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Taking Charge Of the Batts In Your Attic: Get Your Gear Together

Adding batts in the attic – insulation batts – offers protection against heat transfer, giving your home’s uppermost region a fighting chance during the heating season to lock in comfortable home temperatures and limit energy consumption. Here’s a guide to choosing and installing insulation batts in the attic:

Insulation types

Batts are manufactured using multiple types of materials, including fiberglass, plastic or natural fibers, and mineral wool. Ready for use as pre-cut forms, batt insulation is easy to lay down between the floor and ceiling joists of an attic space. As a result, installing batt insulation is relatively easy job for the do-it-yourselfer.

Choosing R-values

Every insulation is rated via its R-value, or resistance to heat. For the San Joaquin Valley area, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends using batts in the attic that are rated R-30 to R-60 – when the attic isn’t insulated. If you plan to add additional insulation to what’s already there, plan on adding enough so that the total R-value meets or exceeds recommended levels. It’s pretty difficult to have too much insulation.

Various materials have differing R-values because of how they’re constructed and the materials utilized. Even thin insulating materials can have high R-values, because the material may contain microscopic pockets that trap heat moving through it, preventing the air movement. You’ll need to perform some simple calculations to assess the amount of batts your attic requires. Using insulation rated R-3, for instance, you would need 10 inches to reach a total R-value of 30 for the space.

Installing

Insulation is generally safe to work with; however, you’ll need to take a few protective measures:

  • Wear a mask to prevent inhalation of insulation particles
  • Wear protective clothing, including goggles, so that insulation won’t come into contact with your skin and irritate it
  • Cover your head
  • Wear knee pads to protect your knees; you’ll be doing a lot of kneeling
  • Gather necessary tools such as a utility knife and a construction stapler

Installing batts in the attic improves home comfort, as it slows down the movement of heat in and out of the home, and helps control energy bills – in both heating and cooling seasons. Please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning for more information. We provide superior HVAC services to homeowners in the greater Fresno area.

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 insulation batts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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