So, you’ve decided to insulate your attic but have no idea what to do. There are so many options for insulation and your decision depends on what climate you live in. The attic is a very important asset to every household. Because it’s at the very top of the house, it traps the heat that has risen from the lower levels of the building. Good insulation ensures that your house is nice and warm for the colder months. Here is some advice when it comes to insulating your attic.
Types of Attic Insulation
- Fiberglass/Cotton Batts- 3/10
Batts are sheets of either cotton fiber or fiberglass woven together. They are a pretty cheap insulation compared to other types. These are not recommended because they aren’t able to cover every inch of your attic. This causes air leakage, which really ramps up your electric bill. Your AC will work harder to keep the temperature at the set amount, costing much more money. It’s like trying to inflate balloon with tiny holes in it.
- Cellulose- 8/10
This material is made of recycled material and boric acid. The boric acid helps with fire resistance and keeping bugs out. Similar to loose fill fiberglass, you can use an insulation blower. An alternative is buying bags of cellulose and placing it by hand in your attic. It has an r-value of 3.5 per inch. You can hire a pro and they’ll wet spray cellulose to keep the dust under control. It has very good air flow control, and is one of the better options on this list.
- Spray Foam- 8/10
Spray foam is very self explanatory. You don’t need a blowing machine, but you should definitely have a professional install it. There are two types, open cell and closed cell. Open cell is less thick and is flexible. Closed cell is denser and doesn’t allow any air or water through. They each have pros and cons so neither is superior. Closed cell foam can have an r-value (see chart below) of up to 7 while open cell has a value of about 3.5. While closed cell is more rigid and holds back moisture, open cell expands more after drying. This helps reach every hard to reach spot in your attic. One downside to spray foam is its cost, which can be double the cost of other insulation. Spray foam insulation is one of the best options if you can hire a professional.