In simple words, insulation makes houses comfortable places to live in harmony. In some parts of the world, without it; you can survive. It protects us from boiling heat and extreme cold. I have written many articles about insulation and their uses. In this article, I am going to explain the difference between Bulk Insulation and reflective insulation. Both the types have unique properties and advantages.
As the name suggests, they are thick, robust, and durable. It acts against conduction and convection heat loss. Mostly, used for walls and attic insulation. Yes, installing them is s hectic job, and only a professional can do it safely for you. Many types of Bulk Insulation are available on the market today. It has air pockets in them of trapped air, preventing more air to leak/pass through.
Why do we wear layers of clothing when going out in winter? Well, the air trapped in between the layers maintain a constant temperature within them. Bulk Insulation does the same. It acts as an additional layer that prevents air leaking through it. In other words, it helps you to maintain a comfortable temperature within the house when the outside is cold or hot.
This type protects you from heat produced by radiation. Layers of foil backed by plastic or paper make its structure. It reflects the heat back. You know what happens when light falls on to a shiny surface, don’t you? The picture shows a thick reflective insulation roll. Shiny surfaces reflect light, so the heat. Which means you must maintain the surfaces clean if it to function properly.
Bulk Insulation types
As mentioned, many types of “bulky ones” are available today.
* Polyester matting.
* Glass wool batts.
* Polystyrene panels.
* Rock wool batts.
* Loose fill cellulose.
Reflective Insulation types
* Multi-cell foil products.
* Sarking or foil faced blankets.
* Foil faced boards.
How about their performance?
Reflective insulation doesn’t have a fixed R-value. But Bulk Insulation has a fixed R-value, you can buy them according to the R-value you need. People go for reflective types because it’s lightweight, easy-to-install, and moisture proof. Also, no mold and risk of pests or vermin infestation. But it could be rather expensive than Bulk Insulation.
Bulk Insulation, on the other hand; get affected by mold, moisture, and pest infestation. Anyway, it’s the most popular type used in colder climates. Bulk Insulation is good at retaining heat within a house or a building. Reflective insulation is ideal for warmer climates. Well, modern building constructors use both the types for better results. So, you are protected from boiling heat and extreme cold at the same time. Some manufacturers produce batt type with a foil layer.
Some final words
Insulation is essential to maintain a comfortable temperature within a house or a building. It saves your energy bills too. In some parts of the word, you can’t survive without wall and roof insulation. Each type comes with unique properties, advantages, and disadvantages. Using both the type at the same time is a modern technique for better results. Anyway, you need a professional to install Bulk Insulation as installing it is a risky job.