A properly insulated attic not only improves energy performance, but it also helps your home maintain a comfortable temperature all year-round. Energy Star states that central California homes should add R25 to R38 insulation in attics that are already insulated and R30 to R60 insulation in uninsulated attics. The best type of insulation for your attic depends on the type of insulation already in it, its age and your home’s sun exposure.
Best Type of Insulation for Attics
Batts or rolls: Fiberglass batts and rolls are made of mineral and rock wool or fiberglass. This type of insulation is one the easiest for homeowners to install. All you have to do is place it between your floor joists after cutting it to size and wearing the appropriate safety gear.
Batts made of mineral wool are generally simpler to work with than fiberglass because they’re stiffer and can fill gaps more tightly. Because it’s thicker than fiberglass, it also offers better thermal resistance and increased moisture resistance.
Loose-fill insulation: Made of fiberglass or cellulose, you can install loose-fill insulation with a special blower until it reaches the top of your attic’s joists. Before adding this type of insulation, you must install a plastic vapor barrier between the joists. This option complements and increases the R-value of existing insulation.
Cellulose is a more earth-friendly option than fiberglass, as it’s made of recycled newspaper or newsprint that’s treated with a fire retardant.
Spray-on insulation: This type of insulation combines loose fill cellulose with an adhesive. Contractors generally use this in new homes. If you don’t want to use cellulose, you can opt for spray-on insulation made of polyurethane and polyisocyanurate.
Window insulation: Insulating attic windows can help reduce heat gain and improve the building envelope. Some ways to insulate a window include:
- Sealing air leaks around windows with caulk
- Using drapes over windows
- Installing pultruded fiberglass window frames and jambs
- Installing exterior shutters
To determine what the best type of insulation for your attics is and the amount needed, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning online or at 559.255.1644. We’ve proudly served the greater Fresno area since 1964.
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 and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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