Does Your Attic Insulation Measure Up?
- Take a tape measure into your attic and measure the depth of your existing insulation.
- A little known fact is that most homes are built with the minimum required insulation by local building codes. Even new homes don’t have an optimal level of insulation. When energy was cheap, home insulation was less of a concern. The older your home, the higher potential for dramatic energy loss exists.
- As you can see by the map and chart below, our area is in Zone 2 and we recommend a minimum of R-38 for the attic to provide appropriate, energy-saving insulation levels for your home. If you have less than14 inches of insulation in your attic (14″=R-38), it is safe to say you are spending more money on energy than you should. If you don’t measure up, contact us for a free quote.
Why We Use Attic-Guard Plus Virgin Fiberglass Insulation
Attic Guard plus insulation is a white virgin insulation which means it contains no formaldehyde additives that will emit a toxic gas into your home.
In Texas, the payback period depends on the insulation levels, efficiencies of the HVAC units and the average temperature you condition your home. Texas payback time will range from 3 to 4 years.
Attic Guard plus has a Greenguard certification meaning:
- It is made with 35% recycled glass.
- It is made from Silica sand, a virtually inexhaustible resource.
- This product saves 12 times the energy used to produce it in the first year of installation.
- It contains no, toxic gas emitting, chemical binding agent that will turn it pink or yellow.
- It complies with CA 01350 for testing of chemical emissions, rendering safe to use in any school system construction.
- The Dallas area is in insulation Zone 2
- We recommend a minimum of R-38 for attics
- R-38 equals approximately 14″ of insulation
Definition of R-Value
The measure of resistance to heat flow. Insulation materials have tiny pockets of trapped air. These pockets resist the transfer of heat through material. The ability of insulation to slow the transfer of heat is measured in R-values. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation material’s ability to resist the flow of heat through it.
How Insulation Works: It Resists Heat Flow
To maintain comfort in your home, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
Most Common Types of Attic Insulation
Fiber glass loose-fill insulation is an extremely effective insulating material because its fibers prevent air movement and the resulting heat loss to resist the flow of heat and cold. It is designed for use in attics and hard-to-reach locations such as corners, nooks and crannies. It is installed dry, and because it will not settle over time, maintains its full R-value over the life of the home. Fiber glass loose-fill insulation is fed into a pneumatic blowing machine and blown under high pressure through a long flexible hose into the attics and walls. Although homeowners can rent blowing machines, it is typical practice to have blown in insulation installed by a professional.
Rock and Slag Wool
Rock wool (or slag wool) loose-fill insulation is similar to fiberglass except that it is spun from blast furnace slag (the layer of impurities that forms on the surface of molten metal) and other rock-like materials instead of molten glass. The production of rock wool uses by-products that would otherwise be put in a landfill. Rock wool insulation is well suited for locations where it is difficult to install other types of insulation, such as irregularly shaped areas, around obstructions (such as plumbing stacks), and in hard-to-reach places. Blown-in loose fill insulations are particularly useful for retrofit situations because, except for the holes that are sometimes drilled for installations, they are one of the few materials that can be installed without disturbing existing finishes. Rock wool is installed dry, and because it will not settle over time, maintains its full R-value over the life of the home.
Cellulose is made from ground-up newspapers. It is treated with fire retardants, some of which have been known to cause corrosion of wiring and pipes. The product settles significantly over time and must be over-installed to compensate for this settling. All loose-fill insulations are required to detail their installed and settled thickness on the bag label to let consumers know the expected settled R-value. Cellulose is applied using a mechanical blowing machine. In an attic, cellulose is not typically installed above an R-30 because its weight can cause sagging of the drywall. Most energy codes now call for R-38 to R-49 in attics.