Attic insulation plays a crucial position in residence energy performance. In actual fact, most building scientists agree that the attic needs to be the first “target” area for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most properties are built with code-required minimum levels of attic insulation which are far under current suggestions established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Owners contemplating an attic insulation improve have a number of different insulation materials to consider. Every attic insulating option has distinct benefits and limitations. Understanding these professionals and cons can help you choose the perfect insulation upgrade in your attic.
Fiberglass batt insulation is standard because it is affordable and universally available. Regardless of age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically put in 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. Greatest sort of insulation for DIYers to install. Not like blown insulation, batts will be lifted up and moved to provide entry to the ceiling below, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Existing batt insulation can often be left in place when blown insulation is added to extend general R-value in the attic insulation removal and replacement.
CONS: Tough to install accurately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is missing contribute to important energy loss. A number of layers of batt insulation are required to achieve really helpful R-values in most parts of the country; this makes it unattainable to use the attic for storage unless particular platforms are constructed previous to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation cannot cease air movement.
Two important types of blown (or blow-in) insulation are commonly used: cellulose and unfastened-fill fiberglass. Each sorts are designed to be put in utilizing particular blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up will be completed shortly and affordably. Blown insulation typically ends in extra full protection than is possible with fiberglass batts.
CONS: A thick layer of insulation (at the very least sixteen in. for northern parts of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it inconceivable to make use of the attic area for storage unless special platforms are built prior to putting in the insulation. Cellulose and unfastened-fill fiberglass insulation cannot stop air movement.
Professional spray foam insulation contractors typically insulate an attic by applying a thick layer of spray foam between the rafters. Two types of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions fluctuate as to which kind is best in an attic set up, however closed-cell spray foam is used more frequently.
PROS: Closed-cell spray foam gives the very best R-value 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 as an alternative of on the attic flooring frees up attic house for storage and other purposes. This technique additionally improves the efficiency of HVAC elements (like air handlers and ductwork) positioned within the attic.
CONS: Costliest attic insulation. A thick layer of foam applied 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 recent development. In a single distinctive system, a proprietary rigid foam panel is fastened to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.
PROS: Provides all the benefits of spray foam, with the additional advantage of sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The rigid foam is confronted with a radiant barrier that reflects heat for extra energy financial savings -another benefit over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in limited areas, so it isn’t as broadly available as spray foam. Set up price is larger than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, but competitive with spray foam.