Proper Attic Insulation Can Save Energy and Keep You Comfortable
The most important target area for home insulation is usually the attic. The reason is simple: During winter, furnace heat naturally rises and conducts and radiates through the ceiling, losing energy into the colder attic. In summer, a broiling, overheated attic conducts and radiates heat downward, raising temperatures in living spaces and overworking your A/C. Adequate attic insulation is the first line of defense against excessive heat transfer and high energy costs year-round.
Now More than Ever
Back when your house was built, energy prices were probably lower and conservation wasn’t such a high priority. Standards for attic insulation were less stringent. Today, many, if not most, existing residences over 10 years old can be considered under-insulated by current U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) standards. Fortunately, the attic’s not only the most critical area for insulation, it’s also the easiest to upgrade.
Attic insulation is commonly available in two types:
- Fiberglass batts are the familiar roll-out blankets that resemble pink cotton candy. Pre-cut to fit between the ceiling joists, it can be easily installed by many homeowners. In our local climate zone, the DOE recommends insulating the attic to a depth of 12 inches up to 20 inches of standard fiberglass batts.
- Cellulose is a loose-fill product composed of bits of pulverized paper. Blown into the attic under compressed air through large hoses by a professional crew, cellulose resembles mounds of freshly fallen snow. Cellulose offers better heat resistance and coverage than fiberglass. DOE-recommended amounts range from 10 inches to 16 inches.
Mix or Match
Attic insulation can be upgraded by simply adding new layers—without removing the existing insulation—to reach the required total depth. Insulation types may also be mixed: for example, existing fiberglass batts may be topped with a new layer of cellulose to provide superior heat resistance.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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