Attic Insulation Facts: What Homeowners Should Understand

Did you know that your indoor air conditioning accounts for 50-70% of the total energy consumption? That’s according to statistics by the US Department of Energy.

However, the good news is that you can reduce the total energy cost by 20%, thanks to home insulation. The attic, for instance, is an essential part of the home that you can insulate to regulate indoor temperatures.

Since it plays a vital role in enhancing comfort, knowing some insulation facts can help you maximize your ability to regulate indoor temperatures.

Here are the six little-known facts you should know about attic insulation.

You Can Add to the Old Insulation

One of the little-known insulation facts is that you need not remove the old insulation in the attic. Instead, if you wish to beef up the insulation, you can add to the old material without worry. However, if the old insulation has mold or water stains, you have good reasons to remove it, as it may signify a possible leak on the roof.

High R-Values Yield Maximum Efficiency

R-Value denotes the efficiency of a particular indoor insulation. The minimum R-value for attic insulation is 30 for warm climates and 38 for moderate temperatures. For cold climates, the minimum recommended value is 49.

A higher R-value means the insulating material will retain much heat and record high insulation efficiency. Similarly, a material with a lower R-value won’t retain much heat, leading to lower efficiency.

Storage in the Attic Can Hinder Insulation

Most homeowners use the attic to store old appliances and items they rarely use. While using the attic can help maximize storage space, you should remove any stored items before insulation. Stuffing old items in the attic will consume space, leaving insufficient room to fix insulation material.

Attic Insulation Slows Heat Exchange

Attic insulation can reduce the heat exchange rate, creating a balanced indoor atmosphere. During winter, the insulation material slows the rate at which heat travels through different surfaces in the house. As a result, you’ll feel warm indoors despite the relatively lower outdoor temperatures. On the other hand, insulation keeps the home cool during summer by regulating the intensity of the sun rays radiating through the house.

Seal the Attic Before the Insulation

Air can leak through different parts of the home, including the attic. So before installing or upgrading insulation in the attic, you should seal any existing air holes.

Pay extra attention to the knee walls, chimneys, and wall joints during attic sealing. If an opening from the chimney passes through the attic, you can use temperature-rated caulk for sealing. Similarly, use special caulk to seal the corner joints and outdoor gaps.

Insulation Should Cover Sufficient Depth

The US Department of Energy has recommended guidelines for the thickness of insulation material. For instance, fiberglass should be 12 inches thick, while rigid foam should be 7-8 inches thick. That aside, ensure the insulation is sufficient to cover all the joints within the attic to prevent air leakage.

Attic Insulation Works Without Vapor Barriers

A vapor barrier typically prevents water vapor from seeping into the attic or any space above the ceiling. It’s usually made of rubber, plastic, or other materials depending on the local climate.

One of the little-known insulation facts is that you don’t always need a vapor barrier unless you live in highly humid conditions. Painted walls and surfaces can naturally prevent moisture infiltration without a vapor barrier.

Getting Help for Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is one of the best ways to protect the home from weather elements and achieve comfort. Before then, learning some insulation facts will help you decide if your house requires insulation and the material to use.

First Quality Roofing & Insulation offers professional insulation services for residential and commercial properties in Wisconsin. Contact us for more insulation facts and a free evaluation of your insulation needs.

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