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You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

Discover What Is the Best Attic Insulation for Energy Efficiency & Comfort

What is the best attic insulation for your home? Energy efficiency, long-term savings, and comfort hang in the balance, making this a crucial question. This no-fluff guide evaluates the top insulation materials, detailing their effectiveness and installation considerations so you can decide confidently.

Key Takeaways

  • Attic insulation enhances energy efficiency, raises home comfort, and can lead to significant cost savings with the potential for homeowners to save up to 30% on heating and cooling expenses.

  • Several types of attic insulation are available, each with its own advantages; common options include fiberglass, cellulose, spray foam, mineral wool, and foam board, with varying costs, R-values, and installation methods.

  • When selecting attic insulation, important considerations include climate and location, budget and installation costs, desired R-value, and whether to install it DIY or professionally, with professionals offering expertise and potentially minimizing risks.

Understanding the Importance of Attic Insulation

Grasping the significance of proper insulation is the first step in this journey. Proper attic insulation has a triple-threat advantage: it enhances energy efficiency, increases comfort, and generates cost savings. Curious about how it achieves all these benefits? Here’s an explanation.

Energy Efficiency

Imagine your home as a giant coffee thermos. Just as a thermos maintains your coffee’s temperature by slowing down heat transfer, insulation keeps your home’s indoor temperature consistent by resisting heat flow. This improved energy efficiency reduces the need for your HVAC systems to work overtime, prolonging their lifespan.

Among the types of attic insulation, cellulose insulation, made from recycled materials, stands out for its superior performance and cost-effectiveness in reducing drafts.


Apart from energy efficiency, insulation also plays a huge role in maintaining comfort in your home. Have you ever noticed how temperatures seem to fluctuate from one room to another? A well-insulated attic can help maintain more consistent temperatures throughout your home, countering excessive heat or cold from affecting your comfort in living spaces.

Plus, attic insulation also contributes to a quieter home by providing soundproofing. So, you can enjoy your favorite TV show without being disturbed by outside noises.

Cost Savings

We’ve all experienced that moment of dread when the energy bill arrives. But what if we told you that proper attic insulation could help alleviate those fears? Homeowners can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs by using insulation.

Moreover, properly insulating an attic can yield on average a 107.7% return on investment when the home is resold. So, investing in attic insulation is not just about immediate savings—it’s also about boosting your home’s future value.

Evaluating Different Types of Attic Insulation

Armed with the knowledge of attic insulation’s importance, it’s time to explore the various types available on the market. Here are some options to consider:

  • Blanket insulation

  • Spray foam insulation

  • Radiant foil insulation

  • Foam board insulation

Each type has its unique benefits and drawbacks. It’s like choosing between a warm wool sweater and a lightweight synthetic jacket—each has its place, depending on the situation.

We will now delve into some of the popular insulation material types, including fiberglass, cellulose, spray foam, mineral wool, and foam board insulation.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is a common sight in many homes and for a good reason. It comes in two primary forms:

  1. Fiberglass Batt Insulation (large rolled-up sheets, also known as fiberglass batts)

  2. Blown-in Insulation (loose-fill variety). Made of fine glass fibers, this type of insulation is lightweight yet provides high thermal performance, requiring less material to fill spaces effectively.

With an R-value ranging from 2.2 to 4.3, fiberglass insulation can resist heat flow effectively. And when it comes to cost, it’s quite economical, with prices ranging from $0.33 to $2.40 per square foot for blown-in fiberglass insulation.

Cellulose Insulation

Next up is cellulose insulation, an eco-friendly option made primarily from recycled newspapers and other paper products. Don’t let its humble origins fool you, though. Cellulose insulation is a powerhouse when it comes to sound insulation and fire resistance. It settles into a dense layer, providing excellent sound insulation and avoiding the health risks associated with inhaling mineral or glass fibers.

Plus, its insulative capacity, indicated by its R-value, is significantly higher by depth compared to blown-in fiberglass insulation, making it an effective vapor barrier.

Spray Foam Insulation

As the name suggests, spray foam insulation is a liquid that expands to form durable foam. It’s like magic! This type of insulation is recognized as one of the most effective ways to insulate attic spaces. It serves as both insulation and an air barrier, reducing air movement and improving in-building comfort.

Despite its higher installation cost, its durability and superior performance make it a popular choice for many homeowners.

Mineral Wool Insulation

If fire resistance is a primary concern, mineral wool insulation should be on your radar. Commonly referred to as Rockwool, this type of insulation can withstand temperatures above 1,000°C. It’s not just about safety, though.

Rockwool also offers superior sound absorption and is composed of natural and recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Foam Board Insulation

Last but not least, let’s consider foam board insulation. This type of insulation offers an outstanding R-value per inch of thickness, making it an ideal choice for areas where space conservation is key.

Compared to spray foam, foam board insulation is less costly to install because it doesn’t require specialized equipment or certified professionals.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Attic Insulation

The plethora of attic insulation types available might make the selection process seem overwhelming. However, we aim to make it more comprehensible for you. There are a few key factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Climate and location

  • Budget and installation costs

  • R-value requirements

  • Ease of installation

We’ll address these factors individually.

Climate and Location

Let’s start with climate and location. In Arizona, where the sun blazes down with relentless intensity, the primary battle is against the heat. Your home’s insulation needs will differ significantly from colder regions. In Arizona's desert climate, it’s crucial to have insulation that can withstand high temperatures and prevent heat from seeping into your living spaces. For homeowners in this region, an R-value of R30 to R38 is typically recommended to keep homes cool and energy bills in check.

It’s important to consult with contractors or experts who have specialized knowledge in determining the right insulation for your home’s climate zone, especially in Arizona where the emphasis is more on reflecting heat than retaining warmth.

Budget and Installation Costs

As with any home improvement project, budget is a key factor. The cost to insulate an attic can vary widely, depending on factors such as square footage, insulation type, and whether it’s a DIY or professional installation. For instance, spray foam insulation, while highly effective, tends to be more expensive, whereas options like fiberglass insulation can be more budget-friendly.

Remember, while cost is important, it’s also crucial to consider long-term energy savings and the potential to increase your home’s resale value.

R-Value Requirements

Next up is the R-value, which stands for ‘resistance’ and measures the insulation’s capacity to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation’s performance. But how do you know what R-value you need? It mostly depends on your existing insulation level and the specific climate zone where you live.

For instance, in very cold climates, you might need an R-value as high as R60, whereas in warmer zones, an R-value of R30 might suffice. And remember, certain insulation materials, like Icynene Spray Foam Insulation, have a high R-value per inch, allowing for effective thermal resistance with thinner layers.

Ease of Installation

Finally, consider the ease of installation. Some types of insulation, like fiberglass, are relatively easy to install yourself, which can save on cost. However, other types, like blown-in insulation, can be more complex and might require professional installation.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer to leave it to the professionals, there’s an insulation option to suit your needs.

Top-Rated Attic Insulation Products

Having familiarized yourself with the basics of attic insulation, it’s time to turn our attention to specific products. Here are some of the top-rated products for the best attic insulation currently available on the market:

  • CertainTeed Insulation

  • Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation

  • Greenfiber Cellulose Insulation

  • Icynene Spray Foam Insulation

  • Rockwool Mineral Wool Insulation

  • Rmax Foam Board Insulation

CertainTeed Insulation

Another noteworthy option is CertainTeed Insulation, a reputable brand in the industry offering a variety of insulation products. CertainTeed provides solutions such as fiberglass batts, rolls, and blown-in insulation, catering to different needs and preferences.

CertainTeed insulation is designed with sustainability and indoor air quality in mind, often incorporating recycled materials and low-emission technologies. Their products are known for their ease of installation and effective thermal and acoustic properties, making them a solid choice for attic insulation projects.

Homeowners looking for a balance between performance, environmental impact, and cost will find CertainTeed's range of insulation products to be a compelling option to consider.

Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation

Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation is a reliable choice known for its:

  • Ease of installation

  • Durability

  • Moisture resistance

  • Advanced binder technology that uses a renewable, plant-based binder containing no formaldehyde.

It’s available in batts and rolls that are precut, making it convenient for DIY installation. Plus, it offers a range of R-values to meet different climate needs effectively.

Greenfiber Cellulose Insulation

If eco-friendliness is on your priority list, Greenfiber Cellulose Insulation might be the perfect match. Made from up to 85% recycled paper fiber, this insulation is treated for fire resistance.

Moreover, it offers excellent soundproofing qualities, reducing the transmission of sound between floors and through walls. Plus, it’s a breeze to install using a blowing machine, making it great for DIY projects.

Icynene Spray Foam Insulation

Icynene Spray Foam Insulation is often hailed as a superstar of attic insulation. Its exceptional air sealing properties can significantly reduce drafts in an attic space, improving the overall energy efficiency of a home.

While it may be more expensive to install than some other options, the long-term benefits often outweigh the upfront costs.

Rockwool Mineral Wool Insulation

For those concerned about fire safety, Rockwool Mineral Wool Insulation is a top contender. This fire-resistant insulation can withstand temperatures above 1,000°C, providing peace of mind for homeowners. In addition, it offers superior sound absorption and is composed of natural and recycled materials, further enhancing its appeal.

Rmax Foam Board Insulation

Last but not least is Rmax Foam Board Insulation. Known for its high R-value per inch of thickness, this insulation is an ideal choice for areas where space conservation is key.

Plus, compared to spray foam, foam board insulation is less costly to install because it doesn’t require specialized equipment or certified professionals.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: Making the Right Choice

Now that you’ve got a handle on the different types of insulation and top-rated products, let’s tackle another important decision: DIY or professional installation? While some homeowners love the challenge and potential cost savings of a DIY project, others prefer to leave it to the professionals. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Pros of DIY Installation

DIY attic insulation can save homeowners significant labor costs. The overall costs for a DIY attic insulation project, including materials and equipment, can be around $500 or less. Plus, many stores offer the option to borrow a blower machine at no additional cost with the purchase of at least 10 bags of insulation, making the installation process more accessible to DIYers.

Cons of DIY Installation

Yet, DIY installation isn’t without its challenges. Attic insulation projects require the purchase or rental of specialized tools, which can increase the overall cost. In addition, lack of skill or training can lead to improper installation, potential property damage, or personal health risks without the correct safety equipment.

Moreover, installing attic insulation can be dangerous due to high temperatures in the attic. Lastly, DIY projects can be very time-consuming, sometimes taking longer than an entire weekend.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Installer

On the other hand, hiring a professional to install your attic insulation has its own set of advantages. Professional insulation contractors bring years of expertise to ensure attic insulation is installed correctly and efficiently. They can swiftly complete an insulation job, reducing potential errors that might require costly fixes. In addition, professionals are well-versed in:

  • Building codes

  • Attic preparation

  • Sealing techniques

  • Maintaining essential airflow

This ensures a safe and compliant installation.

By hiring a professional, homeowners can:

  • Avoid risks associated with hazardous materials and challenging attic access

  • Ensure proper installation and insulation

  • Save time and effort

  • Benefit from the professional’s expertise and experience

Plus, considering the value of time, effort, and the tools needed, the cost disparity between DIY and professional installation is often minimal.

Maximizing Your Attic Insulation's Performance

Beyond the installation process, it’s worth considering how you can enhance the performance of your attic insulation. This involves more than just adding insulation materials; it’s about a comprehensive strategy that includes proper ventilation, air sealing, and regular maintenance.

We’ll delve into these aspects further.

Proper Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation is important for several reasons:

  • It prevents heat from entering through the roof and accumulating in the attic during warmer months.

  • It helps avoid moisture-related deterioration in the roof system, structural elements, and attic insulation.

  • It prevents mold and mildew growth in warm attics.

Therefore, organization of stored items in the attic after maintenance should ensure clear airflow and access, avoiding blocking vents or storing temperature-sensitive items.

Air Sealing

Next up is air sealing. To maximize the efficiency of your attic insulation, it’s essential to plug any gaps with inexpensive materials, preventing unwanted airflow. Furthermore, attic air sealing also helps improve indoor air quality by preventing the infiltration of outdoor pollutants through gaps and leaks.

Plus, regular inspection and maintenance of the attic are crucial for identifying potential air leaks to prevent moisture condensation and ensure the durability and performance of the insulation and air sealing.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Finally, regular maintenance and yearly attic evaluations are crucial for preserving the effectiveness of attic insulation. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Look for darkened insulation, which indicates filtered dusty air.

  2. Check for frosty areas during colder weather, as this is a sign of air leaks that require attention.

  3. Prevent moisture from seeping in and causing structural damage by sealing any gaps or cracks in the attic.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your attic insulation remains in good condition and continues to provide optimal energy efficiency.

The final step in attic upkeep includes the removal of waste and unnecessary items to ensure unobstructed insulation efficiency.

How Parker & Sons Can Help With Your Attic Insulation Needs

Having navigated the complexities of attic insulation, you might be pondering your next steps. That’s where Parker & Sons comes in. As a company that specializes in insulation, we offer a diverse array of attic insulation options to meet your needs.

As an Arizona-based company, we understand the unique insulation challenges that homeowners in the Grand Canyon State face. We're not just installers; we're your neighbors, familiar with the scorching summers and cool desert nights that characterize our region. With this personal insight, we're committed to providing tailored insulation solutions that meet the specific needs of Arizona homes, ensuring your comfort year-round.


From understanding the importance of attic insulation to exploring different types, considering key factors, and learning about top-rated products, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. Remember, the right insulation can turn your home into a haven, no matter the weather outside. So, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer to leave it to the professionals, there’s an insulation option to suit your needs. Ready to embrace a more comfortable and energy-efficient home? The journey to better attic insulation begins now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of insulation for an attic?

The best type of insulation for an attic is fiberglass batt. It is cost-effective, easy to install, and helps slow the spread of hot and cold air, making it very energy efficient.

What thickness is best for attic insulation?

The recommended thickness for attic insulation is about 10 to 14 inches, depending on the type of insulation, to achieve an R-Value of R-38.

What are the benefits of proper attic insulation?

Proper attic insulation offers improved energy efficiency, increased home comfort, and cost savings through reduced reliance on heating and cooling.

Why is it important to consider the climate and location when choosing attic insulation?

It's important to consider the climate and location when choosing attic insulation because insulation needs vary depending on the regional climate, with R-value requirements ranging from R30 in warmer zones to R60 in the coldest zones.

What are some top-rated attic insulation products?

Consider Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation, Greenfiber Cellulose Insulation, Rockwool Mineral Wool Insulation, Rmax Foam Board Insulation, and CertainTeed's range of insulation products for top-rated attic insulation options. With these choices, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision.

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