Adding insulation in your attic can drastically help reduce your heating and cooling bills each month. The attic is a perfect place for hot and cold air to leak in and out. With proper insulation, your attic can provide you with an energy efficient home. There are many options for insulating your attic.
Insulating your attic is the number one way to help improve your heating and cooling bills and help make your home more energy efficient. When properly installed, attic insulation can decrease your energy bill by about twenty percent or more per month.
In addition, there are many different types of material that can be used for insulating your attic. In most cases, you do not even have to hire a professional to install. The homeowner can do most attic improvements.
When looking at the type of insulation you will want to install in your attic, think about the R-value. Knowing the recommended R value for the area in which you live could well save you a considerable sum of money and make you a more eco-friendly home owner. The R-value of insulation is the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective it will be to insulate.
Insulations materials can vary in thickness. Some insulation averages R-3 while others are as high as R-8 per inch. It is important to remember that over time, any insulation will loose some of its ability to insulate and will reduce in R-value.
Any material that is recommended for use as an insulator will have an R value assigned to it, usually on a ‘per inch’ of thickness basis. Furthermore, depending on where you live, you will also be able to find out from your local energy conservation office, or building regulations office, the recommended R values you should use to make sure your building conforms to a minimum standard of heat insulation.
For example, someone living in Texas would be recommended to have a minimum attic insulation R value of 38, whereas someone living in a colder climate, such as Montana, should have at least an attic insulation R value of 49. This ultimately means that if two people, one in Texas and one in Montana, used the same insulating materials to insulate an attic; the person in Montana would need to use a thicker covering than the one in Texas.
You might also want to think about whether to fit the minimum depth of attic insulation recommended or go that extra mile and fit the a higher specification of insulation. This is especially important if you live in a colder area of the USA.
Living in a warm southern region just adding four inches of attic insulation might be sufficient, but in the coldest parts of the USA aim for an attic insulation value of 60 – which could mean as much as 18 inches of insulation.
Attic Insulation Benefits
There are many reasons to consider replacing or improving attic insulation. For those who have little or no insulation, or who have very old insulation, replacing insulation has benefits. Also, you should consider insulation if you have high energy bills or if you attic or walls have been exposed during remodeling.
Before replacing or adding insulation to your attic you should determine whether or not you have moisture problems. Problems with moisture can become worse with adding insulation. Insulation can trap moisture causing mildew and mold to grow and spread.
In addition, when water and moisture collect in the attic, it can cause stains and rot. Before putting in any insulation, it is best to seal all air leaks. This not only helps moisture, but also reduces heating bills by keeping cold air from entering the home. You may need to consider a radiant barrier.
There are many kinds of insulation that can be added to your attic. Insulation sheets and bats are easy to install. If you have an open attic space, some insulation sheets some may not be easy to install if the joists are not spaced evenly. Also, by applying a second layer of insulation blankets crosswise over the first layer can help seal cracks. This will help reduce heat loss. This can also prevent moisture problems.
Another type of insulation that is good for the attic is loose fill insulation. This is perfect for filling irregular shaped spaces. It also can have more complete coverage than bats. When installing loose fill insulation, it can be blown from a machine or hand poured and bought in a bag.
If you like do-it-yourself projects, you can rent machines that will blow the insulation at rental stores. Caution should be used when using a machine to blow in insulation. The settings must be carefully set so that not too much insulation is used. If the insulation is too thick, it can cause settling and may not properly insulate the attic.
There are commonly used types of insulation that can be good options for using in attic spaces. Cellulose insulation is made from ground wood or paper. This type of insulation is often used in attics and usually has additives to prevent mold and resistance to fire.
Fiberglass insulation is made of molten glass strands. This type is also fire resistant. Wood shavings used to be commonly used, but are not used much any more, especially in attics. Insulation made of wood shavings can be too heavy for the inside of attics and can promote fungal growth.
When working with insulation in your attic, extreme caution should be used. You should always protect your hands and eyes when applying insulation. Many types of insulation can irritate that eyes, nose and throat. It is always recommended to wear protective gear when using insulation in any part of you home.
Adding or replacing insulation in your attic can be a good way to help lower your heating and cooling bill. Professionals can be hired to apply the insulation or many choose to do it themselves.