How to Insulate an Attic in 4 Easy Steps

Published on: Apr 25 2013 by darnold

Maybe you are building your new home, or remodeling an older one, and you have decided to do some of the work yourself and don’t know how to install insulation in an attic. It is a relatively simple process that most do-it-yourselfers can do in a weekend. Properly insulating an attic consists of a system that combines traditional mass insulation as well as radiant barrier products.

Step 1: How to Choose Attic Insulation
Before you start you need to ask yourself two questions: 1. How much insulation do I need in my attic? 2. What type of insulation am I going to use? The first question is a relatively easy one to answer because your local building codes require a certain R value for attics. It is always important to make sure you are aware of all current codes for your area. The second question is a matter of choice. There are two types of insulation you can use: Loose Fill or Batts.

Loose Fill insulation (Cellulous, Rock Wool, Fiberglass) is the most common type because it is less expensive, faster to install, and provides better coverage than batt insulation. Loose fill insulation is usually blown or poured in and it is best to hire a professional contractor to do this. Batt insulation (Fiberglass, Mineral Wool, Cotton) is much easier to install, and it requires no special training to know how to install insulation in attic.

Step 2 How to Add Attic Insulation
Before you do start your insulation project there are some things you need to think of. First of all make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment, especially when working with fiberglass insulation. Wear gloves, long sleeves, safety glasses, and a dust mask. Secondly, it helps to create a walkway and work space with boards so that you don’t step onto and fall through the ceiling below you. It’s also a good idea before you begin to consult an electrician and eliminate any electrical hazards.

Step 3 How to Install Radiant Barrier Foil in Attic
Once you have positioned your insulation it is time to install your radiant barrier. Radiant barrier installation can be installed in two different ways, and in some climates you will use both. Radiant barriers excel at radiating heat back to its source, and if you live in a climate that is warm to hot most of the time you will want to install the barrier on your rafters. If you live in a cold climate you will roll the barrier across the floor on top of your insulation. However, a large portion of the US experiences both. In addition to installing the radiant barrier on the rafters you need to insulate any duct work that may be present in the attic, which is a common practice in homes without basements or crawl spaces.

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Step 4 How to Insulate Attic Opening
If you enter your attic through a set of folding stairs you can use an attic stair insulator to insulate the opening. If you have a simple door or small entrance you can affix a piece of insulation to the attic side of the door. Sealing this entry way will greatly add to the comfort and efficiency of your home.

Final Thoughts on How To Install Insulation in an Attic
Now that you know how to insulate an attic you can feel good that you made your home more comfortable and more efficient, and at the same time you will lower your energy bills and impact on the environment

 

 

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