As the Millennium Falcon is being chased by Imperial cruisers in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo declares, “We’ll be safe enough when we make the jump to hyperspace.”

“You’re kidding, they’re right there … gaining!” Luke Skywalker protests.

Waiting for the ship computer to come up with coordinates, Solo explains to a frantic Skywalker, “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?”

Insulation has certainly jumped through hyperspace since I started in this business. Standard procedure in the 1990s—staple up some kraft-faced fluffy stuff and slap up drywall—is no longer in the playbook.

Here on Long Island where I work (climate zone 4A), we have hot, humid summers and cold, humid winters. Cooling degree days last nearly nine months with just over three months of heating degree days (measured as days above or below 65°F average temperature). Even at the most eastern point of the island, the lowest temperature rarely dips below 0°F. In the dead of winter, it’s a polar bear’s summer vacation. Humidity is always high, with a morning average of 70% and an afternoon average of 55%.

In this climate, overinsulating may yield no return on investment and possibly inhibit drying of building components. Allowing a wall assembly to remain vapor open in both directions is ideal here, though not always possible. When I see a client holding up swatches of vinyl wallpaper, large slabs of wall tile, or drawings of built-ins on exterior walls—“They’re right there ... gaining!”—I know it’s time for a targeted strategy. This is where the possibility of flying right through a star or bouncing too close to a supernova requires precise calculations.

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