Sunday, July 13, 2008

Attic Insulation Basics

Having the correct amount of attic insulation in your home is probably one of the most important factors in keeping your energy bill down. Attic insulation keeps the cold out in the winter, and it can also keep the cool in during the summer. What factors contribute to making your attic a well insulation one?

First, determine what kind of attic insulation you have. Most older homes have what is called batt insulation. That’s the type that comes in big rolls, and is usually colored pink or yellow. The insulation is rolled out in the attic, usually between the beams. The other type of insulation is blow in insulation. Blow-in insulation is done by professionals, as they have the right equipment to do the job. Small pieces of insulation are blown into the attic, forming the blanket across the attic floor. You will usually see this type of insulation in newer homes.

There are of course positives and negatives with both batt insulation and blow in insulation. Batt insulation when done correctly provides a uniform R-Factor. The R-factor is what measures the overall performance of the insulation, or the thermal performance. It is a measurement of the resistance of the heat flow. Batt attic insulation that is correctly and tightly installed will provide a uniform R-Factor throughout the whole attic.

On the other hand, blow in insulation is shot in with a machine all throughout your attic. Because it is virtually impossible to blow it in flat and uniform, you will have a variable R-factor in the attic. But as long as the job is done completely and the required minimum number of inches covers the floor of the attic, the insulation will do the job correctly. That makes the non-uniform R-factor a non-factor in the grand scheme of things.

The costs involved with batt and blow in insulation are another consideration. While batt insulation is usually cheaper, your time is money of course. The time to properly add extra insulation, or replace the existing insulation is significant. When installing attic insulation, you need proper clothing, plenty of time, and lots of patience. On the other hand, you can hire a contractor for a little more and just have the blow in insulation job done in a few hours without as many headaches.

Of course there are attic insulation dangers to consider. While insulation is usually safer to work with than in the past, the conditions in your attic are not generally favorable. Extreme heat in the summer makes this a difficult place to work.

Stay tuned as next I will cover more on the differences between batt and blow in attic insulation, and consider other energy saving tips for your attic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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