The Importance of Insulating Your Attic
Attic insulation is important because it can help home owners save money, conserve energy resources, maintain a uniform temperature in the home and make floors, walls and ceilings cool in summer and warm in winter. Insulating the attic is one way of maintaining a green home because it helps to conserve energy.
On an average, 50 to 70 per cent of the energy resources used inside a home is for heating or cooling costs. When the attic is not insulated at all or not properly insulated, the hot or cool air being generated inside the home escapes, resulting in a massive waste of energy resources.
To explain further how an insulated attic works, consider the example of heating a home during winter. Not many homes are designed to be truly airtight, therefore, as the heat inside the home rises; it blows upward, seeping into the un-insulated attic. The heat becomes cool in the attic’s cold air and blows back into the home forcing more hot air to rise. This type of cycle steals the heat from the home, wasting a tremendous amount of the home’s energy resources.
There are different types of insulation materials available for the attic, each with its own advantage and disadvantages. Weighing the pros and cons before choosing the insulation type most suited to the home is significant.
• Foam insulation can be open cell or closed cell and both have proven their efficacy in insulating attics. The spray is mixed by professionals and then sprayed into the cavities in walls with special equipment.
• Batts (rolls) are insulation material made from interwoven, flexible fibres laced with adhesive binders. This type of insulation material is common and is available in either fibreglass or cotton. It is not one of the best insulating materials because it does not fill out the floor joints and wall studs completely. For optimal performance, insulating material should not allow gaps or be compressed.
• Blown insulation is typically blown into the attic in small chunks or pellets with the help of hose and special equipment. The insulation chunks are either cellulose (from recycled newspaper) or fibreglass (from sand). Both have similar insulating capabilities and are good for filling in gaps in floors and walls.
Fibreglass Batt insulation is one of the most common types of insulation chosen because it is very cost-effective. It can be installed easily by the home owner, doing away with the need for hiring a professional. Cellulose and spray foam are both effective materials for insulating attics, but will require the services of a professional insulator.