Preparing to Add Insulation to Your Attic

Preparing to Add Insulation to Your Attic

Preparing to add insulation to your attic

Have you ever looked at your roof after a big snow, only to see patches of melted snow that aren’t near the furnace or the smoke stack? That can be one sign of poor insulation in your attic. Plenty of heat can escape through your home’s attic. Here’s are something to consider about adding insulation to your attic to keep your home warm. As far as DIY home improvement projects go, this one is fairly straightforward.

Why do I have to insulate my attic?

The biggest reason for insulating your attic is simple physics: Heat rises. When you’re heating your home during winter, you want that heat to stay inside your home. A poorly insulated attic means you’ll be heating a space that won’t retain the heat, which can force your furnace to work harder and break down.

Preparing to add insulation to your attic

On average, you can expect to spend about $2,000 adding insulation to your attic. However, it’s possible to reduce your energy bill by between 10% and 50% with a properly insulated attic, according to the Department of Energy.

First, you’ll need to choose the type of insulation you want to install. Don’t forget to look at the material’s R value. You want a minimum value of R30 to R49, depending on how cold your climate is. The colder it gets, the higher the R value you’ll want.

Fiberglass insulation is common and fairly easy to install. It’s also one of the more inexpensive types of insulation. Many homeowners opt for rolls or batts of fiberglass. If you choose fiberglass, determine how much you need to purchase by measuring your space. Then decide which specific type you’d like to use.

Blown-in insulation is another way to go. However, it can be quite messy and difficult to install. Generally, if you choose blown-in insulation, you’ll want to hire a professional. Blown-in insulation can require drilling holes in your stud spaces, which often include electrical wiring and piping. If you choose this route, be careful and safe.

If you’re unsure which specific type of insulation will work best in your attic, ask the experts. It never hurts to plan a visit to your local hardware store, especially since that’s likely where you’ll be buying your materials. The store’s employees will be able to point you in the right direction regarding what to buy.

General installation tips

The type of insulation, setup of your attic, and size of your attic will determine the best way to install your insulation. Here are some general tips that will make installation go smoothly:

  • Start at the attic’s perimeter and work toward the door or hatch. You won’t have to walk over any insulation as you work.
  • Cover the tops of the ceiling joists. This will prevent thermal bridging, which is what happens when heat is lost through your home’s wood framing.
  • Always wear a mask, gloves, and clothes that can get dirty. Fiberglass fibers are a nuisance! Shower immediately after you’re done working and throw your work clothes straight into the washing machine.

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