Insulating your attic increases the energy efficiency of your home, is relatively inexpensive and lasts for decades. When you’re choosing attic insulation, these steps will help you reach the 16 inches that the U.S. Department of Energy recommends for our climate. Sixteen inches of insulation translates to an R-value around 38, which gives you 38 hours of protection against heat gain or loss. The “R” stands for resistance and each value that the insulation carries indicates how many hours it resists temperature change.
The most common types of insulation for attics are batt and blown-in, though some types have higher R-values than batt and loose-fill.
- Batt insulation is easiest to install as long as your attic has sufficient space for you to move around. Made from fiberglass, it comes in widths to fit between the floor joists, and the rolls vary in length. When choosing batt, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for fire safety. Batt insulation with reflective films is good for this area, since it reflects heat away from the attic.
- Blown-in insulation, made from recycled paper or loose fiberglass, is another commonly available material. Applying blown-in is a two-person job, something to consider when you’re choosing attic insulation. One person has to fill the blower, while the other holds the hose to spread the insulation. The cellulose has been treated with borates that retard fire, insects and rodents.
- Rigid foam insulation is a good choice if there’s not a lot of room in your attic. The R-value of rigid foam is higher than blown-in or batt insulation.
- Expanding foam insulation sprayed on the underside of your roof works well if you’re planning to use your attic as livable space. Of the two types, closed-cell has a higher R-value than open-cell, but both have higher R-values than other types of insulation. Expanding foam is also the most expensive insulation and requires special equipment to apply.
If you’d like to learn more about choosing attic insulation for your Fresno area home, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for the San Joaquin Valley for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about attic insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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