What Types of Attic Insulation Are Available?

Attic insulation is a quick, relatively inexpensive and easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. By keeping conditioned air from being lost through the ceilings, attic insulation can significantly lower your heating and cooling costs. It can also help to create more consistent temperatures in your home and reduce outside noise.

Winter-Ready Attics: Strategies for Effective Insulation to Keep Your Home Cozy

The Department of Energy recommends an R-30 rating for attic insulation, but in some cold climates, you may need higher levels of insulation to keep your home comfortable and prevent excessive energy loss. The R-value of an insulating material is determined by its ability to resist the flow of thermal energy and is measured per inch. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation.

Fiberglass batts are the most popular and affordable option for attic insulation. They’re readily available and are rated as R-38, meaning they effectively insulate walls and ceilings. Fiberglass batts are made from recycled sand and glass, making them environmentally friendly. They’re also fire-resistant and contain a paper backing that helps to block moisture.

Loose-fill insulation is an alternative to fiberglass batts and consists of a blend of recycled materials including shredded newspaper, cardboard, and recycled glass. It is rated with different R-values and, like fiberglass, can lose some of its R-value over time due to natural settling.

Cellulose loose-fill insulation is a natural alternative to fiberglass and is made from recycled paper. It’s regarded as an eco-friendly choice, but is prone to mold and mildew growth because of the moisture it attracts. It can be fire-resistant if it is treated with ammonium sulfate or borate.

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