While most homes have some insulation, have you ever considered whether or not your home has enough insulation? It creates an important layer of protection between you and the daily changes in conditions outdoors. Without enough insulation, you may be missing out on energy savings or a better sense of comfort. Installing new insulation can be a great investment, especially when you know where it will have the biggest impact.
For a lot of homes, that includes their attic. Unfinished attics in particular can be much colder than the rest of your home, even though heat rises. It can quickly escape through small cracks or other flaws. Adding more attic insulation to your attic can help your home trap more heating and cooling, and help you save more money as a result. But how much insulation should you have in your attic?
You’ll need to head up to the attic to determine how much insulation is already in place. Measuring is an easy process and can be handled with a measuring tape. Simply measure the depth of the existing insulation against the nearest joists. A good rule of thumb is that the insulation should measure several inches past the joists, but ultimately you’ll need the measurement itself.
Your local climate impacts how much insulation is considered adequate. Colder climates require a few more inches of insulation compared to climates further south. This added insulation helps protect against the bitter cold and lengthy winters more common in the northern part of the country.
While a thick layer of insulation is beneficial, the total efficiency is also influenced by the materials used. Some materials are more insulating than others, making them better at reducing heat loss. This resistance to heat flow is known as the R-Value.
Even if your insulation reaches past the floor joists, a small R-Value means it’s not trapping as much heat as you might think. Cooler climates generally want an R-Value of 38 or above, which roughly means 12-14 inches of insulation. You might need more or less depending on the material used for insulation.
There are different materials used to produce home insulation. Each of these materials has a different R-Value, and you’ll want to understand them before deciding one insulator is better than another. We’ll go over the 4 most common types and what their R-Values can range between. Remember that the climate alters what R-Value is considered as enough insulation for your attic.
Fiberglass insulation can be found in both loose fibers as well as standardized batts. Between these two types of fiberglass insulation, you’ll find an R-Value of 2.2 to 3.8 per inch.
Shredded denim or paper fibers from old newspapers makes up the bulk of cellulose-based insulation. It’s one of the oldest types of insulation and can offer an R-Value between 3.1 to 3.8 per inch.
Even rocks and minerals can be turned into soft insulation for your attic. Mineral wool, also known as stone wool, is manufactured from minerals like basalt. It can also be made from industrial slag or even glass. Mineral wool insulation offers a range of R-Values from 2.2 to 4.2 per inch.
Unlike rolls or batts, spray foam insulation is sprayed directly onto the surface for insulation. This foam is made from multiple composite materials and conforms to the shape around it. Spray foam insulation can offer some of the highest R-Values, averaging 3.5 to 8 per inch.
While it seems natural to assume that more insulation equals higher energy efficiency, there’s such a thing as too much insulation. Excessive insulation can encourage mold growth and trap other airborne particles within the fibers. Unless you’re experienced with evaluating and installing home insulation, it’s best to leave the job to a pro.
Professional installation ensures an even coating throughout your attic, from the center of the floor to the spots closest to the roof. This consistent seal will give your home the best layer of protection. If you’re considering installing more attic insulation in the U.S., look for technicians that can evaluate your existing insulation. They’ll be able to justify why your home needs however many additional inches of insulation.
So, you’ve got an unfinished basement. Perhaps it’s the spot where seasonal decorations and exercise equipment go to hide out for most of the year. Or maybe your basement is an empty space you walk through quickly because it’s chilly in the winter and too dank in the summer. If you’ve been... Continue reading
Whether you add a sunroom, family room or other room to your home, being cozy in your new area throughout the year is key. However, they can create a unique problem for comfort. This is due to the fact adding ductwork is expensive. And that your heating and cooling system may not be work properly... Continue reading
Having the correct insulation depth in your attic doesn’t only keep your home pleasant. It can help you save a lot of money on your utility costs. If you suspect your home doesn’t have enough attic insulation, now is a good time to install more. Having enough insulation helps regulate... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.