When you see your heating and cooling costs rising it may be time to look in your attic at the insulation. It could be an issue of your heat escaping through your ceiling and into your attic during the colder months. However, the reverse could be true in the summer; heat may be seeping in from your ceiling and displacing the cool air.
While nearly all houses can benefit from an exhaustive airtightness diagnostic service, most homeowners will find the cost is too high for the potential savings. In Texas, we spend most of our year trying to keep the cool air in the house and, as we all know, the hottest part of any home is the attic. Attics in Texas homes reach temperatures in excess of 150°f, so you can see why it is so important to have the proper insulation in your house.
Types of Insulation
There are several types of insulation available and all with their pros and cons; here we will just be focusing on just a few options. We will be looking at the difference between batt style and blown-in insulation. Also, we will compare the two main materials used in these types of insulation, fiberglass versus cellulose.
Batt vs. Blown
Batt insulation has been around for the long haul and is probably the most common seen in older homes. Batt insulation is typically made of a fiberglass matt attached to a paper backing. The thickness will vary based on the R-value of the batting. The R-value is a measure of the resistance of heat flow through a given material. Batt is installed into the wall cavities between studs and between ceiling joists in the attic. Conversely, blown insulation is just like it sounds, it’s blown into the attic or wall cavities. Blown insulation can be various materials such as cellulose, fiberglass or mineral wool.
Fiberglass vs Cellulose
Fiberglass insulation reigned as king for very long, but it has some major drawbacks. Fiberglass has long been under scrutiny for health issues. Most people know that handling fiberglass will leave you itchy and full of fiberglass slivers, but really the issues are much worse. Fiberglass has been shown to cause respiratory issues and may even be linked to cancer and DNA mutation as some research suggests. It also may contain formaldehyde as a binder and overtime it is released into the air.
Cellulose insulation is a loose-fill material (blown-in) made up of primary recycled newspaper but also other forms of paper and cardboard. It is often treated with boric acid which makes it both mold and insect resistant but also increases its fire resistance. Cellulose is more effective than fiberglass and requires about 22% less material to achieve the same R-value. Because cellulose is an extremely dense material, it is imperative that proper ventilation is ensured, and moisture barriers are used to keep moisture build-up from forming.
Insulation Installation Costs
The cost of an insulation install is varied depended on the specifics of a job. Is this going to be installed in a new home, remodel or is it going to be retrofitted? Will the original insulation need to be removed or will the new product just be added on top to reach the desired R-value? What will the insulation material and form be that is used?
Cellulose is typically a cheaper material than fiberglass and it also is more efficient as we discussed before, however, the installation could be more expensive if you are comparing blown-in to batt insulation installation.
When you are ready to have your home properly insulated it is important to consult a professional like Baker Roofing & Construction. We will come out and access your home and make recommendations as to what material, form, and process would most benefit you. Our priority is to ultimately make your home the best it can become from proper insulation to great attic ventilation and more. We strive to give our clients a complete system that works synergistically to achieve our goals of more efficient and ecofriendly homes across Texas.
Products We Embrace
When an eco-conscious company produces an effective product, it gets our attention here at Baker Roofing & Construction. For example, Greenfiber® loose-fill cellulose insulation is a wonderful, eco-friendly product. Made from 85% recycled materials and in low-energy manufacturing facilities, Greenfiber® insulation is free of formaldehyde, asbestos, glass fibers and mineral wool making this insulation one of the safest and eco-friendly options available today.
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