Ever wonder why your electric bill is so high? While there are many factors at play, one of the greatest culprits is an improperly insulated attic. Attic insulation is a key factor in minimizing your electric bill and maximizing the efficiency of your home. Unfortunately, the Department of Energy has already predicted that natural gas and heating oil prices will increase this upcoming winter. Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter is quite expensive. We are here to help you take every and any precaution to protect your home and your wallet.
One of the simplest and quickest fixes is to finish your attic. Whether your attic had previous insulation that is now soggy and old requiring insulation removal and replacement, or is unfinished and requires brand-new cellulose insulation, we are here to help! It is estimated that a finished attic that is properly furnished with attic insulation can save you 10-50% off of your heating bill! And the best part? Once we have fixed your attic, the job is complete for at least 20 years!
Costs of Attic Insulation
Attic insulation varies by cost due to a certain number of factors. Our Specialists will sit down with you and discuss these different factors to find the perfect, custom fit for your home and lifestyle. The main factors include:
· Insulation Type and material – The insulation type has a direct effect on the cost. There are three main types of insulation: cellulose insulation, rockwool insulation, and fiberglass. Each has its benefits and specializations, but also varying prices.
· Additional Add-Ons – Depending on the size of your attic, dehumidifiers, blown insulation, and other additional features might be recommended.
There are two choices for the type of insulation: loose fill or blanket insulation (more commonly referred to as “batt”). Both are able to be installed in your attic whether it is layering previous material or in an uninsulated attic. Our Specialists are experts in these materials and will help you determine what is best for your home.
1. Loose Fill Insulation
Loose Fill insulation is just as it sounds – loose pieces of insulation fibers are blown into your attic at the desired depth and density. We would recommend using loose fill insulation in the following instances:
· Attics with irregular or nonstandard-sized joint spacing
· Attics with lots of obstructions
· Attics with pre-existing insulation
· Low-clearance attics
There are three main types of loose fill insulation available. Each has its own pros and cons and works better in some places rather than others.
a) Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation has an R-value per inch of 2.2 to 2.7. It is composed of recycled glass or sand that is melted down and spun into fibers. Fiberglass insulation is lighter in weight than the other insulation types – both cellulose insulation and rock wool – but settles more, thus requiring a thicker amount of protection laid.
b) Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation is the most commonly used type of insulation. It has an R-value per inch of 3.2-3.8. It is composed of recycled paper that is treated to make it insect and fire-resistant. However, if it is exposed to moisture, due to its founding material (paper), it can rot and grow moldy.
c) Rock Wool Insulation
Rock wool insulation has an R-value per inch of 3.0-3.3. It is composed of fibers made from rock or recycled slag. Due to its composition, it offers a strong fire resistance, however, this comes at a price, as it is the most expensive of the three loose-fill insulation options.
Blanket Insulation (or “batt”) comes in long, packaged rolls in various thicknesses and widths. The most common are 16 inches and 24 inches. These are made to fit in between the joints or studs in a home’s framing. They are made with and without paper or foil facing. The paper and foil serve as a vapor barrier. We would recommend using batts in the following situations:
- Attics with standard joint spacing
- Attics with few obstructions
- Attics with sufficient headroom to move throughout installation
Just like the loose-fill insulation, there are some three-batt insulation material options, as well.
a) Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation has an R-value per inch of 2.9-4.3. It is composed of recycled glass or sand that is melted down and spun into fibers. This is the most commonly used batt material.
b) Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation has an R-value per inch of 3.7-3.8. It is composed of recycled paper that is treated to make it insect and fire-resistant. However, it is made by a limited number of manufacturers.
c) Rock Wool Insulation
Rock wool insulation has an R-value per inch of 3.0-3.3. It is composed of fibers made from rock or recycled slag. It, too, offers strong fire resistance, however, this also comes at a price, as it is the most expensive of the three batt insulation options.
d) Cotton Insulation
Cotton insulation has an R-value of 3.7-3.8 per inch. It is made of fibers from recycled denim cloth. It blocks airflow and sound, however, due to the material used, it is also one of the more expensive batts.
The Department of Energy recommends the following R-values for unfinished attics. Our Specialists are well-versed in this and will be able to assist you in determining what is best for your home’s location, climate zone, and space.
- Hot Climates: R-30 Insulation
- Temperate Climates: R-38 Insulation
- Cold Climates: R-49 Insulation
Air leaks are one of the greatest culprits that cause your energy bills to increase. Gaps in the attic or in the floors in the attic will allow the heated or cooled air to escape. This will not only waste your hard-earned dollars but also render your insulation useless. These areas are most often found to allow air leaks.
- Attic Windows
- Pipes, wires, exhaust fans, and ducts
- Chimneys and Flues
Prior to adding any new loose fill or batt insulation, it will be necessary to conduct an insulation removal, taking out any old, moldy, or wet previously installed insulation. Insulation that has any of those conditions unfortunately is not useful whatsoever and is doing you no good. You will need to have it removed and then replaced. Also, it is important to note that owners of homes built prior to 1990 may find their insulation to be grainy, loose looking, with shiny flecks. This will need to be tested immediately, as it could be vermiculite from a mine that contained asbestos deposits. Our team will be able to properly remove and dispose of it for you. It is essential for your home’s health and safety that proper care is taken of your spaces. We are so thankful to be able to offer just that!
So, now perhaps you may be able to understand a bit better why your electric bill is so high. Attic insulation is a surefire cure to minimize excessive energy bills while adding protection and longevity to the home. Our Specialists will be able to assist you in determining the best products to use on your specific home, whether that be loose-fill insulation or batt insulation. The material type, whether fiberglass, rockwool insulation, or cellulose insulation, will be available to you, and the R-value will be determined to be the best fit for your home. Our team can conduct insulation removal and insulation replacement, as well as sealing, ensuring that your home is protected long-term. Give us a call today to help find the best, custom fit system for your home!