Attic insulation performs a essential role in dwelling energy performance. The truth is, most building scientists agree that the attic needs to be the primary “target” area for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most homes are constructed with code-required minimum ranges of attic insulation that are far under present suggestions established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Owners considering an attic insulation upgrade have a number of various insulation materials to consider. Each attic insulating possibility has distinct advantages and limitations. Understanding these pros and cons can help you select the perfect insulation improve for your attic.
Fiberglass batt insulation is popular because it is affordable and universally available. Regardless of age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically installed between attic floor joists, and unfaced batts are extra common than faced batts in attic installations.
PROS: Extra affordable than other forms of attic insulation. Finest kind of insulation for DIYers to install. Not like blown insulation, batts can be lifted up and moved to provide access to the ceiling below, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Current batt insulation can often be left in place when blown insulation is added to extend overall R-value within the attic.
CONS: Troublesome to install appropriately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is lacking contribute to vital energy loss. Multiple layers of batt insulation are required to realize recommended R-values in most parts of the nation; this makes it unattainable to use the attic for storage until particular platforms are built prior to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation can’t stop air movement.
Two main sorts of blown (or blow-in) insulation are generally used: cellulose and free-fill fiberglass. Both varieties are designed to be installed using particular blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up might be completed shortly and affordably. Blown insulation typically ends in more complete protection than is possible with fiberglass batts.
CONS: A thick layer of insulation (no less than 16 in. for northern parts of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it unimaginable to use the attic area for storage except special platforms are built previous to putting in the insulation. Cellulose and free-fill fiberglass insulation installation alamo can’t cease air movement.
Skilled spray foam insulation contractors typically insulate an attic by applying a thick layer of spray foam between the rafters. Two varieties of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions range as to which kind is finest in an attic set up, however closed-cell spray foam is used more frequently.
PROS: Closed-cell spray foam provides the best R-value per in. (about R-6) of any attic insulation. It also creates an air and moisture barrier, so it eliminates the need for separate air-sealing work. Insulating beneath the roof deck as an alternative of on the attic floor frees up attic area for storage and different purposes. This technique additionally improves the effectivity of HVAC components (like air handlers and ductwork) situated in the attic.
CONS: Costliest attic insulation. A thick layer of froth applied to the underside of the roof sheathing can lure moisture and cause sheathing to rot.
Inflexible foam hasn’t been used as extensively for attic insulation till a most recent development. In a single unique system, a proprietary inflexible foam panel is fastened to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.
PROS: Supplies all the benefits of spray foam, with the extra advantage of sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The rigid foam is faced with a radiant barrier that displays warmth for extra energy savings -one other advantage over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in limited areas, so it is not as extensively available as spray foam. Set up price is greater than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, however competitive with spray foam.