attic insulation removal and replacement insulation plays a crucial function in dwelling energy performance. The truth is, most building scientists agree that the attic should be the first “goal” space for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most homes are constructed with code-required minimal levels of attic insulation which might be far beneath current recommendations established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
Householders considering an attic insulation improve have a number of different insulation materials to consider. Each attic insulating choice has distinct benefits and limitations. Understanding these pros and cons can help you choose the best insulation improve to 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 flooring joists, and unfaced batts are more frequent than faced batts in attic installations.
PROS: More affordable than other forms of attic insulation. Finest kind of insulation for DIYers to install. Unlike blown insulation, batts might be lifted up and moved to supply access to the ceiling beneath, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Existing batt insulation can usually be left in place when blown insulation is added to increase overall R-value in the attic.
CONS: Tough to put in appropriately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is lacking contribute to significant 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 not possible to make use of the attic for storage except special platforms are built previous to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation can’t stop air movement.
Two principal types of blown (or blow-in) insulation are commonly used: cellulose and unfastened-fill fiberglass. Both sorts are designed to be put in utilizing particular blowing equipment.
PROS: Set up may be accomplished shortly and affordably. Blown insulation typically ends in extra complete protection than is feasible with fiberglass batts.
CONS: A thick layer of insulation (at least sixteen in. for northern components of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it impossible to use the attic house for storage unless particular platforms are built prior to putting in the insulation. Cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass insulation can’t stop 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 range as to which type is finest in an attic installation, however closed-cell spray foam is used extra frequently.
PROS: Closed-cell spray foam offers 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 necessity for separate air-sealing work. Insulating beneath the roof deck as a substitute of on the attic flooring frees up attic house for storage and other purposes. This strategy also improves the efficiency of HVAC components (like air handlers and ductwork) located within the attic.
CONS: Costliest attic insulation. A thick layer of froth 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 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 maintaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The inflexible foam is confronted with a radiant barrier that displays warmth for extra energy savings -another benefit over spray foam.
CONS: The system is available in restricted areas, so it’s not as broadly available as spray foam. Installation price is bigger than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, however aggressive with spray foam.