While you might be concerned about losing energy through your attic, there might be more problems up there than not having enough insulation. It may be getting wet, too.
So, while you’re thinking about putting down even more fiberglass, it might be time to evaluate what’s really going on. According to HVAC experts, one of the biggest problem facing an attic is moisture. And here in this part of the San Joaquin Valley, we all know what happens when the rainy season hits — it’s wet everywhere. Did you ever think about what that’s doing to your insulation.
You could also have improper ventilation. Keeping your attic dry and making sure it’s properly ventilated are the keys to making it last — and making your protection is doing its job. Moisture comes in through your roof or flashing, from water vapor or even ice dams along roof gutters. A dry attic will help you avoid problems, which will lower your heating and cooling costs.
Also, always remember to vent everything outdoors. When you vent those bathroom exhaust fans or dryers into the attic, all that extra moist air will detract from the effectiveness of your insulation.
Insulation is mentioned in R-values. The total value depends on its depth and type. To determine the total R-value, decide what type is installed and multiply its rated R-value per inches, and then again by the number of inches that are installed.
Cellulose loose-fill insulation is rated at R-3.5 per inch. An attic that has 4 inches of this cellulose insulation adds up to an R-14 value. That’s not nearly enough protection to save energy. It should be at least R-30 in a mild climate and R-40 in colder climates.
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