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The Savings In Attic Insulation

By Chuck Henrichsen on March 13, 2014

Money: "The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last." - Evan Esar

Making money last can be one of life’s hardest endeavors. The high cost of living alone makes it difficult to live within means. Bills add up, and when they do, the first thought that comes to mind is wishing that they would just go away. But thankfully, there are overlooked methods that can save you money without much hassle at all. A good and simple place to start saving money is by cutting down your home’s energy bills.

One of the first places to begin this money-saving process is in your attic.

Save Money From The Top Down!

Check out the following info-graphic to start learning more, and stick around for some more details and information further on!

attic_insulation_infographic-01-1

Types Of Attic Insulation

Fiberglass

Definition

As the name implies, fiberglass insulation is literally made of glass fibers. This product was first developed back in 1938, and has since been a popular choice for insulating. It is created by pouring molten glass through extremely small openings to create thin glass strands, then chemicals are added to prevent these strands from melting easily.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly - Fiberglass insulation is often made of recycled glass.

  • Moisture-resistant - Fiberglass does not absorb moisture, but dries quickly, avoiding mildew and damage.

  • Reliable - Fiberglass does not alter over years, but remains thick and insulating for a very long time.

  • Tested and sure - The effectiveness of fiberglass has been regularly tested since 1938, and it still proves to be a valuable insulation option.

Cons

  • Health - Hazardous glass particles become airborne during installation, so it must be installed either professionally or with great caution.

  • Melting - Although most homeowners do not need to worry about extreme attic heat, those who do should recognize the ability for fiberglass to melt under these conditions.

  • Volatile in temperature changes - Fiberglass insulation’s thickness and effectiveness can change when faced with wide temperatures changes.

  • Less insulation - Fiberglass is not as insulating as cellulose.

Cellulose

Definition

Recycled and shredded paper and fabrics that have been made coated with fire-resistant chemicals.

Pros

  • Health - Cellulose insulation is not known to cause health problems.

  • Insulating power - Cellulose cells effectively block air flow and insulate very well.

  • Resistant - While not harmful to humans, the chemicals used to prevent combustion repel rodents and mold.

Cons

  • Moisture intolerant - Unlike fiberglass, cellulose absorbs moisture, which decreases its insulating abilities.

Spray Foam

Definition

Closed-cell foam sprayed from a gun, expands and hardens on contact.

Pros

  • Has the highest R-value of any insulation type.

  • Works as an air seal to block all air leaks, further improving the insulating effectiveness.

  • Moisture barrier - spray foam is a near-solid barrier that does not allow moisture to penetrate your insulated space.

Cons

  • Cost - the most expensive option of available insulation types

Mineral Wool

Definition

Mineral wool is made from thin strands of minerals, much like fiberglass insulation is made of thin strands of glass.

Pros

  • Fire-resistant - Mineral wool does not need chemicals added in order to be fire resistant; it naturally does not catch fire.

  • Eco-friendly - Mineral wool is made of primarily recycled materials.

  • Health - Mineral wool does not irritate the skin much during installation.

Cons

  • Moisture - Mineral wool can capture moisture like cellulose.

  • Cost - The price of mineral wool is higher than that of its alternatives.

  • Availability - Mineral wool is not as popular or available as alternatives.

  • Reliability - Unlike fiberglass, mineral wool can decrease in insulating effectiveness over time.

There are a few other types of insulation, but they are not always available nor are they widely popular.

Attic Insulation Installment Options

There are a handful of ways to install your attic insulation, each method having its pros and cons:

Batts

Batts are rolls of attic insulation that are rolled out and cut to fit your attic. The problem with this option is that it’s hard to cover every nook and cranny. Batts are usually made of fiberglass or cotton (a less popular type of insulation).

Blown

Blown insulation is literally blown through a pipe onto the surface that is being insulated. Unlike batts, blown insulation can easily get into all the corners and insulate everything. Blown insulation can be either fiberglass or cellulose.

Sprayed

While similar to the blown-on insulation mentioned above in that the insulation is shot out through a hose, sprayed insulation is entirely different from the insulated materials previously mentioned. Sprayed insulation is effective, versatile and highly insulating, but carries a higher price tag.

Summary Of The Attic Insulation Info-graphic

Numbers Behind Attic Insulation

  • Insulating an uninsulated attic can reduce energy bills by 30%.

  • 85% of a house's heat loss happens when hot air escapes through the attic space.

  • Insulating the attic can pay for itself by lowering electric bills within a single year, depending on the size of your attic.

Facts About Your Attic And Energy

  • Heat rises, hence it goes out the attic when there is a lack of insulation.

  • Attic insulation delivers higher energy savings than any other insulting job.

Symptoms of Poor Attic Insulation

  • Drafty rooms

  • Cold walls, ceilings or rooms

  • Overly warm walls ceilings or rooms

  • Uneven temperature between rooms

  • High heating or cooling bills

  • Snow that melts quickly off of rooftops
Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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