In house insulation, all parts are important! Thus, if the insulation of an attic could seem superfluous, it is not so! On the contrary, up to 30% of the thermal losses are through the roof. Insulating an attic can allow you to save a lot of energy. Home has been a concern with homeowners since colonial times when they used everything available, including paper and even mud, to retain heat or cold inside their homes.
The addition insulation to the attic can provide a number of different benefits. By reducing thermal transfer through walls and ceiling, you can keep your home comfortable with less demand for central heating systems. This can extend the life of the equipment and help lower monthly bills. Lower energy consumption can also benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
There are several methods of insulation in the attic available today. They include:
This is the most common type of insulation and is available to batts or rolls in your home supply store. This insulation has flexible fibers, which are most often made of fiberglass, although some are available with plastic fibers and natural fibers. Batts and rolls are available in standard widths that match the standard spacing of wall studs and attic beams. These are accessible with or without a coating. The cladding makes it connect to wooden posts much easier.
Bulk insulation is manufactured from small particles of foam, fiber or other materials. These small particles can fit any space, without disturbing any finishes or structures in your attic. This ability to conform makes Bulk Insulation easy to install behind joints and on existing walls. Bulk insulation is available in cellulose, mineral, wool and fiberglass although its main component is recycled newspapers. This type of insulation requires the use of a blowing machine that can be rented from a home improvement store or you may want to call a professional.
For applications such as flat floors or ceilings, consider rigid insulation. Rigid insulation comes in depth in 1/2 inch increments and varies from 1/2 inch to 2 inches or more of the 48-by-96 inch panels. Rigid insulation can be easily scored and cut with a knife and is ideal for battery isolation areas while impracticable (nailing to the cover, etc.). Some rigid insulation also comes with a thermal barrier sheet to further reduce heat loss. A disadvantage of rigid nappa insulation is that the spaces between the panels can allow heat loss or air and moisture infiltration, but this can be remedied with the proper use of aluminum foil tape.
Spray Foam insulation simply involves spraying highly expandable foam in the attic between the beams. As the foam leaves the sprayer, it expands in a ratio of eight to one and fills in small holes and cracks very well especially around wiring. It only takes about a minute and a half for the foam to fully expand. A professional can make this type of insulation for you or you can buy smaller cans with the nozzle of distribution and demand of security.
Batt insulation, sometimes made of recycled fibers (cotton or wool, for example), is recognizable by its spongy appearance. Color and labeling denote the brand, and the thickness determines its thermal insulation capacity. This rating for a given unit of thickness is called R-value. R-11 and R-13 are the most common R values of fiberglass or mineral wool insulation available in a thickness of 3 1/2 inches – equal to the depth of a normal 2-by-4 wood stile.
For vaulted ceilings or attics, batt insulation values can go as high as R-38 with a thickness of 12 inches. Battery insulation has the advantage of fitting into tight or irregular spaces with a friction adjustment or cutting with a knife. Battery insulation is encapsulated, kraft-, paper with the face (which also acts as a moisture barrier) or without a face. Please note that health conditions may be a consideration against the selection of a cotton or mineral wool-based insulation on non-faced fiberglass-based insulation. In addition, some brands offer insulation without formaldehyde.
Radiant barriers usually consist of a thin sheet with an aluminum layer, which is applied to one or both sides of a series of different materials.
These include kraft paper, plastic sheets, cardboard and plywood sheets. Some products are fiber reinforced to increase ease of handling and durability. A radiant barrier is installed on the top insulation of the existing attic for additional savings in electricity or applied directly to the attic roof and floor.
Projected insulation offers the advantage of rigid insulation. Starting with open framing and cladding, spray insulation is applied in slow passes and expands as it heals. The chemical reaction of the spray isolation expansion in generates millions of air or inert gas entrapment bubbles as a byproduct of the reaction. These bubbles are used as insulation. Spray insulation – fills all holes and cavities where it is applied, and some types of spray insulation also act as moisture barriers, eliminating one more step in construction.
To choose between different types of insulation for attics, consider things like space, time, cost and installation needs. Due to its higher R value per inch, rigid foam is often chosen for tight spaces, as it can provide greater thermal resistance per inch compared to other materials. A high value is also important if you live in an extremely cold area, or if your house tends to be cold or with drafts in winter. At the same time, foam is one of the most expensive insulating materials, so its cost must be weighed against the benefits. Fiberglass or loose fill occupy more space but are also less expensive.
If you try to install the attic insulation yourself, first make sure that all air leaks from the attic of the house and to the outside are sealed. Also, observe the roof that there is no water leakage since it needs to be repaired before the insulation installation. If you are not sure about the installation, you should call a professional.