Attic insulation performs a critical function in dwelling energy performance. In actual fact, most building scientists agree that the attic needs to be the primary “target” area for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most houses are built with code-required minimum ranges of attic insulation which might be far below present suggestions established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Householders contemplating an attic insulation improve have a number of various insulation materials to consider. Each attic insulating possibility has distinct benefits and limitations. Understanding these pros and cons can help you select the perfect insulation improve in your attic.
Fiberglass batt insulation is standard because it’s affordable and universally available. No matter age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically installed between attic ground joists, and unfaced batts are more widespread than faced batts in attic installations.
PROS: Extra affordable than other varieties of attic insulation. Greatest sort of insulation for DIYers to install. Not like blown insulation, batts will be lifted up and moved to provide access to the ceiling under, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Current batt insulation can often be left in place when blown insulation is added to extend general R-value within the attic.
CONS: Tough to install appropriately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is lacking contribute to important energy loss. A number of layers of batt insulation are required to realize really useful R-values in most parts of the nation; this makes it not possible to use the attic for storage until particular platforms are built prior to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation can’t stop air movement.
Two major forms of blown (or blow-in) insulation are generally used: cellulose and free-fill fiberglass. Both sorts are designed to be installed using particular blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up can be accomplished rapidly and affordably. Blown insulation insulation in concord typically ends in extra full protection than is feasible with fiberglass batts.
CONS: A thick layer of insulation (at the very least 16 in. for northern parts of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it unimaginable to make use of the attic area for storage until particular platforms are constructed prior to installing the insulation. Cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass insulation cannot cease air movement.
Skilled spray foam insulation contractors typically insulate an attic by applying a thick layer of spray foam between the rafters. Two forms of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions vary as to which type is finest in an attic set up, but closed-cell spray foam is used extra frequently.
PROS: Closed-cell spray foam supplies the very best R-worth 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 a substitute of on the attic ground frees up attic area for storage and other purposes. This strategy also improves the effectivity of HVAC elements (like air handlers and ductwork) positioned within the attic.
CONS: Most expensive attic insulation. A thick layer of froth utilized to the underside of the roof sheathing can trap 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 one unique system, a proprietary rigid foam panel is mounted to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.
PROS: Provides all the advantages of spray foam, with the extra benefit of sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The inflexible foam is faced with a radiant barrier that reflects heat for additional energy savings -another advantage over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in restricted areas, so it isn’t as widely available as spray foam. Installation cost is bigger than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, but competitive with spray foam.