Attic Insulation: Does Your Home Have Enough?
If you’re searching for a permanent and affordable way to cut your home’s heating and cooling costs, look no further than attic insulation. Chances are, your home doesn’t have enough. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) suggests that homes in this climate have between 16 and 20 inches for adequate thermal protection.
The easiest way to see how much your attic has and its condition is by inspecting it for both quantity and quality. Compressed and moldy insulation can’t do its job, and if there isn’t enough, heat will move in and out of the attic easily. Use a ruler to measure the depth at random places throughout the attic.
Most Common Types
Most homes use either fiberglass batts or blown-in insulation made from cellulose or loose fiberglass, which are the types on which the DOE bases its recommendations. Both of these types have R-values of 3 per inch. The R stands for resistance, and the number following the R- indicate how long it resists temperature change per hour.
Some kinds of insulation have higher R-values, like rigid foam and sprayed foam, whose R-values are nearly double those of fiberglass and cellulose. They’re primarily used for attic insulation in tight spaces because they cost more than batt or blown-in products to purchase and install.
If the existing insulation is in good shape with no mold or rot, you may be able to leave it in place to add more. Home improvement stores sell insulation products and rent the blowers for do-it-yourselfers. In either case, you’ll have to wear protective clothing and breathing masks. It may not be cost-effective to use sprayed foam products yourself, since it requires special equipment and chemicals.
Since your roof has constant exposure to the elements, it’s essential to have adequate attic insulation to slow heat transfer. The pros at Sobieski Services, Inc. want to help their customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland learn more about their HVAC systems and plumbing to live in healthier, more energy efficient and comfortable homes.