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Attic Insulation Options Provide Totally Different Pros And Cons

Attic Insulation Options Provide Totally Different Pros And Cons

Attic insulation plays a critical role in residence energy performance. In truth, most building scientists agree that the attic ought to be the primary "target" space for insulation and air-sealing upgrades. Most houses are constructed with code-required minimum levels of attic insulation that are far below present suggestions established by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Homeowners considering an attic insulation upgrade have a number of different insulation materials to consider. Each attic insulating option has distinct advantages and limitations. Understanding these pros and cons can help you choose the very best insulation upgrade to your attic.

Fiberglass batts

Fiberglass batt insulation is widespread because it's affordable and universally available. Regardless of age, many houses have attics insulated with fiberglass batts. The batts are typically installed between attic floor joists, and unfaced batts are more frequent than confronted batts in attic installations.

PROS: More affordable than other types of attic insulation. Best type of insulation for DIYers to install. Unlike blown insulation, batts might be lifted up and moved to provide access to the ceiling beneath, can lights and ceiling-mounted vent fans. Current batt insulation can often be left in place when blown insulation is added to increase general R-worth in the attic.

CONS: Troublesome to put in accurately round obstructions. Voids where insulation is missing contribute to significant energy loss. Multiple layers of batt insulation are required to achieve really helpful R-values in most parts of the country; this makes it unimaginable to use the attic for storage unless special platforms are built previous to insulation installation. Fiberglass insulation cannot stop air movement.

Blown insulation

Two foremost types of blown (or blow-in) insulation are commonly used: cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass. Both types are designed to be installed using special blowing equipment.

PROS: Installation might be accomplished quickly and affordably. Blown insulation typically results in more full coverage than is feasible with fiberglass batts.

CONS: A thick layer of insulation (at the least 16 in. for northern parts of the U.S.) is required, and this makes it not possible to make use of the attic space for storage unless special platforms are constructed previous to installing the insulation. Cellulose and loose-fill fiberglass insulation can't stop air movement.

Spray foam

Professional spray foam insulation contractors typically insulate an attic by making use of a thick layer of spray foam between the rafters. Two types of foam are used: open-cell and closed-cell. Opinions vary as to which type is finest in an attic installation, however closed-cell spray foam is used more frequently.

PROS: Closed-cell spray foam provides the highest R-worth per in. (about R-6) of any attic insulation. It additionally creates an air and moisture barrier, so it eliminates the need for separate air-sealing work. Insulating beneath the roof deck instead of on the attic floor frees up attic space for storage and other purposes. This strategy additionally improves the efficiency of HVAC components (like air handlers and ductwork) located within the attic.

CONS: Most costly attic insulation. A thick layer of froth applied to the underside of the roof sheathing can trap moisture and cause sheathing to rot.

Rigid foam

Rigid foam hasn't been used as extensively for attic insulation until a most up-to-date development. In a single unique system, a proprietary rigid foam panel is fastened to the underside of attic rafters, forming an air and thermal barrier.

PROS: Provides all the benefits of spray foam, with the additional benefit of sustaining attic ventilation. The potential for roof sheathing moisture damage is eliminated. The inflexible foam is faced with a radiant barrier that displays heat for additional energy financial savings -another advantage over spray foam.

CONS: The system is available in limited areas, so it's not as widely available as spray foam. Installation value is greater than fiberglass batts and blown insulation, however competitive with spray foam.

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