Making sure an attic is well insulated is a great way to save money on energy costs and to make a home more comfortable. The type of insulation chosen can make a big difference in how well an attic is insulated.
Attic insulation is designed to keep heat in the home in the winter and out of the home in the summer. Heat rises and, in the winter, any air that is heated by a furnace goes up and out through an attic. In the summer, a roof becomes very hot and, with no place for the hot air to go, an attic can become the hottest space in the home. Without attic insulation, that heat would quickly get into a home.
So attic insulation is probably the most important insulation in a home. The type of insulation chosen is also important because they are all different.
Fiberglass batt insulation is probably the most popular type of insulation for attics. It is easily installed by homeowners and it fits perfectly between the joists of the ceiling. Installers need to be careful to make sure that the batts fit every crevice and corner snugly or a lot of heat will get through the gaps.
Moisture in an attic will reduce the degree of insulation received from fiberglass batts. Any leaks, condensation problems or other sources of moisture must be fixed before installing batt insulation.
Loose-fill fiberglass and cellulose is another popular type of insulation for attics. Spread by hand or with a blower, loose-fill insulation can be blown into corners and hard to reach areas, so there is less of a problem with “gaps.” However, moisture also damages the fiberglass and cellulose in loose fill and all moisture problems must be fixed before installation.
Spray foam is an increasingly popular type of insulation for attic applications. Not only does it get into hard to reach places, it expands to fill every gap and hole. Therefore heat can’t pass through spaces in the insulation.
Spray foam is also waterproof and often, because it expands, it will stop small moisture leaks. Condensation isn’t a problem because of how spray foam seals an attic well.
Other spray foam benefits include support for the structure of a house, fewer airborne pollution/irritants in a home and less outside noise.