10 Kinds Of The Best Insulation For Attics

10 Kinds Of The Best Insulation For Attics

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Posted By:Shingle & Metal Team

Saving money on your energy bills isn’t just about working with the right utility company; there are many things you can do on your own to boost your home’s energy efficiency:

  1. Air Sealing: Ensure gaps and cracks are sealed to prevent air leaks.
  2. Energy-Efficient Windows: Upgrade to double or triple-pane windows.
  3. Programmable Thermostats: Automate your heating and cooling systems.
  4. Energy Star Appliances: Choose appliances that consume less energy.
  5. Proper Insulation: Ensure your home and attic are utilizing the right insulation materials.

A properly insulated attic can save homeowners a significant amount of money and wasted energy. In this article, we discuss the best insulation for attics to help you make an informed decision.

1. Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Fiberglass batt insulation is one of the most common types used in residential attics. Made from fine strands of glass fibers, it comes in pre-cut panels, making it easy to install between wall studs and ceiling joists.

This type of insulation is ideal for standard stud and joist spacing in modern homes. It is also cost-effective and readily available in most home improvement stores.

  • Cost: Approximately $0.30 – $1.50 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Best Feature: Easy and quick to install with minimal tools required.

2. Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is made from a polyurethane material that expands upon application, filling gaps and sealing air leaks effectively.

This type of insulation is perfect for attics with irregular shapes, hard-to-reach areas, or homes requiring superior air sealing. However, professional installation is recommended as it requires special equipment and expertise.

  • Cost: Approximately $1.00 – $4.50 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 80+ years
  • Best Feature: Superior air-sealing capabilities that enhance energy efficiency.

3. Blown-In Cellulose Insulation

Blown-in cellulose insulation consists of recycled paper products treated with fire retardants. It is applied using a blowing machine, making it an excellent option for attics with existing insulation that needs to be topped up or for filling tight spaces. This type of insulation also has high thermal resistance, making it a popular choice for energy-efficient homes.

  • Cost: Approximately $0.60 – $2.30 per square foot
  • Lifespan: Around 20-30 years
  • Best Feature: Environmentally friendly and effective at filling irregular spaces.

4. Mineral Wool Insulation

Mineral wool, also known as rock wool or slag wool, is made from volcanic rock or industrial waste. This type of insulation is fire-resistant and provides excellent soundproofing, making it suitable for attics in homes requiring enhanced safety and noise reduction. It is also highly durable, with a lifespan of up to 100 years.

  • Cost: Approximately $1.00 – $2.50 per square foot
  • Lifespan: Up to 100 years
  • Best Feature: Exceptional fire resistance and soundproofing properties.

5. Reflective Insulation

Reflective insulation typically consists of aluminum foil laminated onto paper or plastic. It works by reflecting radiant heat away from the home, making it an excellent choice for hot climates where keeping the heat out is a priority. It is typically used in combination with other types of insulation for optimal effectiveness.

  • Cost: Approximately $0.15 – $0.50 per square foot
  • Lifespan: Around 10-20 years
  • Best Feature: Highly effective in reducing radiant heat transfer in hot climates.
Foam board roof insulation panels installed, providing thermal resistance and energy efficiency for the building.

6. Rigid Foam Board Insulation

Rigid foam board insulation is made from polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, or polyurethane and comes in large panels. It is suitable for attics with flat surfaces and areas requiring a high R-value per inch. This type of insulation is also moisture-resistant, making it ideal for areas prone to dampness or water damage.

  • Cost: Approximately $1.50 – $3.50 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 30-50 years
  • Best Feature: High R-value per inch, providing excellent thermal resistance.

7. Cotton (Denim) Insulation

Cotton insulation is made from recycled denim and treated with boric acid to make it fire and pest-resistant. This eco-friendly option is ideal for homeowners looking for sustainable insulation solutions. It is also non-irritating and easy to install, making it a DIY-friendly option.

  • Cost: Approximately $1.20 – $1.80 per square foot
  • Lifespan: Around 20-30 years
  • Best Feature: Sustainable material with good thermal and acoustic properties.

8. Radiant Barrier Insulation

Radiant barriers consist of a reflective surface, usually aluminum, installed in attics to reduce heat gain. They are often combined with other insulation types to enhance overall energy efficiency in warm climates. Radiant barriers are typically installed under the roof, facing the attic space.

  • Cost: Approximately $0.10 – $0.25 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years
  • Best Feature: Effectively reduces cooling costs by reflecting radiant heat.
Loose-fill fiberglass insulation spread out, typically used for thermal insulation in attics and walls.

9. Loose-Fill Fiberglass Insulation

Loose-fill fiberglass insulation is similar to blown-in cellulose but uses small particles of fiberglass. It is applied using a blowing machine and is ideal for adding insulation to irregularly shaped or hard-to-reach attic spaces. Loose-fill fiberglass has a higher R-value per inch than blown-in cellulose, making it more effective at retaining heat.

  • Cost: Approximately $0.80 – $2.00 per square foot
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Best Feature: Excellent for filling irregular spaces and adding insulation to existing layers.

10. Aerogel Insulation

Aerogel insulation, known for its exceptional thermal properties, is made from a gel where the liquid component is replaced with gas. It is lightweight and offers superior thermal insulation, though it is relatively expensive and less commonly used in residential applications. However, it is a popular choice for green building and energy-efficient homes.

  • Cost: Approximately $2.00 – $5.00 per square foot
  • Lifespan: Around 50+ years
  • Best Feature: Unmatched thermal performance in a lightweight form.

Best Insulation for Attics: Find Yours Today

Choosing proper attic insulation is essential for improving energy efficiency, reducing utility bills, and enhancing the comfort of your home. Each insulation type offers unique benefits suited to different needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, or superior thermal performance, there’s an option that fits your requirements.

For professional guidance and installation services, contact Shingle and Metal Roofs today. Let us help you find the best insulation solution for your attic and enjoy a more energy-efficient home!

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