What Is the Best Kind of Insulation for Attics?

attic ladder pulled down

For homeowners in the Finger Lakes area, especially those residing in older homes, the challenges of maintaining a comfortable temperature are all too familiar. If you already know about the benefits of insulating your attic, the question of which insulation material to use is not far behind. The attic, being one of the primary sources of energy loss in a home, offers an opportunity to save year after year on energy costs if the right insulation material is chosen. Let's delve into the different insulation materials available and determine which might be the best fit for your Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, or Phelps home.

1. Fiberglass Batt or Blown-In Insulation 

Fiberglass is one of the most commonly used insulation materials. It comes in two forms: batts (pre-cut sections) and blown-in (loose-fill). This type of insulation can be effective for homes that are already airtight and otherwise well-insulated. It's non-flammable, resistant to moisture, and provides a consistent thermal barrier. However, it's essential to ensure that any old insulation is thoroughly removed and the new insulation is installed correctly to avoid gaps or compression that reduce effectiveness.

2. Rigid Board Insulation

Rigid board insulation is typically made from foam plastics like polyurethane. It offers excellent insulating properties and can be used to supplement other insulation materials, especially in homes with unique designs or specific needs. It's often used for reproofing on flat roofs or on the exterior of basement walls. Its rigidity provides an added layer of structural strength.

3. Cellulose Blown-In Insulation

Made primarily from recycled newsprint, cellulose insulation is treated to be fire-resistant and offers a commendable R-value per inch, making it an environmentally responsible and effective choice. Dense packing cellulose insulation also offers excellent resistance against air infiltration. Its ability to fill nooks and crannies makes it especially effective for attics with irregular joist spacing or numerous obstructions. 

4. Spray Foam Insulation

When it comes to the highest R-value per inch, spray foam insulation takes the crown. It expands upon application, filling gaps and creating an air-tight seal. This dual action – insulation and air sealing – makes it one of the most effective materials available. There are two types: open-cell (softer and less dense) and closed-cell (more rigid and resistant to water). While it's pricier than some other options, its efficiency can lead to significant energy savings in the long run.

How To Find the Right Insulation Material for Your Attic

Now, understanding the different types of insulation is one thing, but knowing which is right for your specific home and attic is another. Factors like your home's age, design, existing insulation, and even your local climate can influence the best choice. In some cases, multiple insulation materials can be utilized to both insulate and air seal the attic. At Halco, we recommend that you trust a professional insulation contractor to assess your insulation needs and installation, and we often recommend a home energy assessment to get a more comprehensive look at how your home is performing.

Halco Does Insulation and Much More!

Installing your insulation is one thing, but knowing exactly how it will affect the way your home feels and the need for running your heating and cooling equipment is what Halco specializes in. Call Halco to discuss your home insulation project today!

Get the most out of your attic insulation project when you choose the right insulation material. Call Halco to get started on your upgrade at 1-833-844-2622.

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