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A guide to Attic insulation
The main goal of attic insulation in the house is to keep the rooms below warm in winter and cool in summer. Attic insulation is the easiest way to improve your house’s energy efficiency. Proper attic insulation helps regulate indoor temperature. It prevents heat loss in cold climates and retains cool air in warm climates. Poorly insulated attic can cost you big bucks a quick inspection of your attic is usually a good indication of what needs to be done. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can save 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill.
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) stated that 90 percent of the single-family homes in the states are under-insulated. Hire someone to conduct an energy audit or use a thermal camera to find cool spots up there. After analyzing you will exactly know how much insulation is required in your attic.
Attic insulation R-value
The minimum target R-value goes from R-30 in hot climates to R-49 in cold climates. Below you can find out the R-value for an insulated attic based on your location.
Basically, the R-value is the thermal resistance of the insulating material. The higher the R-value of the insulation material the more efficient the insulation is. To achieve the desired R-value, you should multiply the R-value per inch of your insulation until you reach the ideal R-value. So to get R-36, with an insulating material of R-3 per inch, you will need 12-inch insulation material, and so on.
Types of Attic Insulation
Fiberglass batts, cellulose, loose-fill fiberglass, and spray foam are common attic insulation types used.
Blanket insulation is available in rolls or batts. It is available in Cotton, cellulose, mineral wool and fiberglass. They often come in various thicknesses and standard width so it is easy to fit between joists or studs. Blanket insulation is ideal for unobstructed attics. It is easy to cut and install which explains its popularity with DIYers. You can add more than one layer to achieve the desired level of insulation.
One of the best insulation materials to install in attics with very little headroom and multiple obstructions is loose-fill insulation. It can easily be blown on available insulation and in the presence of obstruction like vents and cross beams. Loose-fill insulation comes in mineral wool, cellulose, and fiberglass.
Sprayed Foam Insulation
Spray Foam for attic Insulation requires hiring a contractor and leaving the building for 24h while it's being sprayed. The jury is still out on the pros & cons of this type of insulation, but on paper, it’s a great way to insulate the attic given its superior R-values (up to 6.5 per inches with closed-cell and 3.5 per inch for open-cell).
Both types of sprayed foam insulation provide an efficient air barrier and closed-cell sprayed foam insulation can serve as a vapor barrier.
Both open and closed cells are made with polyurethane. Closed-cell foams are filled with gas, which expands the foam to fill the spaces around it. In contrast, open-cell foams are filled with air that gives a spongy texture to the insulation.
How long does Fiberglass insulation last in the attic?
The expected service life of fiberglass insulation under ideal conditions is usually stated as 100 years. As long as the material is not exposed to too much moisture and is not broken by human interference.
Benefits of Attic Insulation
On average, cooling and heating account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in an average American home. The consensus among insulation experts is that you can save 15% on cooling and heating costs by air-sealing your house and insulating areas such as floors, crawl spaces, and attics.
Prevent gradual damage
It prevents your home from gradual damage caused by moisture and heat. Prevents air and water from seeping in which protects your walls against erosion. Not only does it slow down heat buildup in the attic, but it also increases your roof lifespan by preventing cracking and swelling.
Savings on heating costs
By boosting your attic insulation from R-11 to R-49, you can save up to $600 per year, which means it will pay for itself in less than 2 years if you go DIY.
Improve air quality
With the passage of time, dust, dirt, mold and other pollutants can accumulate in your home through air leaks as a result of poor insulation. By installing insulation in your attic, you will prevent these environmental pollutants from accumulating in your home and maintain cleaner air quality.
Regulate natural heat flows
In a home that is equipped with state-of-the-art cooling and heating systems, you can have serious temperature fluctuations if not insulated properly. The difference in temperature between floors can be unpleasant. Since most bedrooms are located on the upper floors, attic insulation is the best way to make sure the temperature doesn’t drop suddenly at night as well as in the early morning.
How to Install Attic Insulation
Attic insulation How to Do it yourself (DIY)
With Blanket and Loose-fill insulation, you can save on the cost of hiring a professional. Watch the video below from our excellent friends at This Old House.
- Try to locate and fix the air leaks first. If you can’t get an auditor, you can use a thermal camera to determine the cool spots up in the attic. Check the around the usual suspects: windows, pipes, fans, flues, and chimneys.
- Inspect your attic to find out what insulation, if any, is used. In most cases, replacing is better than fixings. You can always lay new insulation on top of the old one, but make sure to check that there’s no stain, mold, or that the insulation is not compressed. If that is the case, get rid of it.
- Inspect the roof for leaks, there’s no point in insulating an attic if there’s water getting in.
- Make sure floors lights are not in contact with the insulation, you don’t want to end up toasted either.
Attic insulation on Insulation4US
All the major US brands stock attic insulation, including Owens Corning, Rockwool, and R-max. There are many other shops and online stores where you can find insulation material for attics. But none offers a one-stop for all approach where you can quickly compare and choose the material or type of insulation you need, filter by size and thickness until you find the one that bests fits your needs. But the most important is that we always provide the best value on the market. If you want quality at the best price then Insulation4US is where you will find it.