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How Much Attic Insulation Do I Need?

How Much Attic Insulation Do I Need?

March 6, 2020

how much attic insulation do i need

The attic is the highest place in your home, which means air has the highest likelihood of escaping from any gaps and cracks here. That is why it’s important to have a properly insulated attic, with the right insulation material and R-Value. However, there’s always a question of how much insulation you need. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact amount of material necessary and it’s primarily dependent on your home’s needs and how much attic insulation you already have. If you’re trying to figure out how much attic insulation you need, look no further than this step-by-step guide by the pros at DFW Thermal.

1. First Step: Measure the Attic Insulation You Have

Before you determine how much attic insulation you need, it’s important to know how much insulation your attic already has. Here is a guide on how you can do this:

Visual Inspection:

This is simple. All you have to do is make your way into your attic and visually skim the insulation you have. If the insulation material is at level with or below the floor joists, that means you don’t have enough insulation in your attic. If the insulation material is covering the floor joists, that means you have enough insulation material. However, you still need to measure the R-Value of the insulation.

Calculate R-Value:

R-Value is essentially a rating that determines how efficient the insulation material is in resisting thermal flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulation material’s efficiency and performance. To properly determine how much attic insulation you have, you will need to calculate the R-value of your attic insulation. Follow this guide on calculating the R-value of your attic insulation.

Through this process, you can determine whether you need attic insulation or not. If you find that you need more, it’s time to determine how much you need.

2. Second Step: Consider Professional Recommendations

The next step in determining the amount of attic insulation you need is factoring in professional recommendations. That means considering how much attic insulation most contractors and experts recommend is the right amount. For example, the Department of Energy recommends ideal home insulation R-Values based on the climate where you live. So, homes located in Texas have a lower R-Value requirement than homes located in New York where it is much colder. The DOE also recommends a specific R-Value for attics in different climate zones. Texas, which is in zone 2, has an R-Value recommendation of R30 to R60 for attics.

3. Third Step: Consider Which Insulation Material is Best for You

There are various insulation materials on the market that you should consider as well. Not only can these various materials prevent air leaks and energy loss, but they can prevent moisture, flames and mold. Insulation that works for one homeowner might not always work for you. Choose wisely based on the R-value necessary for your climate and the problems your home faces.

  • Fiberglass Insulation

Blown in fiberglass insulation has the R-Value range of 30-50 and insulation installed in batts has the range of 13-30. Fiberglass insulation is non-flammable and a cheaper option.

  • Cellulose

Made of up to 85% recycled material, cellulose is a “green” option. It is treated to be fire and mold proof and can only be blown it. It has the same R-Value as fiberglass as well as the same cost.

  • Spray Foam

Spray foam can be installed in the smallest of cracks and is flood resistant. The R-value for open-cell spray foam is 12.6 per 3.5 inches of thickness. For closed cell insulation, the R-Value is 6.5 per 1 inch thickness.

4. Last Step: Speak to A Contractor You Trust

When it comes to insulation, you can always do your own research, but it is best to contact a professional. If you are in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, you can always to reach out to the pros at DFW Thermal. Our pros will assess your attic insulation needs and advise you accordingly! Call us today at 214-731-3115 or schedule an appointment online!