Compared to the weather in other parts of the country, our San Antonio winters are fairly mild. However, we do still get some cold weather – about 20 days per year below freezing – and just like our Northern neighbors, a well-insulated attic is important on those really cold nights. Plus, during our hot summers, your attic insulation keeps the summer heat from affecting the lower floors. Here are some tips for properly installing attic insulation:
Take a look at the level of insulation currently in your attic. Is the insulation level with the floor joists? If the tops of the floor joists are plain to see, then you need to add more insulation to your attic.
Before you can start this project you need to take care of any needed repairs. If there are any air leaks in the attic – a constant source of heat loss in the winter – they will need to be filled. Air leaks can be found around windows, pipes, ducts, door jams, chimneys, and more. Roof leaks are another problem since water (and mold) can ruin many types of insulation. Also, any wet, compacted, stained or moldy insulation should be removed since it is no longer acting as an insulator.
Attic insulation is usually of the loose or batt (blanket/roll) variety and made from these materials:
- Fiberglass: In loose form you will need to use more since it’s not a strong insulator, and has a tendency to “settle.” However, in batting it’s a good insulator, although there is still the issue of skin and lung irritation.
- Cellulose: It’s the most commonly used loose insulation and the best insulator of the three. However, it’s also easily damaged by water. In batting it’s an even better insulator, but very uncommon.
- Mineral wool: This material is naturally fire resistant and a good insulator in either format. It also costs more in both loose and batt.
Would you like more information about insulating your attic? Please, contact us today. Beyer Boys has been San Antonio’s home comfort team since 1990.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).