attic insulation guide

Attic Insulation Guide:

We don’t think about it much, but attic insulation is certainly a home project that can save you money year-round. If you’ve ever watched a home renovation take place, then chances are you’ve seen workers add in insulation to the walls in a home. Before we go into the specifics insulation in our attic insulation guide, let’s first talk about why you would want attic insulation in the first place.

Why Insulate?

Insulation, in general, has one primary goal. When a home is not insulated, it has no protection against the outside temperature. When it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside; when it’s hot outside, it’s hot inside. Insulation makes it difficult for the outside temperature to affect the inside of your home. With insulation, your house will stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The question now is why you would insulate your attic, and the answer is for the same reason you would insulate your home at all. Attic insulation helps control the temperature of your home. We know that hot air rises while cold air sinks. Without attic insulation, your attic will be warmer than the floor below it. Even with cold air, the added insulation to your attic will help prevent the temperature from escaping.

Now that we’ve gone over why you should consider installing insulation in your home, let’s delve into how it would benefit you.

Energy Efficiency

Energy bills are increasing steadily every year as we use more of the air conditioner and heater. Looking specifically at the warm summers, as a result of global warming, it’s becoming harder every year to keep homes cool. One simple fix is to turn on a fan to help circulate the air in your home. However, the weakness behind a fan is not only that it’s not as effective as an air conditioner that can cool multiple rooms at once, but it also does not have the ability to change the temperature on its own. In other words, something that can manually adjust the temperature is necessary for a fan to circulate it; that “something’ is the air conditioner. Residents become trapped between a rock and a hard place. Residents can either waste hundreds of dollars keeping the air conditioning on or blow hot air around their homes with a fan.

attic insulation guide

By updating or adding proper insulation to your home, you instantly affect your energy consumption in a positive way. Cooler households in the summer mean less air condition. If you live in a colder area, then insulation will work to help keep your home warmer. Adding attic insulation, specifically, helps keep air from being trapped in your attic or leaving your home altogether. In the winter, insulation will prevent warm air from rising to the attic. In the summer, the cool air won’t escape your home. Ultimately, this means that you’ll be able to save money on energy every year as you won’t be needing to turn your heater or air conditioner on as often.

Now that you’re aware of just what attic insulation can do for you, let’s talk more specifically about insulation itself.

What is Insulation?

Insulation is a sort of padding inside the walls and floors of your home. If you’ve watched a home renovation, you’ll find that some contractors add some odd pink material or large bags in between the studs of your wall. That would be insulation. There are different types of insulation, but loose fill, batts, and sprayed foam are the three most common types you’ll see.

Loose Fill

There are two different types of loose fill insulation. One version is where the insulation is packaged in a bag, and the other version is air blown into your home.

The benefit of having loose fill insulation, whether in a bag or blown, is that it can fill every crevice without missing a spot. It can also be added to existing insulation, thus saving you some money.

attic insulation guideImage Source: Home Depot

 

 

attic insulation guide

Batts

Batt insulation is different from loose fill in that the insulation material is exposed rather than enclosed. Simply put, loose fill insulation resembles shredded pieces of paper stuffed in a bag while batts can resemble a single sheet of paper out in the open.

This allows for the insulation to fit between wall studs and flooring, though it does do better in attics where there aren’t many obstructions. Batt insulation is generally inexpensive compared to its counterparts. Much like loose fill, there are a variety of different materials that batt insulation can be made of. The choice is dependent on what material you want.

Spray Foam/Air-Blown

Spray foam insulation is the outlier of the three in that it neither comes in a batt form or loose-fill. As the name suggests, it comes in a spray form can.

The biggest advantage to spray foam insulation is that it can be applied just about anywhere. Just like air-blown, spray foam is perfect for filling in empty crevices and areas with obstructions. Similarly to loose fill and batts insulation, spray foam also comes in a variety of materials.

attic insulation guidePhoto Source: Green Home Energy

The Best for You

Climates around the world are changing, and it’s becoming much harder to keep up. We can either keep the air conditioning/heater running all day and waste hundreds of dollars, or we can hope that the temperature cools down or warms up to our liking. If you’ve added attic insulation to your home already, chances are it’s one of the best decisions you’ve made for your home. Now it’s time to step it up a notch and add insulation to your attic to help keep your home much more comfortable for you and your family.

 

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