Oct 28, 2021
Matters of Comfort: Choosing Continuous Insulation [Sponsored]
In summary, constructing a high-performance home with proper insulation is crucial to maintaining a comfortable environment for your family while also saving on long-term energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint. Continuous insulation products like OX Engineered Products’ OX-IS provide an uninterrupted layer of thermal protection, delivering optimal levels of insulation and protection for your home's structural integrity in a single 4-in-1 product.
Maintain a Comfortable Environment, Keep the Elements Out
A family’s home has many stories to tell. It is where your loved ones gather for birthdays and holidays, where children grow up. It is the stage for many important events throughout a family’s journey. That means a home should possess strength, safety, and comfort. The building materials chosen for a home’s construction play a role in each.
All the products chosen for construction are important, but those that are specified for the exterior walls carry added significance. Exterior walls protect a home’s inhabitants from rain, snow, wind, and moisture. They are also responsible for keeping your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Plus, walls built with the wrong materials can lead to issues more readily apparent than thermal loss, such as mold or structural issues within the wall cavity. Such conditions pose a greater risk to the structure as a whole.
Therefore, there are a handful of key layers that need to be incorporated into exterior walls behind the owner’s cladding of choice. They are structural sheathing, insulation, an air barrier, a moisture barrier, and in some cases, a vapor barrier. Ensuring all components are installed correctly is important to the performance of the structure. And having a high-performance home is central to giving your family a comfortable environment to write its story for decades to come.
The Energy Efficiency Equation
Building a wall is like a math equation.
A structural layer plus insulation plus control layers equate to a strong wall that will keep the elements out and help maintain the energy efficiency of your home.
Not all exterior walls are created equal, and not all insulation products produce the same desired effects.
Walls equipped with continuous insulation products such as Ox Engineered Products’ OX-IS deliver optimal levels of insulation. Unlike flash-and-batt or blown-in insulation, continuous insulation products provide an uninterrupted layer of thermal protection.
In fact, continuous insulation is required by ASHRAE 90.1 in most U.S. climate zones for commercial structures and for certain residential or multifamily applications. It is an excellent way to score high R-values while “sealing” your home off from the outside elements.
Since a great deal of thermal energy can be transferred through rim joists and the studs that hold your house upright, insulation that just fills the wall cavities between the studs does not address the energy that might pass through them. Continuous insulation is a solution to that problem. It is designed to provide an uninterrupted barrier across all structural members that serve as the bones for an exterior wall. Simply put, continuous insulation acts as a big, warm blanket providing exhaustive coverage of your home’s four walls. This leads to greater comfort for occupants inside and less reliance on heating and air conditioning.
Savings that Make a Difference
Not only is saving on HVAC costs a relief when balancing the checkbook, but long-term energy savings can reduce a building’s carbon footprint. For example, in the summer, when exterior walls are properly constructed to keep cool air inside, the AC unit is not running continuously. It does not need to start and stop on an endless loop to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat. In addition, less reliance on air conditioning means less greenhouse gas emissions. On a macro level, this efficiency can help pave the way to a greener environment if it is consistent across millions of homes and buildings.
Additionally, continuous insulation is a simpler, more cost-effective solution for builders.
Some continuous insulation products such as OX-IS also provide the control layers needed to protect a structure. For example, OX-IS is comprised of four key exterior wall components:
- Structural sheathing
- Continuous insulation
- Air barrier
- Water-resistive barrier
That means a builder can travel to the job site with less materials, spend less time installing multiple layers around the entire structure, and spend less money on buying and coordinating the purchase of materials with multiple vendors. With a 4-in-1 continuous insulation product, installation means one pass around the structure, delivering all of the necessary components that must come between the studs and the exterior cladding in a single product.
Why It Matters for The Home
One of the characteristics that makes a home feel like a home is comfort. There are plenty of factors that go into creating a comfortable environment for family and guests, and one of them is the internal temperature.
Continuous insulation resists heat flow through a home’s exterior walls. According to Energy.gov, all of the heat lost through the walls of your home (in the winter) must be replaced by the heating system, and the heat gained through the walls (in the summer) must be removed by the air conditioning cooling system. Properly insulated walls provide effective resistance to heat flow to maintain comfortable temperatures within your home for longer periods of time.
With continuous insulation, you can reduce the operating costs of a home while enhancing occupant comfort, and with OX-IS, it is delivered in a product designed to protect the walls’ structural integrity for the long term.
To learn more about OX-IS, visit: https://www.oxengineeredproducts.com/product/ox-is/
This article was sponsored by OX Engineered Products.