Home Attic Insulation
What’s the best way to insulate the attic in your home?
Home Attic Insulation done right.
Attic temperatures can rise up to 160 degrees in the summer. Proper attic insulation creates a buffer to stop the heat from coming into the rooms below it. Not all insulation materials give the same results. We get 3 times the results by using cellulose.
Each product has a specific area or application which it works best for in that particular home or building.
Bestway Insulation uses a variety of insulation products, but find that Cellulose is superior at insulating many existing businesses and residential homes.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that attics be blown with R-49 insulation. R-ratings have increased over the many yeas we have been in business. In the past, insulating walls and attics were largely overlooked due to:
1) Cheap energy prices 2) less product knowledge and 3) little understanding on how installation techniques help minimize air leakage for the average home or building.
Colorado adopted International Energy Conservation Codes that went into effect no later than July 1st 2008, requiring a minimum of an R-38 in the front range area.
The Department of Energy and the Governor’s energy office recommend an R-49 to R-60 insulation in our attics. Why not go higher? The Xcel Energy Makeover house and Home Performance with Energy Star Boulder Project house had an R-60 installed in the attic.
Cellulose is a green product!
Cellulose material consists of a non-toxic recycled newspaper product, which contains boron; a fire resistant additive. Cellulose is a denser product than various fiber insulation.
Cellulose production uses significantly less energy to be produced than fiberglass and is a readily available resource due to it’s recycled nature.
Standard fiberglass allows air leakage through the insulating air pockets. Insulating air pockets help give fiberglass a higher R-value.
Due to the nature of batted material, which is commonly in the form of fiberglass insulation-batts, fiberglass must also be perfectly cut and placed in between rafters by insulation installers. Tyvek or foam must be used in combination with fiberglass to minimize air leakage. Many homes do not have Tyvek installed in their walls.
Blown fiberglass is available, however air leakage may still be a concern when not used with proper foam air sealing. Some recent glass mixtures have allowed some fiberglass to be less itchy and non-air born, so it is less of a concern.
For more information on cellulose visit Cellulose.Org
Attic Services ~
Relative R-rating per inch
Rock wool ~2.2
Cathedral Ceilings & Scissor Truss’s
Cathedral Ceilings can be re-insulated using cellulose dense pack method.
Scissor Truss’s are cathedral ceilings that the insulator can crawl through from the attic access area.
Knee walls have attic on one side and a heated area of the home on the other. We put extra fiberglass along the Knee wall to stop air leakage.
Loose-fill attics are our regular blown-in insulation attic service.
Insulation can be a keystone to energy maintenance when properly installed. Hire a company who treats insulation as a service rather than merely a product.
Highly Suggested Optional Services
Whole-House Attic Fan Barriers are suggested to provide a barrier to block insulation from entering the attic fan. Dust may settle on the attic fan and may appear the first time you use it after insulation has been installed. House attic fans may leak air. Various versions may be available with various sealing properties. Covering your attic fan seasonally may help stop air leakage. No permanent cover should be placed over a whole house attic fan unless you decide not to use it.
Recessed Light Barriers are tin barrier around recessed lights. They are required for non-IC rated light applications.
Attic Access Barriers keep insulation from falling into living spaces when the access lid is open.
Pull Down-Stairway Covers are a future product we may carry. They seal attic access holes with drop down ladders very tightly.
Baffles can leave an airway path for ventilated attic spaces. Customer must request to include baffles with job (additional charge).
Sealing Air Leaks ~ To get better efficiency out of your attic insulation, air sealing is recommended prior to insulation. See tips page on how you can weatherize your house.
Top Hats are energy saving light covers, are a great product that acts as a barrier to insulation, and to prevent air leakage around leaky recessed lights.
Information about Recessed Lights
Recessed lights can be a major energy drain on a house. Air leakage around recessed lights lose up to 15% of home energy consumption. I-C Rated lights are insulation certified; meaning contact with insulation is permitted. Air Leakage effectiveness of IC and non-IC rated recessed lights vary. 2006 IECC codes now require recessed lights installed to have an approved system for reduced airflow and to be IC rated. Not all air tight cans truly stop or reduce air. Choose an airtight light that meets Washington State Energy Codes. Before you remodel or if you wish to help stop air leakage, purchase IC air tight recessed lights. It is now code in the when placed in the thermal boundary for new construction.
Consider track lighting as an energy saving alternative.
Halo 5 In. Remodel I-C recessed can Air-Tite Model H5RICAT (Around $16.90/Each at Home Depot and other various stores.) We found that the Halo model light keeps out the highest amount of air and allows direct contact of insulation. Non I-C rated lights must be protected with an approved insulation barrier. Tin or Insul-Shield is one common product that distances the light from insulation. (Recessed light barriers).
Energy saving recessed light covers for IC rated lights may help lessen heat loss as well.
- Customer Preparation for Attic Insulation
Please inform us if anyone residing in the house has lung or breathing issues. Cellulose, however non-toxic, may be a dust nuisance.
–Access to 3 circuits (more than one outlet can be located on the same circuit) is required.
–We may need access to your driveway. Car(s) should be parked on the street for personal use or in case of emergency.
–Please fix known existing attic electrical problems in wiring and electrical boxes prior to insulation.
(Existing insulation is generally recommended to remain in your attic, unless smoke or mold damage is present)
–Please remove any storage items from your attic.
–Inform the crew of each recessed light, heat lamp, fireplace, or whole house attic fan which runs into the area which will be insulated.
–Remove pictures or any items which may be knocked loose around the attic access holes.
–Remove any fragile or breakable items in the pathway from the attic access hole to where the insulation truck would be parked. Occasionally this path would be through a window when stairways create a far distance for trucks to go.
–Provide access to breaker box.
Crawl Space Insulation
This really helps create an energy efficient home.