IMW Specialists

Home Insulation

Insulation and airtightness are essential for a comfortable, healthy, and long-lasting home. Without a good insulation system, the air you pay to heat and cool will escape through your walls and ceiling. Air leaking in from the outside will likely carry in allergens like pollen and dust, and will likely capture old fiberglass from inside of the walls which may contain formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals.

The i in IMW Specialists stands for insulation. Residential insulation retrofitting is the number 1 service we do. Our company is knowledgeable, friendly, and treats our customers like family.

Official Requirements and Recommendations

The contiguous United States has 7 climate zones. Energy efficiency works very differently in the different zones. South Eastern PA is a climate zone 4.

Each climate zone has a different minimum R-value requirement when building or remodeling. They will also have different recommendations from organizations like the EPA and energy star in order to use less energy and be more comfortable.

R-value is the standard rating for how effective insulation is. R stands for resistance value.

Requirements By Zone

Working In Zones 4 & 5

IMW Specialists serves customers in climate zones 4 and 5. Requirements in 4 and 5 are almost identical. In attics, we need to reach a minimum of R38 and we recommend R60.

The cavity insulation, which is the insulation inside of the wall needs to have an R-Value of at least R13. With the most common way we add insulation to old walls, we are able to get a thermal value of R13 to R16.

The floor insulation, which also means crawl spaces and basements, needs to be at least an R25. Insulating basements and crawlspaces are fairly complicated due to the different applications and needs for vapor barriers and retarders.

Air Sealing

Air sealing is more important than the thermal aspect of insulation. As well as losing energy, not being properly air sealed, especially in climate zones 4 and 5, can lead to vapor condensing inside of the wall cavity and causing mold and structural problems. The accepted hierarchy of importance is:

1. Water
2. Air
3. Vapor
4. Thermal

These are the four things every energy efficiency contractor, and every builder should be considering, in that order. Changing the priority could make the insulation ineffective or could even be dangerous to the home.