Florida Homeowner’s Guide to Adding Attic Insulation
If you have a home built before 1982, your home’s attic is under-insulated. This is no choice since an under-insulated attic will:
- Allow unwanted heat into your home
- Increase monthly electric bills
- Make your air conditioner run longer
The attic is one of the most important areas in your home to insulate. So if you’re thinking of adding insulation to your Florida home’s attic, you need to ask yourself these three questions to ensure the project is successful.
How much Attic Insulation is Already There?
Think of when you go grocery shopping. The foremost thing you (should) do is check your fridge and pantry to take stock of what you have. The same principle applies to buy attic insulation. If you’re lucky, you may previously have enough insulation. If that’s the case, then you’re right!
Assuming your attic’s insulation is spread evenly everywhere in your attic, here’s your rule of thumb: If your insulation is even with or below your attic’s floor joists, you don’t have enough insulation. If you don’t have complete, use a measuring tape to measure the insulation’s depth in your attic.
Could you write it down?
OK, now you’ve recorded what you have. Now you are required to ask for professional advice
How Much do I Need to Add?
You require to take into account the depth and square footage you need to add. R-Value measures insulation levels. R-Value is how well insulation can withstand heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better it insulates. The R-value your home’s attic demands depends on where you live:
Experts suggest an R-value of R-38 for most homes. That translates to about 12 inches of insulation.
You can estimate the number of inches that transpose to a certain R-Value:
- 6 inches: R-19
- 12 inches: R-38
- 9 inches: R-30
- 5 inches: R-13
Now that you have an idea of the depth you want; you need to measure your attic’s width and length. Multiply the height and width together to get the square footage you need. Most insulation you buy will have an “sq ft” number for easy reference.
For instance: Let’s say you measured your attic, and you realize your attic has about 9 inches (R-30) of insulation and your loft is about 40 sq feet, you’d need at least 3 inches of extra padding that covers 40 sq ft to get an R-Value of R-38.
What type of insulation should I add?
There are several types of insulation and you should choose the one you need for your attic carefully, based on the pros and cons of each.. For attics, you’re either going to want blankets or loose-fill insulation.
Blankets (batts and rolls)
- Higher R-Value per inch than loose-fill
- Easier to DIY since you roll/place them into your attic.
- May not satisfactorily fill minor gaps in your attic, allowing heat to escape and enter your home
- May not fit comfortably into your attic if the space is awkward
- Quickly fills nooks and crannies in an attic
- Perfect for adding insulation to already existing insulation to get the exact R-value you need.
- Settles over time, which reduces its R-value.
- Needs special equipment to blow in. So you either need to rent the equipment or hire a contractor.
Get the type that best fits your needs.
If you’re unsure about how to add attic insulation, ask one of our experts for help.
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