What Is the Best Insulation For an Attic?
- by Sammie Moore
Insulating your attic can save money on energy costs, reduce air leaks, and enhance both comfort and durability in your home. There are four primary insulation materials, each offering their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Fiberglass insulation is a popular choice, particularly for attics. Unfortunately, fiberglass can cause respiratory and skin irritation so homeowners must take extra care when installing it in their homes.
Fiberglass batt insulation is one of the most widely-used forms for attics and walls. Comprised of tiny glass fibers encased in a thin blanket material, fiberglass batt insulation comes in different thicknesses and widths to meet different R-value requirements of climates across North America. Utilizing fiberglass insulation can significantly lower energy costs – particularly if your home is older.
Insulation boards are the easiest material to install, making them the go-to choice for DIYers who don't wish to rent an insulation blower. But in order for their performance to meet expectations, installation must be carried out correctly – something building inspectors inspect before issuing building permits for new developments or existing homes.
As alternative options to fiberglass batt insulation, cellulose and mineral wool offer higher R-value per inch than their fiberglass counterparts, are eco-friendly materials derived from recycled sources, and require specialist installation by trained personnel.
Insulation boards come in either sheets or long rolls and are an increasingly popular choice for attic insulation applications. Constructed from tiny pieces of glass reinforced by plastic polymers, insulation boards offer outstanding fire-retardant qualities while helping achieve R-Values of up to 7.5 per inch.
Fiberglass can also be installed loose-fill, enabling it to fill wall cavities or odd-shaped areas in walls or buildings. This requires special equipment and should typically be handled by professionals.
Cellulose insulation is another great choice for attic insulation, made from recyclable materials like newspaper and cardboard. Wet-spraying cellulose to control dust and mold growth can increase its R-Value per inch of thickness compared to fiberglass; plus it's easier to cut and install!
Insulating your attic will limit the amount of heat entering and exiting from your home during summer and winter, helping your air conditioning and heating units operate more efficiently, ultimately saving money.
Fiberglass batt insulation is an appealing choice that boasts an R-value of between 3.1 to 3.4 per inch when installed through blow-in, or between 3.2 to 3.5 when in roll form. Available in various thicknesses, fiberglass batt insulation is well suited to homes built with wood framing.
Fiberglass insulation doesn't mix well with moisture and can quickly lose its insulating value when exposed to moisture, necessitating proper moisture barriers and regular maintenance to protect it against mold, mildew and fungus growth. Furthermore, fiberglass requires fire retardants for safety purposes; an alternative to fiberglass is Cellulose which has higher R-value and greater fireproofing capabilities; its production uses recycled materials produced in mills using electrical current that produces no greenhouse gases – plus dense-packed, loose fill and wet spray forms are available as alternatives.
Mineral wool insulation provides eco-friendly performance measures while remaining cost effective. Its production process utilizes recycled slag and raw basalt that are heated before being spun like cotton candy into fibers for insulation use.
Mineral wool batts offer many advantages over fiberglass batts in terms of R-value retention over time, including lower installation costs due to being purchased on rolls for easier installation. Additionally, their longevity also makes them cost-effective products when it comes to insulation needs.
Mineral wool should not be confused with fiberglass in that it does not breathe as freely and can lead to respiratory problems if breathed in, nor is it as simple to cut and install as the latter requires special tools for installation.
Attic insulation should depend on many variables, including climate and budget considerations. When searching for appropriate attic insulation solutions, look for insulation with an R-value that ranks high; this number indicates how effectively heat stays inside a home.
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Insulating your attic can save money on energy costs, reduce air leaks, and enhance both comfort and durability in your home. There are four primary insulation materials, each offering their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Fiberglass insulation is a popular choice, particularly for attics. Unfortunately, fiberglass can cause respiratory and skin irritation so homeowners…