man installing insulation in a home's attic

Attic Insulation: The Right Materials at the Right Amount

Insulating your attic is important. While regular cleaning and dusting are enough for most people, the attic is often exposed to the elements, specifically changes in the weather. Since it is on the uppermost part of the house, there is a risk of moisture and everything that comes with it.

Proper attic insulation will prevent numerous hazards and risks to your house. In different locations such as Kansas City, there are insulation contractors who can provide this service but in case you need to do it yourself, know that there is such a thing as too much insulation.

Purpose of Insulation

Attic insulation can help reduce energy costs during the hot months of summer since it can lock in the cold temperatures inside and block out heat from the outside. The effect can take off as much as 25% of electricity costs on air conditioning just by cleaning and insulating the attic.

Aside from preventing molds, rodent and termite infestations brought about by moisture, the benefits of attic insulation make the expense and effort a worthy investment, if not a preventive measure from damage control costs.

Materials for Attic Insulation

The primary materials used for attic insulation are fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. There are different varieties of fiberglass, namely fiberglass batts and loose fill fiberglass.

Fiberglass batts are the easiest to install, but experts would say they offer the worst insulation. People use them because they are easy to acquire and install, as they can just roll them out in the attic. Loose fill fiberglass insulation is a modern version of the old fiberglass and some experts believe this is the best choice for your attic insulation. However, many people note that it is primarily because of the improvement that they have achieved with the material.

Cellulose and spray foam are notable materials that have performed better than fiberglass. Cellulose is best for insect control and fire resistance. Spray foam, when installed properly, can achieve zero heat transfer through convection. This is the highest standard for insulation.

The Right Amount of Insulation

Man installing thermal insulation layer under the roof

There was a question raised about the possibility of “over insulation.” This depends on your goals or the reasons you insulated your house. The main cause is temperature control. Do you want zero convection and total moisture control or do you want a fair amount of ventilation to go through?

There are objective ways to determine whether you have insulated too much. There are instances that a home is over-insulated, which leads to the moisture building up because it is too tightly sealed. The moisture is trapped in the attic because there is not enough ventilation. There will be effects similar to a lack of insulation, especially in the attic, because the warm air rises. There could be mold and poor indoor air quality.

Nevertheless, most of the time, the problem is more of a lack of insulation. This is manifested by higher energy costs and inconsistency of temperatures from one room to the other. This is the importance of proper attic insulation.

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