Standard Modular Home Insulation
The two most important elements of making an energy efficient modular home include the insulation and the air tightness of the home's thermal envelope. Most modular home manufactures install fiberglass in the walls and ceilings. Some manufacturers offer blown cellulose in ceiling systems.
Fiberglass Batt Insulation Pros
- Cost - Fiberglass insulation is the most economical insulation in cost to install.
- Installation - Installing fiberglass batt insulation requires no specialty equipment.
- Perception - Owens Corning has spent millions of dollars advertising and promoting fiberglass insulation.
- Fire Resistance - Fiberglass insulation is close to fire proof.
Fiberglass Batt Insulation Cons
- Installation Issues - The correct installation of fiberglass insulation batts in a modular home is imperative to minimizing heat flow and maximizing the R-Value. Improperly installed fiberglass insulation can lose as much as 40% to 70% according to different sources. To combat installation issues of fiberglass insulation in modular homes, I highly recommend contracting with a RESNET rater to complete a factory inspection of your prefab homes insulation.
- Air Flow - Fiberglass resist heat transfer by trapping air. If a home is leaky, air will flow through the wall cavities of a modular home. Fortunately the systems used to build modular homes, a prefab homes thermal envelope is extremely air tight.
- Lost R-Value - Fiberglass insulation R-Value decreases as temperatures drop according to Oak Ridge Laboratories. When the outside temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit by approximately 25%. Adding one to two inches of rigid foam insulation to the exterior of the modular home will add an R-Value of five to ten. Another option is to insulate your modular home with spray foam insulation.
- Potential Health Risks - Fiberglass insulation is a potential health risk due to loose glass fibers during installation. When the fiberglass insulation is encapsulated by exterior sheathing and drywall, the health risks of fiberglass insulation is minimized.
- Affected by Moisture - If fiberglass insulation becomes damp due to water vapor condensing on cold surface will also degrade the R-Value of fiberglass insulation. A major benefit with modular homes is tight construction techniques minimizing the common problem found in site built homes.