High energy bills, uncomfortable rooms and ice dams. You know it’s time to upgrade that attic insulation but what are your best options?
Spray Foam vs. Fiberglass vs. Cellulose
Let’s discuss and compare the most common types of attic insulation including fiberglass, cellulose and spray foam.
1. Cellulose Attic Insulation
Cellulose can be either loose fill or blown in material made from recycled denim or newspaper. It can be installed by a professional or done as a do-it-yourself project – just rent the machine and buy the material at your local home improvement store.
Over time cellulose can settle up to 20 percent, can shift to one side of the attic and it won’t create an air seal. This is the primary cause of high energy bills and other problems. If old cellulose is currently in the attic adding more inches may increase its effectiveness over the short run.
2. Fiberglass Attic Insulation
The other option would be to remove the cellulose completely and re-insulate with an air seal material to maximize energy efficiency – more on that in a second. It is made from extremely fine glass fibers and it can be used in rolls or loose fill. Fiberglass is made to be placed between floor joists and it is the least expensive insulation material for the attic.
However, it also allows for major air flow leading to potential comfort and energy efficiency problems. Old, dirty and ineffective fiberglass can be removed from the attic and replaced with new insulation. The ideal option would be to first air seal all the gaps and cracks before installing the fiberglass but this extra step adds major expense in time to the project.
3. Spray Foam Attic Insulation
Spray foam is made of organic chemical compounds obtained from petroleum extracts it can be used to air seal and insulate most areas of the home. Foam is further divided into open cell and closed cell foam insulation but open cell is most often used in the home due to its high expansion to fill all the gaps and cracks. Foam insulation not only insulates but is an air barrier material that reduces energy bills and adds comfort.
Because of its superior benefits it is the most effective option for solving insulation related problems in the home but comes with the highest initial cost. Over time the total investment is actually much less than other insulation materials as it lasts the lifetime of the home and provides monthly savings on energy bills.
Old insulation from the attic would need to be removed before spray foam is applied. Most contractors will do this dirty work as well as dispose of the old insulation.
Regardless of the season, attic insulation can benefit your property. You can see from these 15 advantages of attic insulation how it can significantly improve the comfort of your house.
Your home’s cooling and heating costs can be reduced by insulating your attic. Heat moves, which is why this is. In the winter, it flows out of your house, and in the summer, it pours in. By reducing this airflow, proper attic insulation will help you spend less energy to heat and cool your house.
Attic insulation reduces air leakage into your home. According to estimates, air escaping through your walls, floors, and ceilings accounts for 40% of the expense of heating your home. Thus, you can cut your utility expenditures if you restrict air leaks in your home.
3. Maintains Consistent Room Temperature
Temperature changes in your rooms may result from inadequate or inadequate insulation in your home. The temperature in each of your rooms may vary, or your upstairs rooms may be hotter than those downstairs. As a result, attic insulation is crucial to maintaining the comfort of your house.
Pollutants including dust, radon, smoke, and mould enter your home from the outside. By adding insulation to your attic, you can lessen the detrimental impacts of air pollution on your health. Headaches, respiratory issues, and weariness are a few signs of air pollution.
Your home will be worth more if you upgrade or install attic insulation with a high R-value. Although new attic insulation is not readily apparent to home buyers, it is a powerful selling element. It lowers energy expenditures, safeguards the roof, and keeps your house cosy and welcoming.
6. Turns Your Attic Into Usable Space
Do you exclusively store things in your attic because it’s too hot or cold to do anything else? The high temperatures in your attic are eliminated by adding spray foam insulation to the roof deck.
After accomplishing this, you can convert the attic into a bedroom, playroom, or family space. This once-uncomfortable storage area can be transformed into a pleasant room that raises the value of your house.
Ice dams can be prevented from forming on your roof in the winter by having adequate attic insulation. Icicles and ice dams can cost your home thousands of dollars in repairs to both the inside and outside.
Insulation that is resistant to pests can prevent unwanted pests from accessing your attic or creating nests there. A nest of mice, squirrels, or birds residing in your attic is the last thing you want.
If your insulation is old, pests may have already made nests there. Due to animal faeces, dead animals, and animal droppings, this could be hazardous to your health. To prevent harmful waste from entering your home, think about updating your outdated insulation.
Insulation aids in keeping water vapour from entering the framework of your house. Vapor barriers are created by closed cell spray foam while vapour retardants are created by open cell spray foam insulation. Water vapour can infiltrate into your ceiling, walls, and roof, causing cement to erode and wood to decay.
Your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your home warm or cool due to inadequate insulation. You may reduce the wear and tear on your temperature control system by installing attic insulation. By insulating the roof deck with spray foam, you may turn your attic into a semi-conditioned area and remove your HVAC system from the unfavourable attic environment.
So, which insulation type is best for your attic? It’s really up to you to decide. If you’re looking for the short-term cheaper option adding some traditional insulation is the best way to go. However, if you’re looking for a long-term energy efficient option spray foam is the best option. Read more, if you want to get more information. To get the best services available, you can hire professional service providers.
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