Air Sealing & Insulation Category
When adding attic insulation, homeowners commonly have two choices: fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose. It’s an important decision because the attic is an important target area for effective insulation. In winter, rising heat in rooms conducts through the ceiling into the attic, causing your furnace to run longer to compensate, raising heating costs. In summer, concentrated heat in the attic radiates down into living spaces and overworks your A/C. Adding attic insulation of the right type and quantity makes a difference in indoor comfort and efficiency year-round. Here’s why blown-in is often the best choice.
Fiberglass batts roll out between ceiling joists and must be cut and patched in an attempt to fill the many odd-shaped nooks and crannies in a typical attic. Cellulose is a loose-fill product composed of millions of bits of pulverized paper treated with fire retardant. Blown into your attic under air pressure, cellulose effectively fills every void of any shape, large or small, for comprehensive coverage to fully inhibit heat transfer. Once installed, cellulose has the coverage density and appearance of a layer of new-fallen snow.
The efficiency of an insulating material is rated by its R value. “R” stands for resistance and the numeral assigned indicates the material’s effectiveness at inhibiting heat transfer. Fiberglass insulation has an R value averaging 3.2 per inch of depth. Cellulose offers an R value of 3.8 per inch—a significant improvement indicating greater heat resistance than fiberglass.
Reduced Air Leakage
No form of insulation is an adequate replacement for proper air sealing to prevent air leakage. However, a layer of cellulose does slow air moving in and out of the attic, while fiberglass insulation has no effect at all.
Fiberglass insulation is made from new raw materials. High-temperature gas-fired furnaces are required to melt and spin the mineral fibers into the finished product. Cellulose is 75 percent recycled paper and cloth and the manufacturing process is far less energy-intensive.
Thinking about adding attic insulation to increase energy efficiency and indoor comfort? Contact the professionals at Apollo Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Improving attic insulation in your home will lower the costs of keeping it comfortable year-round, since all insulation slows heat transfer. The best place to start is by exploring attic insulation services in Cincinnati to learn which type will provide the best performance, based on your attic’s structure, its usage, and your budget.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 18 inches in the attic or an R-value of 49 for this climate. The most common choices you have for achieving the optimal levels include:
Fiberglass batt insulation lends itself to a do-it-yourself project since the rolls are relatively easy to install. If you have existing fiberglass batts and they’re in good shape, place the new layer perpendicular to the old layer for the greatest protection.
Always wear protective clothing and a dust mask when handling fiberglass. It sheds tiny, sharp particles when it’s handled that are known skin and respiratory irritants.
Cellulose, or fiberglass loose-fill insulation, is another common way to insulate attics, and it’s a good choice for those that have areas or corners that are otherwise difficult to access. Installers use large blowers into which they place the insulation, and blow it into place.
Home improvement centers rent blowers, but because it’s important to distribute it carefully, it’s one of the types that you might want to use attic insulation services in Cincinnati. Cellulose is made from shredded recycled paper and treated with borates to retard fire, insect and mold growth.
The insulation value of sprayed foam coatings exceeds those of batt or loose-fill, and it’s the best option for insulating tight spaces, or if you plan to use the attic as livable space in the future. Instead of placing the insulation on the attic floor, it’s sprayed onto the underside of the roof. While it offers the greatest protection against heat transfer, it’s also the most expensive option for both the product and its installation.
For more information about attic insulation services in Cincinnati, contact Apollo Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, providing trusted home comfort services for homeowners since 1910.
Does the idea of adding insulation make you think of winter? Many greater Cincinnati homeowners forget about the boost in comfort and savings available in the summer cooling season from insulation. Now’s a great time to have your local handyman add insulation to make your home more cost-effective to cool this season and heat in winter. The best place to begin is in the attic. (more…)
Adding insulation isn’t something that should be left for your winterization to-do list. In addition to keeping you warm in winter, the right level of attic insulation keeps the Southwest Ohio summer heat from seeping into your air-conditioned living space. More insulation could cut your air conditioning bills by up to 15 percent.
Check Your Attic Insulation
If you’ve already got three or four inches of insulation, you’ll want to insulate to between R38 to R49 level. How deep your insulation should be to achieve these R levels depends on the insulation type. For R38 level, appropriate depths are:
- Fiberglass batts: 12 inches
- Loose-fill fiberglass: 14 to 17 inches
- Loose-fill cellulose: 10 to 12 inches
Check the depth in different parts of your attic. You may find there’s plenty of insulation around the access door, but not enough toward the edges or in the middle of the attic. Also check for deteriorated insulation. This no longer forms an effective heat barrier and should be replaced.
Your Options for Better Insulation
If your current levels suggest the need to add insulation, you have two main options.
- Batt insulation – These long sheets of insulation are available in fiberglass, cellulose and some more eco-friendly materials such as cotton from recycled jeans. If not carefully installed, batts may fail to fill in small crevices, leaving room for heat to escape.
- Loose-fill (blown-in) insulation – This comes as small chunks of material, usually fiberglass or cellulose. These small pieces more effectively fill in corners and crevices. Loose-fill insulation requires a blowing machine for installation, but can be added over batts.
Installation Quality Matters
The effectiveness of your home’s insulation depends on proper installation. A professional can help you decide which insulation best meets your needs and determine the ideal amount. A pro can also do the tricky job of adding insulation to fill in crevices sufficiently without blocking the critical sources of ventilation that protect your attic from mold and heat damage.
For an accurate assessment of your attic’s insulation levels and a reliable, professional installation job, consult with us at Apollo Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in the Greater Cincinnati area.
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