When you have the proper amount of insulation and it is installed correctly, you can cool your home through the hot summer months and save your air conditioner from constantly running, which is money in your pocket.
There are many types of insulation that we see, the most common are batt, spray foam, and blown-in. They essentially all do the same things, keep the heat out! Some do it better than others.
- Batts are primarily used in exterior walls and knee walls in attics.
- Spray foam is extremely popular in new construction and is picking up popularity in retrofit applications.
- Blown-In is most common in attics, the two types of material used for blown-in is fiberglass and cellulose.
The real question is, is what I have up there enough? Insulation depth requirements vary by region. It is recommended to have between a R38-R60 in our hot climate, or in other terms, 14-22” of loose-fill blown-in insulation.
Attic ventilation is key, without proper attic ventilation, the heat trapped inside of your attic has nowhere to escape but down into the living space of your home.
Air sealing eliminates air transfer between attic space and wall fixtures and outlets. Air sealing the living space of your home against your attic and outside air plays a role in heat transfer, or in other words you do not want the cool air your ac creates to escape through the little gaps and cracks in your homes “envelope” , also you do not want the hot attic air to transfer trough those same cracks into your comfortable living space.
Insulation depth is obviously important, the more depth the more resistance value to the heat. Even distribution of the insulation throughout the attic is also key, you would not want some areas with higher R-values, the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow, than others.
As we know heat rises, typically the attic is the highest point of a structure. We do not want the heat from the outside and heat from the home to rise and to get trapped inside that attic and create an oven. Therefore proper ventilation is important. We need the air in the attic to be constantly moving and changing. Installing vent chutes to ensure the soffit vents, which let cooler outside air in, do not get blocked by insulation is critical. Gable end vents and ridge vents are also critical to release the hot air from the top of the attic.
There are many benefits to removing old insulation from your attic. Helps promote a cleaner home, Reduces dust, Eliminate environments for pests, New insulation has a better fire rating, New insulation has better R-value, creates the opportunity to perform thorough air sealing.