Heat rises, and that means you could lose a lot through your attic. It is therefore important to choose the right attic insulation when renovating your home.
There are several types of attic insulation you'll consider when repairing or renovating your home. Each provides unique pros and cons with variable degrees of difficulty and costs.
Philly weather is nice year-round. But, inadequate heating during a cold winter or non-stop sweating during the hot summer isn't too thrilling if you ask me.
Here's what you should know about different insulation types and which is best for your home.
The Different Types of Attic Insulation
Insulation is rated with an R-value which denotes its performance. The higher the R-value, the better it'll insulate. Higher R-valued attic insulation will require professional installation. Though, it's possible to do-it-yourself if you're handy.
Think of BBS when figuring the types:
Batts is a blanket insulation -- fiberglass, wool, plastic, or natural fibers -- like the big, pink rolls you see during construction. The insulation fits between the frames/studs of the attic frame and stapled in place.
Blow insulation -- fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool -- is sprayed into spaces using a high-powered blower. The loose material is ideal for filling hard-to-reach areas (such as the crawl spaces in an attic).
Sprayed insulation -- polyurethane foam -- coats the space and fills in as gas or air expands the materials. This type of insulation uses either open-cell or closed-cell materials with closed providing a higher R-value.
Air leaks are sealed before insulation is applied to improve heating/cooling. A sweep of the area is usually done to clear debris and pests prior.
There are uncommon types of attic insulation like foam board or reflecting coatings. The three mentioned are ones you'll likely work with, though.
Choosing Attic Insulation to Fit Your Home
The insulation you choose will depend on a couple of factors:
- DIY vs professional services
- Needs vs wants
Begin by clearing the attic space and measuring the square footage (a calculator is handy for those that cannot math). Then, determine if you'll install the insulation or seek professional services. Lastly, find a median between needs and wants to land on a balance of heating/cooling efficiency and material costs.
Can't decide? Go with:
- Batts if space is accessible and the budget is low
- Blown if space is difficult but budget is flexible
- Sprayed if you want the best money can afford
The pink roll you'll purchase from home improvement stores will run you about $50 and cover just over 106 sq. ft. DIYing it with a staple gun is easy since the roll is divided into pre-cut widths.
Blow or sprayed insulation has similar costs but you'll want to factor labor costs which average $50-$70 depending on your area.
In all, the DIY route is desirable if you're willing to endure sweat and grime. Else, it's a small expense to hire professionals when you consider the...
Good Comfort (Better Savings)
Proper attic insulation can save 10-30% of your heating/cooling costs.
The savings justify the expenses when you consider most electric bills will fall in the $150 range. Cutting that bill by $45 (off the high end) would pay for the average $1,359 (national) insulation cost in about 3 years!
What's to lose by being more comfortable in your home? Check your insulation options and measure your thermal bridges. Then, pair it with insulation type that fits your budget and home.