Attic insulation plays a vital role in residence energy performance. In fact, most building scientists agree that the attic should be the first “goal” area for insulation installation alamo and air-sealing upgrades. Most properties are built with code-required minimal levels of attic insulation that are far below present recommendations established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Householders contemplating an attic insulation upgrade have a number of different insulation materials to consider. Every attic insulating option has distinct advantages and limitations. Understanding these professionals and cons might help you choose the most effective insulation upgrade on your attic.
Fiberglass batt insulation is popular because it is affordable and universally available. No matter age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically installed between attic floor joists, and unfaced batts are more frequent than confronted batts in attic installations.
PROS: Extra affordable than different sorts of attic insulation. Finest sort of insulation for DIYers to install. Not like blown insulation, batts could be lifted up and moved to provide entry to the ceiling beneath, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Current batt insulation can typically be left in place when blown insulation is added to increase overall R-value within the attic.
CONS: Tough to put in appropriately around obstructions. Voids the place insulation is lacking contribute to significant energy loss. A number of layers of batt insulation are required to realize really helpful R-values in most parts of the nation; this makes it unimaginable to use the attic for storage except particular platforms are built prior to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation cannot cease air movement.
Two primary kinds of blown (or blow-in) insulation are commonly used: cellulose and unfastened-fill fiberglass. Each varieties are designed to be put in utilizing special blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up may be completed rapidly and affordably. Blown insulation typically leads to more complete protection than is possible with fiberglass batts.
CONS: A thick layer of insulation (at least sixteen in. for northern parts of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it inconceivable to make use of the attic space for storage except special platforms are built prior to installing the insulation. Cellulose and unfastened-fill fiberglass insulation can’t cease air movement.
Professional spray foam insulation contractors typically insulate an attic by making use of a thick layer of spray foam between the rafters. Two kinds of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions fluctuate 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 supplies the very 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 strategy also improves the efficiency of HVAC elements (like air handlers and ductwork) situated in the attic.
CONS: Costliest attic insulation. A thick layer of foam applied to the underside of the roof sheathing can lure moisture and cause sheathing to rot.
Rigid foam hasn’t been used as extensively for attic insulation until a most up-to-date development. In a single unique system, a proprietary rigid foam panel is fastened to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.
PROS: Offers all the benefits of spray foam, with the additional good thing about sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The inflexible foam is faced with a radiant barrier that displays heat for additional energy financial savings -another advantage over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in restricted areas, so it is not as extensively available as spray foam. Installation price is greater than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, however competitive with spray foam.