If you had a home energy audit conducted and it revealed that your attic is stealing the heating and cooling from the living area of your home and trapping it, one of the quickest fixes is to insulate your attic. Insulating your attic is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. The task of insulating your attic is relatively inexpensive and only moderately difficult. If you are up to taking on the task of insulating your attic yourself, once the fiberglass settles, the work will be well worth the benefits.
Before you take this task on yourself, there are a few things you need to know. Check your attic for air leaks and seal any that you find. Covering air leaks with insulation will not help your situation. Fix any roof leaks prior to installing insulation as well. If moisture enters your attic once it is insulated, it can be trapped in the insulation where it may mold.
The first step to attic insulation is to gather all of your materials. If you are doing it yourself, you’ll likely be using batt insulation rolls, although you could use loose fill if you also rent the accompanying blower. The insulation rolls should be “unfaced” without paper or foil covering. The top insulation layer should be fiberglass rolls. You’ll also need wire mesh to create any barriers around vents or lighting materials. You’ll need to wear long clothes to prevent the fiberglass particles from irritating your skin. You’ll also want to wear a mask, safety glasses or goggles, and knee pads to prevent any stray nails in the rafters from poking you.
Once you have gathered all your materials and fixed any leaks, you can then create your barriers. Use the wire mesh to create a few inches of barrier around any vents or recessed lighting cans to prevent covering them with insulation.
The third step is to finally install the insulation. Roll out the batt rolls in between the rafters, cutting out areas around the barriers you created. If you are blowing loose fill between the rafters, it is a good idea to also place a layer of batt insulation on top of it. Next, lay the fiberglass rolls perpendicular to the rafters.
Once your project is complete, there are a few rules to follow. The insulation is not a firm walking surface and care should be taken when walking around in your attic. You should not use your attic for storage. Plywood should not be laid on the insulation and boxes and such should not rest directly on the insulation. There are many things you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency, including insulating your attic. In our next article, we will discuss how your basement also affects home energy. Be sure to schedule a home energy audit to find out exactly where improvements should be made. Our experts at Apex Home Energy Savings would love to help you, call us today!