Insulating your attic is a smart investment that pays off with lower energy costs throughout the year. However, homeowners often struggle with determining the best type of insulation and installation method for their home. Some may even avoid the investment altogether because they are not sure how much their home could benefit from attic insulation. This article breaks down the most popular attic insulation types and their cost-benefits to help make the decision easier for homeowners.
Fiberglass spray foam are a widely used form of attic insulation. They are inexpensive, accessible and effective. Rated at R-38, they fit between standard framing spaces in walls and ceilings to help keep heat inside and noise out. The fiberglass itself is made of recycled sand and glass, which makes it an environmentally friendly option.
Cracking the Code: Understanding the Different Types of Attic Insulation Materials
Cellulose is another attic insulation option with a higher R-value of 3.5 per inch, according to the Insulation Manufacturers Association. This product takes the form of densely packed, independent fragments of boric-acid-treated recycled ground paper that create air pockets to trap heat efficiently. It is blown in with a special machine, which some installers rent from big box stores. This technique creates a lot of dust, but it does a good job of insulating and helps to control frost in attics.
Loose-fill insulation, also known as blown-in insulation, is an alternative to fiberglass and cellulose. It is a mix of materials such as mineral wool, shredded newsprint and cardboard, or industrial waste. It is rated at R-values of various degrees depending on the material. This type of insulation can lose density over time, which can reduce its R-value, so installers should plan for 20% more material than necessary to compensate for natural settling.