Over the past several years, more and more people are choosing to live in tiny homes. Tiny houses became a huge trend and people are simply trading their traditional homes for new tiny houses that can provide comfort and lower bills. What’s more, tiny houses are a bit easier to build and maintain, and they can be transformed into the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient homes there are.
However, in order to truly make your tiny house comfortable and energy efficient, you will have to think about insulation. Choosing the right insulation for your home can be overwhelming, but luckily we have prepared this short guide on how to do it properly.
Before you start the insulation project, you should become familiar with the basics of tiny house insulation. This article will help you learn exactly that. We will cover the basics of choosing the right R-value of the insulation, what types of insulation are there, and everything in between.
To choose the best R-value of insulation for your home, you should know what it is. R-value is a measurement used for insulation that tells us how well it resists heat and slows down its transfer. Insulation does not help keep the heat inside or outside the house. Rather, it slows it down from transferring. For example, during the summer when you cool down the air inside the house, the house then warms up and heat comes inside. The same process happens during the winter when the heat seeps outside.
The R-value will help measure how well a material insulates the object from heat transferring. The higher the R-value the better the job the insulation does and this is something you should look for in insulation for walls in your tiny house. Another important thing is the fact that heat rises. That is why you should consider higher R-value insulation for your attic and roof.
The first step towards a completely insulated tiny house is air-sealing the house. This step will do wonders for your home and how comfortable it is. And it will impact the effectiveness of insulation. If your house has any air leaks, there is no insulation that will actually keep it from losing or gaining heat when not wanted. So, do your best to air-seal your home and then simply test it with a blower door test. This test creates a lower pressure inside the home and you can actually see where the air is being pulled inside. Also, when air-sealing your tiny home, pay attention to these areas:
Considering thermal bridges are a bit advanced, research has shown that these can create problems when it comes to the energy efficiency of your tiny home. Thermal bridging happens when heat-transmitting material crosses in or out of the air-conditioned space. Owners of tiny houses should pay special attention to these, as tiny houses have wheel well fenders. If the house is built over the wheel wells, there is no way you could insulate around them as well as you can on your walls. Since these wheel well fenders are on the trailer, the trailer will take the heat from your home and let it bleed outside.
There are many types of tiny home insulation and they are all made out of different materials. To help you do better research and choose the right materials, here are some of the most widespread materials used in tiny home insulation.
If you are looking for more natural materials for insulation, then you should definitely look into recycled wool or denim. These two materials are great insulators and they are usually a bit cheaper. However, it is vital to remember to have a vapor retarder or barrier in order to prevent moisture and mold from getting inside your insulation, thus ruining it.
Spray foam, or closed-cell spray foam, is the most common type of insulation. This is a unique chemical spray that you can use to apply a thin coat on the inside of your home’s walls. When sprayed, this thin layer begins to expand and solidify which results in a thick insulating layer in the walls of your home. Plus, spray foam insulation has a high R-value and can insulate the home from unwanted noise, too.
Styrofoam is one of the easiest materials to use for insulating your tiny home. When you choose this material, you get styrofoam boards that you can trim and adjust to the size of the space you have in the walls, but make sure to leave a gap of one inch. Then, you can fill the gaps with spray foam. You can easily install this type of insulation yourself, or call in professionals - depending on your skills.
Last but not least, fiberglass insulation is one of the most common types of insulation used in the United States and the rest of the world. Also, it is the least expensive option, but you need special gear to install it, in order to protect yourself. If you choose this option, it is better to rely on professionals to handle it.
Even though insulating your walls is a great method, it may not be enough to reach the optimal energy efficiency of your tiny house. That is why you need to insulate different parts of it, including the walls, roof, floors, and skirting.
When insulating the walls of your tiny house, make sure the insulation doesn’t slide to the button of the wall cavity. This can be bad since insulation should completely fill the void to be effective. In order to keep the insulation loft, professionals will usually add in fibers or chemicals, so it’s best to take advice from them. Also, if you are doing this yourself, make sure to closely follow the instructions and advice manufacturers provided for insulation.
As mentioned before, the heat rises, and insulating your roof is a must. Roof can easily become a major heat-losing location and you certainly want to prevent this. When choosing the roof insulation, make sure to pick one with an R-value of 30 or higher.
The floor is another critical area in a tiny house and most of them have cold floors. In order to make your home more comfortable, you should insulate the floors, too. Your tiny home might allow cold air to flow beneath it due to the wheels of the trailer, so make sure it is all properly sealed and insulated.
Last but not least, you should make sure to add insulated skirting, too. As mentioned, the floors can easily become cold and insulated skirting can help prevent that. What skirting does is that it creates a warm pocket under your house and reduces wind from flowing and carrying heat away. However, make sure this area is properly vented in order to avoid bugs, animals, and mold from making it their home.
Tiny houses have become a huge trend in the world. They are cute, they are comfortable, energy-efficient, and sustainable; so it is not a surprise that people are exchanging their traditional homes for affordable living. However, to boost the performance of your tiny house and live more comfortably, you should pay special attention to proper insulation. Hopefully, this article will help you choose the best insulation for your lovely little tiny house.
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