3 Decisions To Make Before Installing Additional Attic Insulation

Did you know that many homes in Southern California could reduce their energy costs by 10% by sealing their ducts and increasing the amount of Attic Insulation Roll 300X234 1insulation in the attic?

Here are three key decisions you must make before installing additional attic insulation in your home.

Pick on An Installation Method

The first thing to determine is whether or not you are going to do the project yourself. This decision plays a large role in the other choices you will be making. You have a couple of options:

  • DIY Rolls – If your attic is relatively wide open and you can easily access all areas, you may want to consider installing additional rolls (also known as batts) on top of the current insulation.
  • DIY Loose Fill – For attics that have difficult to reach places, this method may be easier, if you decide to do it yourself. Many home improvement stores in Southern California have equipment you can rent to blow in loose-fill insulation.
  • Hire a Professional – If your current attic has insulation that may contain asbestos (known as vermiculite and common in homes built prior to 1950), you should hire a professional. This is also a great option for those that are more hands-off or don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Once you have decided on the method of installing additional attic insulation in your home, it’s time to move on to material and R-value.

Get the Right R-Value

The efficiency of attic insulation is measured in R-values. The higher the R-value, the more resistant it is to heat flow, the more efficient it is, and the more you will save on heating and air conditioning costs.

In the Southern California climate, the recommended total attic insulation is a rating of up to R60. For homes with an existing 3-4 inches of insulation, that means adding about 12-15 inches of insulation (R30-R38).

Selecting the right R-value will reduce your energy costs the most. Remember: each type of insulation will have different R-values, so compare cost as well as R-value when choosing one of the below materials.

Choose Your Insulation Material

Depending on your decisions above, you may have one or several types of insulation to choose from. The following examples are the most common types of insulation used in residential attics.

  • Fiberglass – This type of insulation is usually pink and is made up of extremely fine glass fibers. You can get fiberglass insulation in rolls (or batts) as well as in a loose-fill form.
  • Cellulose – Made from recycled wood fibers (mostly newsprint), cellulose insulation is the most common type of loose-fill insulation used in DIY attic insulation projects.
  • Mineral wool – Available as either rock wool or slag wool in rolls and loose-fill, mineral wool insulation consists of about 75% recycled content.

Now that you know how you will be installing your additional attic insulation as well as what type, it’s time to get started. If you are doing it yourself, check out this sealing and insulation guide from ENERGY STAR. If you are hiring a contractor, they will walk you through the process.

Have a heating, cooling or insulation question we did not answer in this blog? Get a quick answer by asking our experts.

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