Attic insulation plays a crucial position in house energy performance. In actual fact, most building scientists agree that the attic should be the first “goal” area for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most houses are constructed with code-required minimal ranges of attic insulation which are far beneath current suggestions established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Homeowners 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 may help you choose one of the best insulation improve in your attic.
Fiberglass batt insulation is fashionable because it’s affordable and universally available. Regardless of age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically put in between attic ground joists, and unfaced batts are more common than faced batts in attic installations.
PROS: Extra affordable than different types of attic insulation. Finest sort of insulation for DIYers to install. In contrast to blown insulation, batts can be lifted up and moved to provide entry to the ceiling beneath, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Present batt insulation can often be left in place when blown insulation is added to extend overall R-value within the attic.
CONS: Troublesome to put in accurately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is lacking contribute to important 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 not possible to make use of the attic for storage unless special platforms are built prior to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation cannot cease air movement.
Two fundamental varieties of blown (or blow-in) insulation are generally used: cellulose and free-fill fiberglass. Both sorts are designed to be put in using special blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up will be accomplished quickly and affordably. Blown insulation typically leads to extra full protection than is feasible 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 unattainable to use the attic house for storage until special platforms are constructed previous to installing the insulation. Cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass insulation cannot 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 sorts of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions differ 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 highest R-worth per in. (about R-6) of any attic insulation. It additionally creates an air and moisture barrier, so it eliminates the necessity for separate air-sealing work. Insulating beneath the roof deck instead of on the attic flooring frees up attic house for storage and different purposes. This strategy also improves the efficiency of HVAC components (like air handlers and ductwork) situated within the attic.
CONS: Most expensive 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 until a most recent development. In a single unique system, a proprietary inflexible foam panel is fixed to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.
PROS: Offers all the advantages of spray foam, with the additional good thing about sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The rigid foam is faced with a radiant barrier that reflects heat for extra energy financial savings -another advantage over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in limited areas, so it is not as extensively available as spray foam. Installation price is bigger than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, but aggressive with spray foam.