Insulation Upgrades Work Best When the Right Type Is Used
If your home was built more than 10 years ago, it probably doesn’t have sufficient insulation. Home construction during previous eras of cheaper energy often skimped on attic insulation. As long as utility costs were low, it was a convenient way to save on building costs. Relying on 20th century standards in 2013, however, is both energy inefficient and can reduce your household comfort level. In most cases, an attic should be insulated to a minimum depth of 8 to 12 inches. For optimum energy savings, as much as 20 inches may be installed.
Residential attic insulation is generally available in two varieties:
- Fiberglass batts are those roll-out blankets of insulation sold at home centers. It’s the pink stuff that looks a lot like cotton candy. The batts are sized to fit in the standard space between ceiling joists so it can be installed in most attics with little cutting. As long as fiberglass batts don’t get wet, they won’t settle and its resistance to heat transfer, known as its R-value, will be maintained. Fiberglass is the most frequent choice of do-it-yourselfers both because of lower cost and ease of installation. However, because the batts are precut to a particular size, odd-sized spaces in the attic may not receive adequate coverage.
- Cellulose is a loose-fill material composed of pulverized bits of recycled paper and cloth. After being treated with fire retardant, the material is ground to a consistency that can be blown through hoses under air pressure to completely cover the attic floor. Because it’s a loose-fill product, cellulose can be blown into virtually any space configuration in the attic for superior coverage. However, the equipment and skill required to blow cellulose into attics is usually out of the scope of the average do-it-yourselfer. Therefore, cellulose is generally installed by HVAC contractors.
Sobieski Services is ready to evaluate your attic insulation and propose a plan to upgrade it to current standards.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Krissen