A well-insulated home is essential for effective climate control and energy efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, a well-insulated home can save homeowners as much as 20% on their yearly heating and cooling bills. Furthermore, a well-insulated home is more comfortable since the internal climate is easier to control. We’ve asked the pros at Findlay Roofing, who have over 20 years of experience in the Atlanta market, what homeowners need to know when considering making upgrades to their home’s insulation.
How can homeowners tell if they need new insulation?
A quick visual check can help you determine if your insulation needs updating. If you can spot floor joists (the wooden beams that lay across the attic floor), you need to add more. Insulation should hit well above the floor joists so that they’re not visible. As an added benefit, covering floor joists will make it less tempting to tip-toe across them and inadvertently fall through your own ceiling.
If insulation is piled up on one side of the attic or distributed unevenly, you’ll need to remedy. Insulation should be evenly distributed. Not sure if it all looks right? An attic inspection by a professional will help. It will also keep you from spending money needlessly on expensive insulation materials.
What kind of insulation materials do I need?
Homeowners have a few options with regard to materials. Findlay’s specialists have given us some details on the differences.
Fiber glass batts or rolls
By far the most common types are fiberglass batts or rolls. The difference between the two is that batts are precut and rolls are not. They come in various lengths, widths and R-values (measure of thermal resistance). Made from fiberglass or rock wool, they typically have paper or aluminum facing on one side. These are designed to fit between wall studs or floor joists. The higher the R-Value, the better. You’ll want to choose materials that have an R-Value of around 38 or higher for the best results.
Loose fill is applied with a machine that allows the user to blow the insulation through a hose. Loose fill comes in two different forms: cellulose and fiberglass. It is great for enclosed areas, unfinished attic floors or that little corner that is just out of reach. R-value will depend on the thickness applied.
Spray foam insulation is a liquid-based mixture that expands into a foam and then hardens in place. This form is available in four varieties: ementitious, phenolic, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. Spray foam is great for hard to reach areas (especially very small cavities that air would otherwise pass through), but it can also be used in finished areas and attics. Because it provides an air tight seal, the R-value is typically higher than traditional forms. Additionally, polyurethane is environmentally friendly. Costs vary depending on the company you use and how much you need. Spray foam can be a great option since the R-value is so high, but it is difficult to work with and should definitely be handled by a pro.
Don’t know what you need?
It’s financially smart to have a professional come out to see how you can lower your energy bill. If you’re in Atlanta, Findlay Roofing has been repairing and replacing roofs since 1995, and they know insulation well. They’re fully insured for both liability and workers compensation. Their trained staff can make an assessment and help you find the absolute best solution for your home.