What Is The Insulation In Your Attic Made Of? The two most popular types of insulation that are in your homes are fiberglass and cellulose fiber.
In my house, we use fiberglass batts. Fiberglass comes from glass that has been crushed and packed into these things called batts.
Fiberglass insulation can come in loose-fill (what you can get at the hardware store) or blown-in material. Blown-in materials are usually contracted out to a professional. Batts of insulation are rolled up blankets of insulation that you install in between the beams in the attic. They are flexible products made from mineral fibers, such as fiberglass and rock wool.
Cellulose Fiber Insulation
Cellulose fiber is a whole other type of material. Cellulose consists of ground-up newspaper material, which is then treated with fire-retardant chemicals. It can get into any nook or cranny. This makes cellulose the better, more complete insulation. Cellulose fiber insulation is also less subject than open fiberglass to what builders call “wind wash,” which is simply air currents moving through insulation, robbing it of its R-value. Source: US Department of Energy, Energy Saving Tips: Insulation.
Green Guard Label
Most insulation that I have seen in stores carry the Green Guard label. This label certifies that the formaldehyde levels are less than 0.5 parts per million (ppm) of particles in the air.
The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) says adding insulation to your attic is one of the best ways to make your home comfortable year-round. Source: EERE Consumer Guide. Most homeowners are losing money on energy because they do not have enough insulation in their attic.
When I help people with their energy bill, insulation is one of the first items that need to be addressed.
If you were to go up in your roof and add or upgrade your attic insulation you would save money every year you live in that home! Yes, insulation is dirty and nasty; just wear a mask, pants, sweatshirt and hat. Bottom line, you need to add this insulation!! Even if you have a professional do the job, please do not forget to seal the attic with an attic stair cover!! Now, you might just be thinking about recouping the money you invested to buy the insulation. Here is the thing: Your energy savings will increase over time because utility rates go up and will continue to go up! Determine If You Have Enough Attic Insulation
To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose), you could probably benefit by adding more. Most homes in the United States have a building code that ranges between R-22 and R-49 insulation in the attic. Most likely your insulation (if you have not replaced it) is between 25-50% less than current energy code requires. Find the R-Value you need by zip code.
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