outdoors and must be installed in sufficient quantities to achieve this goal. What makes it effective are the millions of tiny air pockets within the material, and if the insulation is packed in too tightly within the cavity, these air pockets may be compressed, lowering the R-value of the insulation.  

Rolled fiberglass is commonly used to combat heat transfer and is typically installed in between the wall studs, but if walls are too thin to accommodate it, other methods must be used. Blown-in cellulose insulation is a less efficient or effective solution, but when used in conjunction with any of the following, it can be utilized as a cost-effective alternative to reconstructing your walls:

  • Add more insulation to the attic 
  • Seal leaks around doors and windows
  • When upgrading your siding, add exterior wall sheathing prior to installation
  • Upgrade inefficient windows and add storm windows to prevent heat loss

Contact us online to learn more about insulation for thin walls or call Mooney & Moses at (513) 341-8918 to receive a quote for insulation services today! 

How to Determine R-Values According to Wall Thickness 

R-value is a unit of measurement that refers to the effectiveness and performance of insulation, and where a higher R-value is better. For homes in the Cincinnati area, it is recommended to have a minimum of R-49 in the attic and R-13 in an uninsulated, 2×4 wood-frame wall. 

It is important to install the right amount of insulation the first time, as it becomes a more difficult, costly venture to add more once the drywall is in place. Most homes will have either two-by-four or two-by-six wall studs, and the goal is to install wall insulation that fits comfortably in between the studs and is the proper thickness. Use the following guidelines when making your selection:

2×4 Wall Studs

  • R-13 insulation – 3 1/2 inches thick
  • R-15 insulation – 3 1/2 inches thick

2×6 Wall Studs

  • R-19 insulation – 6 1/4 inches thick
  • R-21 insulation – 5 1/2 inches thick 

Our team will help you choose the right insulation for your next project and complete the installation to the highest standards. Call (513) 341-8918 to speak with us or contact us online

FAQs About Exterior Insulation

How Difficult Is It to Remove Old Insulation?

It’s not as difficult to remove old insulation as you may think. We have special tools and training that make it possible for us to quickly and safely remove and dispose of old insulation.

How Long Does Exterior Insulation Last? 

Depending on the insulation, most products will provide reliable thermal protection for 20-30 years. Our team can inspect your insulation and determine whether it’s still providing an efficient barrier.

Are Older Homes Better Insulated? 

As a general rule, no. Insulating standards have evolved significantly over the past few decades. As a result, older homes and businesses that have not been retrofitted do not have the same thermal protection level as newer homes.

For 65 years, Mooney & Moses has provided superior-quality products and services to homes and businesses in Cincinnati, Beavercreek, Blue Ash, Covington, Dayton, Lebanon and Miamisburg. Our expertise, customer service and professional qualifications make us the first and best choice for homeowners and business owners throughout the region.

Call Mooney & Moses at (513) 341-8918 for more information about the exterior insulation services we offer.  

Infographic explaining best insulation for exterior walls.
Best Insulations for Exterior Walls Explained
Infographic explaining best insulation for exterior walls.
Best Insulations for Exterior Walls Explained

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