Ah, the attic. It has a bit of a romantic feel to it, thanks to movies and books doesn’t it?
In reality, though, most of us probably don’t think about our attics all that often. It’s out of the way, and it’s not all that important right?
Not exactly. Your attic plays an important role in keeping your home‘s temperature the way you want it, thanks to insulation.
So what kind of insulation is best for your home? That depends on your situation. To help you make the best decision, here are five types of attic insulation you can choose from.
1. Batts and Rolls
This type of attic insulation is often made from fiberglass. If you don’t want fiberglass, though, there are other options. You can find batts and rolls made with cotton, plastic, and mineral wool.
If you’re looking to install your insulation on your own, this is a great option. It’s easy to put where you want it if you’re using it in the areas it’s designed for.
What areas are batts and rolls best for? Places like the rafters in your attic and around floor joists.
You will need to take some safety precautions when working with fiberglass. This includes wearing gloves and clothing that will protect your skin. A mask would be a good option too.
This type of fiberglass isn’t the most effective on the market, but its effectiveness rests in the average range.
Cellulose insulation doesn’t create a total air barrier. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective, though.
Thanks to how dense it is, cellulose does do a pretty good job at blocking air. It doesn’t block it entirely, but it’s enough to be effective.
So what’s it made of? Paper, actually. Recycled paper is ground up and mixed with boric acid. The acid helps protect your home from fire and control insects at the same time.
Cellulose can be a DIY kind of insulation. You’ll need to be careful and you’ll likely need to wear a respirator.
If you don’t want to worry about breathing in things you shouldn’t, you can have this type of insulation installed by a professional. If you do, you’ll likely end up with insulation that does a better job at controlling dust and blocking more air.
3. Loose Fiberglass
Loose fiberglass certainly isn’t the best on the market, but it isn’t the worst either. You will need a special machine to get it where it needs to go. Because of this, you might want to hire a pro.
You’ll definitely need a respirator for this stuff. It’s known to irritate lungs and cause itchiness. Professionals will come eeuipped with gear to avoid these issues.
When applied correctly, though, this type of insulation can do a pretty good job. It’s often used in new construction homes.
4. Reflective Barrier
This type of insulation offers temperature protection for your home using a different method than most. Instead of blocking air it reflects it away instead.
Specifically, this type of insulation reflects heat to send it back in a direction away from your home. This means you’ll have some control over more heat entering your home from outside.
This type of insulation works well in attics. A lot of heat gets into your home from there, so use reflective barrier insulation in between beams, rafters, and joints.
What’s the DIY level of this type of insulation? You can absolutely install it yourself. Simply place the insulation where you need it to go.
The insulation is formed from a substrate material plus the reflective barrier.
5. Spray Foam
Spray foam is a popular type of insulation. It does require special tools, so you likely won’t be doing this yourself. So if you’re looking for a DIY project, you’ll need to go with a different option.
This type of insulation is applied as a liquid foam. It’s often sprayed, but can be applied in other ways too, such as injecting or pouring it where it needs to go.
Depending on the spray foam you go with (or the type your installer chooses to use) you could get better air blockage than with batt insulation.
Spray foam can be used in areas where batts aren’t very effective, though. This includes small holes and awkwardly shaped areas around cracks and frames.
There are two types of spray foam: closed cell and open cell. Closed cell spray foam is the most effective insulation on the market. That also means it is pricey, though.
What to Look For
Any one of these options would likely work in your attic. To find the best option, though, you’ll need to consider your specific situation.
Insulation types are usually rated with an R-value. This value tells you how much heat flow the insulation will resist. In other words, a higher R-value will be more effective in keeping heat out of your home, as well as keeping it in.
Closed cell spray foam can have an R-value of up to 6.5, while other options only have a 2.5 value.
Consider the climate where you live, the attic space you have, your budget, and the R-value of each type of insulation before making your choice.
Choose Your Attic Insulation Today
If the temperature control in your home isn’t what it could be, it’s time to install new insulation. Luckily, you have many options to choose from.
The best attic insulation for your home will depend on your specific circumstances. This guide should give you an idea of what will work well.
So what are you waiting for? Try one of these insulation types today! Soon you’ll have that more comfortable home that you’re looking for.
Looking to update the exterior of your home, too? Check out our guide to siding options.