Attic insulation is an important factor in keeping down your energy costs, but it is one that is sometimes overlooked. Not many homeowners visit their attic very often; in fact, some people have never seen what their attic looks like. We definitely understand its importance, however, and we can help you save some money through the use of attic insulation.
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Most of the home owners we speak with don't know what type of attic insulation they have, or if they even have any at all. It's just not something a lot of people think about. In general, there are four different types of attic insulation: fiberglass strips, fiberglass that is blown in, standard foam, spray foam. Each type has its own characteristics:
- Fiberglass strips - These are also called "batts" - this just means that the fiberglass itself is inside some thick paper. This type of insulation comes in large rolls, and the batts are placed in between the joists in your attic.
- Blown in fiberglass - This is similar to the other fiberglass, but it is blown into place by a machine. This means excellent ventilation, which is one of the big advantages of fiberglass.
- Standard foam - In shape, this is similar to fiberglass batts, but it is foam that is hardened. The width is the perfect size to fit between the joists, but it does allows for some flow of air.
- Spray foam - This is foam that starts out as a liquid (this is how it is sprayed) but then it hardens in place. This means it seeps into every crack and crevice for excellent insulation, but not much ventilation.
Different contractors like to use different types of attic insulation, and in some cases it depends on the particular house (age of the home, design of the attic, and some other factors). Regardless of the type of insulation you have installed, the purpose is essentially the same. It's designed to basically do three things:
- Keep heat from moving from one location to another - During the cold days of winter, you have the heat turned on inside your home to that the living area is comfortable. However, your attic is still quite cold. If there were nothing to stop it, the heat from inside your home would flow into the attic, and your heating system would have to work harder to keep your home warm. The attic insulation is there to stop that heat from leaving your living space. In the summer, the insulation keeps the heat in the attic from getting into the AC-cooled air in your home.
- Allow adequate ventilation - Your attic has to breathe. If there is no flow of air at all, the attic tends to become stuffy and stagnant, and that kind of environment is not healthy for the attic, or the roof. This environment is not healthy for the attic, or the roof. Attic insulation aids in the ventilation, as does the ridge vent and the soffit and fascia. We can look at all of these items to make sure they are functioning properly.
- Reduce moisture as much as possible - This is another duty of the attic insulation. One thing you definitely do not want in your attic is mold. The ideal place for mold to grow is a place where there is darkness and moisture. The attic is already probably the darkest place in your home. If the air starts to become damp, it's a perfect opportunity for mold to start growing. This can damage the wood in your attic, as well as the roof deck which is just above the attic. Proper insulation prevents this from happening.