Best Attic Insulation

What Is The Best Attic Insulation?

You probably know that attic insulation is extremely important to stopping heat loss in your home, because warm air rises. In colder climates like Michigan, an uninsulated attic can literally mean allowing all of the warm air your furnace or boiler creates straight out of your roof. That gets expensive very quickly. While insulation in your walls and crawlspace are important as well, insulation in your attic or on your roof deck is essential. 

Insulation works by providing resistance to heat flow. It is akin to putting a blanket on your home, just like you do when sleeping in bed. If you add blankets to your bed on a cold night you don’t have to keep the heat as high. Less heat used means you save money. Insulation lowers your heating and cooling costs much the same way. 

One way to tell if your attic insulation is insufficient is to see if you have icicles hanging from your eaves in winter. Homes with large icicles hanging from their roofs often have less insulation. Why? Because heat rises through the home and out of the roof deck, slowly and subtly melting snow on the roof. The remaining water then drips down and freezes once again to become icicles. 

If you don’t see any icicles on your home that may not mean you do have adequate insulation. In general, more is better here. But if you do have icicles, it is time to consult a professional home energy auditor.

But what is the Best Attic Insulation?

As with most things concerning insulation, that depends on the situation. Generally speaking cellulose attic insulation and spray foam insulation offer the most efficient barriers to heat loss. They are also cost effective.

There are three common types of attic insulation: Fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and spray foam insulation. 

Fiberglass Insulation

You have probably seen fiberglass insulation in batts at the hardware store. It is most often pink and is generally papered on one side with a special material called a vapor barrier. Fiberglass insulation is certainly better than nothing, but is not the ideal choice for attic insulation. 

The problem with fiberglass insulation is it only works under perfect conditions. If its installed improperly, gets disturbed or damp (from leaks in a roof), or the vapor barrier is torn in any place, it rapidly loses efficiency. Fiberglass is extremely hazardous to humans and is prone to disturbance by animals looking for nesting material.

Generally, if homeowners have fiberglass insulation in their attics we suggest replacing it. 

Cellulose Insulation

The second type of insulation available is cellulose insulation. Having rapidly improved over the last few years, cellulose insulation is often the number one choice for attics because it can be mechanically blown in and as deep as possible offering more protection. Just like adding more blankets to the bed. 

Made of recycled paper and treated with a fire resistant chemical, cellulose insulation is extremely cost effective and an excellent choice for attic insulation. While cellulose is great for attics, it is less suited to walls because when stacked vertically it settles, leaving a gap at the top of wall cavities. In attics, where cellulose insulation is inlaid horizontally, this is not an issue. 

Spray Foam Insulation

The last type of insulation is spray foam insulation. Spray foam is the gold standard for quality in insulation. Inch for inch, it generally offers the most insulating value out of any material commonly available to homeowners today. 

Spray foam insulation is becoming more common, and has two important applications for attic insulation. The first is when cellulose is not practical. Depending on the architecture of your home, cellulose just might not make sense. For example, if you have a vaulted ceiling with no attic above it, cellulose won’t be much use and spray foam is the ideal choice. 

Second, when the maximum insulation value is desired, spray foam is the best choice. As an added benefit, spray foam fills all the little gaps and cracks between your studs stopping airflow issues. This is another advantage over cellulose for some homeowners. 

How Do I Know Which Insulation I Need?

It’s best to contact a professional, and we’re here to help. Insulation professionals, like the ones at Premier Home Solutions, can tell you what the best insulation for your unique situation and budget is. 

At your request we will perform a free home energy audit to determine where your home could use more insulation. We use state of the art methods to look at your home and determine the best way to spend your hard-earned dollars to save you the most money. 

And remember, through increased energy efficiency these improvements often pay for themselves. 

If you think you may need more, or a different type, of insulation in your attic or anywhere else in your home, give us a call today. One of our insulation professionals will give you a free consultation at your earliest convenience. 

Give us a call at 517 742 2424 or click on the chat icon in the lower right corner to learn more.

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