Occupant comfort, both thermal and acoustical, is an essential component of indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Fiber glass and mineral wool insulation products help maintain a consistent air temperature throughout the building, absorb noise, and conserve energy. They also help to keep out air that can bring with it unwanted moisture. Moisture is the most important controllable element in the fight against mold.
Fiber glass and mineral wool insulation, along with a vapor retarder, help prevent condensation that can lead to mold and corrosion by keeping outside air out. It’s important to note that fiber glass and mineral wool insulations are some of the few insulation products that are installed without adding unnecessary moisture to the building envelope. Although wet-spray insulation products are widely used, no industry standard exists for drying guidelines. The Alexandria, VA-based North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) believes that when it comes to insulation, you should install it dry and keep it dry.
Consistent Air Temperature
Fiber glass and mineral wool insulation products help maintain a consistent air temperature throughout the building. By reducing heat transfer across the duct system, fiber glass insulation products allow a building’s HVAC system to deliver conditioned air at design temperatures. In the walls and ceilings, fiber glass and mineral wool insulation resist the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy – it always seeks a cooler area – flowing outward in winter and inward in summer. By reducing heat flow, a properly insulated building increases overall occupant comfort while maintaining lower energy costs.
Installing insulation in wall cavities and HVAC systems is one of the easiest and most economical ways of controlling noise. By far the easiest and most economical method for controlling noise is to install insulation in the wall cavity. Fiber glass insulation is an excellent sound absorber, as well as an energy saver. When installed in the walls and ceilings, it can reduce the transmission of sound from other rooms or from the outside. Adding insulation beneath drywall in a typical wall configuration can reduce sound transmission significantly.
Fiber glass insulation products reduce condensation on duct surfaces, thus reducing the opportunity for microbial growth and amplification as well as other moisture-related building damage such as corrosion. In order to minimize potential condensation problems in building structures, three things need to occur:
Sufficient ventilation to reduce excessive water vapor build-up.
Ventilation of building sections so that excessive water vapor is dissipated to the outdoor air.
Use of vapor retarders to limit water vapor transmission into building cavities. A vapor retarder attached to batt or roll insulation decreases the possibility of moisture vapor condensing to water within the structure.
Fiber glass duct liner, wrap, and board reduce condensation on duct surfaces, thus reducing the opportunity for microbial growth and amplification, as well as other moisture-related building damage. Condensation will form on any duct surface with a temperature equal to, or lower than, the dew point temperature. The moisture may remain in place or drip, causing moisture damage and creating a potential for microbial contamination. Fiber glass duct liner, duct wrap, and duct board reduce the opportunity for condensation, thus eliminating the critical precondition for microbial growth.
This information was excerpted from the Alexandria, VA-based North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) website (www.naima.org).