Attic Insulation – Best Practices

August 29th, 2012

Accumulation of heat or moisture in attics often causes problems. If moisture and heat are not allowed to escape through vents, the air which automatically rises up will gradually damage the insulation. Experts say that 44% of energy loss from houses occurs due to insufficient or inappropriate insulation in attics. As a direct result, your energy bills increase considerably. Attic insulation needs a lot of thought as it depends on many factors. Check the climate before ventilating New research proves that ventilation may not be mandatory in an insulated attic. Experts are also questioning the ability of ventilation to remove moisture. It’s best to follow local practices. If attic ventilation is mandatory, it’s best to go for a mixture of regularly spaced Ridge vents all along the roof top and Soffit vents along the eaves. Also follow the thumb rule of using 1 sq feet of net vent opening for 150 sq feet of ceiling. Do make sure that the vent area distribution is equal between ridges and the soffits. Know the weak spots Attic bays, eaves and mechanical obstructions – these are the three areas where maximum heat loss occurs. During summers, when the temperature is hot these areas function as cold spots while in the winters they serve as hot spots. Convection currents carry the heat in or out of the house through your attic from these spots. Either way, a lot of energy is wasted bringing back the temperature of your house to normal. Your strategy to combat this should include sealing all air leaks to maximize the effect of attic insulation. The R-Value Optimum thermal performance is also known as R value. Gaps, improper depth and low density will produce a lower R value than expected. Insulation quality is heavily dependent on proper installation so make sure that you hire an expert service attic insulation service. Batt and Blown Two of the commonest types of attic insulation are Batt and Blown installation. Common errors in Batt insulation are gaps and compressed areas as they prevent Batts from providing maximum effect. It is necessary to prepare and install attic batts appropriately if you want them to produce optimum R value. Before installation, check whether the Batt is full dimensional and whether the type and make can produce the desired R value. Blown insulation requires at least two people, one monitoring the hopper and the other blowing the insulation in place. Hopper insulation should be kept at the proper level for the hose to supply the correct density. Following the instructions in the Blower manual carefully is very important. Avoid electrically powered roof ventilators These can pull pollutants and dirt from the crawlspace into your home. Conditioned air can escape by ceiling bypasses and vents and disrupt the temperature control system. These kind of ventilators also consume more electricity than they save, making it generally a bad investment. If you follow some basic guidelines, you are sure to have excellent attic insulation.