Attic Insulation: Choosing Insulation for Energy Efficiency
Have you ever felt like your energy bill is a bit too high? Do you feel like you could do more to keep your home cozy and warm during winter, or comfortably cool during summer? The good news is the solution could be right above your head – in your attic.
The secret to a more energy-efficient home lies in the insulation used in your attic. As attic insulation professionals, we can tell you that this often-overlooked part of your home can create significant savings on your energy bills.
How Does Insulation Work?
Before we get into how you can find the best insulation for energy efficiency, it’s helpful to know something about how it all works. Insulation materials for homes help reduce heat transfer between the interior and unconditioned spaces such as the basement, garage, attic, and outdoors.
In simple terms, insulation is like a warm blanket for your ceiling during the winter months, and a cool bit of shade against the scorching summer heat. If you haven’t guessed already, one of the best places to lay down some insulation is in your attic.
Why the Attic?
The reason is that warm air rises. As it does, it escapes through the roof of your house, leading to higher energy usage in the winter as your heating system works overtime to keep your home comfortable against the outside colder temperatures.
Similarly, during summer, the sun beats down on your roof, making your attic a heat magnet. This heat transfers into your living spaces, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to keep things cool.
When you properly insulate your attic, you can effectively reduce heat loss during the winter and keep your home cooler in the summer. The heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard, which translates to a cost-effective solution for dramatically reducing your energy costs. Studies show that proper attic insulation can save you up to 15% on your heating and cooling bills! That can add up to a nice chunk of change in your bank account each year.
How do you Know if your Insulation is Working Properly?
A good place to start is by checking the depth of your insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an insulation value of R-38 to R-60 for most attics. This typically translates to a depth of 12 to 20 inches, depending on the insulation material.
If you’re not sure whether you have enough insulation, consult a professional attic insulation service for an assessment.
The Attic Insulation Advantage
Even if you’re living in a home built before the 1980s, there’s no need to suffer indoors during extreme temperatures. Using insulation for energy efficiency will make your space more comfortable in both the winter and summer months. It can also save you plenty on energy bills each time the temperature rises and drops outside.
How much you’ll be able to save depends on factors like location, type of heating system, and amount of insulation added. Contact insulation experts to find the most suitable options for upgrading your insulation.
They can supply estimates based on their expertise on insulation types and costs. A little bit of extra effort now will go a long way towards making your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
How to Compare Insulation Materials
You can use R-values (which measure how well they resist the transfer of heat) to figure out the best attic insulation material for your attic. The higher the R-value, the more effective it will be.
If there’s not much space in an area like a wall cavity, choose materials with higher ratings per inch. However, when adding insulation to larger areas, like an attic floor—you can opt for lower-rated products if you layer them for better coverage.
More insulation translates to greater savings—but only up to a certain point. The Department of Energy provides zip code-specific recommendations on the amount of insulation needed depending on where you live. In the Greater Bay Areas that we service, you will see that the recommended R-rating is between 49-80 for an uninsulated attic.
Different Types of Insulation
Knowing which energy-efficient insulation material is right for you isn’t always straightforward. Selecting the most energy efficient insulation may not work well for your budget. You also must consider the space you have available, so let’s take a look at the most popular options:
Fiberglass insulation: Fiberglass is one of the most common types of insulation and is inexpensive. It’s made from tiny glass fibers that help trap air and stop any heat loss or gain in your home. It comes in rolls, blankets, and batts that can be installed easily by homeowners.
Cellulose insulation: This insulation is made from recycled newsprint and magazines. Chemicals are added to the loose fill to create a fire-resistant insulation material. Cellulose also provides soundproofing as well as resistance to mold and insects compared to other forms of insulation.
Rigid foam insulation: Rigid foam panels are usually made from polystyrene or polyurethane, both derived from petroleum products. They offer very good thermal performance but are much more expensive than fiberglass or cellulose insulation materials.
Foam panels are available in different sizes, with thicknesses of up to two inches available in some areas. Rigid foam is often used as exterior wall insulation as it’s relatively easy to cut the panels to the correct size.
Spray foam insulation: Spray foam is one of the newer forms of attic insulation on the market. It’s applied by professional contractors who mix two liquids together as they are sprayed onto attic surfaces.
The expanding foam perfectly fills spaces between the studs to seal and insulate your attic at the same time. You get excellent thermal performance, and it’s a good choice for plugging up air leaks in the attic. It’s usually more expensive than other options but offers great value and improved energy efficiency.
Sheep Wool Insulation: This material has been used for centuries because of its excellent natural ability to resist heat flow. Small pockets within the insulation’s fibers trap warm or cold air to prevent the transfer of heat into the property.
Not sure which insulation is right for your attic or your budget. Call Attic Pros, attic insulation services near you with decades of experience and a team of expert professionals. They can help you choose the right insulation for your attic that fits your budget and specific needs.
We supply high-quality insulation services that save you money on energy bills and keep your home comfortable all year round. Get in touch to schedule your attic insulation services and start enjoying a more comfortable and energy-efficient home this summer.