The attic is one of the most important areas of the home to insulate. According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), as many as 90% of homes are under-insulated. At Mass Retrofit, we know that a properly insulated attic is the biggest factor with your homes performance, and we’re here to help get your home operating efficiently.
Looking to enhance home comfort? It all starts with attic insulation.
Step 1: Measure
Go into your attic and use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the thickness of the insulation in inches. Look around your attic, are certain areas more heavily insulated than others? Is the insulation level even with or above the rim joist? If not, you probably need to add more insulation.
Step 2: Find your fix
Step 3: Call the pros
At RI Retrofit, our team of Energy Specialists understands the finer points of attic insulation and how to improve upon it. Analyzing the current state of your attic’s insulation will allow us to determine exactly where you can benefit from adding more. It’s also important to select the correct type of insulation for your attic in order to achieve the best results and to make your home the most efficient. These can include spray foam, fiberglass batts and cellulose insulation, which is made from recycled newspaper shreddings. The right solution will depend upon your homes needs, and we’ll work to come up with a plan that fits your budget.
The Importance of Attic Insulation
The majority of monthly utility bills are related to your homes heating and cooling costs. Often, it comes down to a lack of attic insulation. This can also create problems with ice dams, which can severely damage the roof of your home if it is not fixed.
Not Just for Winter
Many people assume insulation only pertains to the colder seasons, but this could not be further from the truth! The same thing happens in the summer but you are paying money every month for air conditioning. If this air is then allowed to escape your home envelope it’s money going right out the door!
However, the attic is the best place in the home to add insulation and immediately improve home performance. A well-insulated attic will help to enhance indoor air quality, providing a healthier, more comfortable environment for you and your family. Adding attic insulation and air sealing will enhance energy efficiency to a noticeable degree.
Conduction, Convection and Radiant Heat Transfer
A vented attic will reach temperatures of roughly 130-140 degrees in the summer. Your air-conditioning and vent-ductwork are not working at their fullest capacity. There is also opportunity for moisture to form due to condensation on these appliances.
By applying spray foam directly to the underside of the roof deck, it insulates the attic space from the extreme heat that once radiated thorough the hot shingles roof. The severe temperatures no longer exist in the attic. In short, the attic now becomes a conditioned space of the house that is just as comfortable as the rest of your home.
A roof system insulated with Massachusetts, MA Retrofit with spray foam reduces energy several ways. Energy loss from ducts that are located in the attic is eliminated. The top of the building is much tighter resulting in less air coming in and air coming out, so excess moisture isn’t pulled into the attic. Also, the attic temperature is dramatically lower, which further reduces energy loads.
Ceiling insulation reduces the transfer of heat from the attic to your living space in the summer. Your attic’s temperature can often exceed 140°F during the day. Most of this heat enters the attic space through a various ways.
First, solar energy heats the shingles and roofing. The hot roof then transfers heat to the rest of the attic through conduction, convection and radiant heat transfer. The 140°F temperature of the underside roof surface drives the heat transfer process.
When Rhode Island Retrofit insulates your roof with spray foam, the surface temperature that is exposed to the attic (the temperature driving the heat transfer) is reduced by as much as 40°F.
Both conduction and convection heat transfer are proportional to a temperature difference, so that heat transfer will be reduced proportionately to the drop in surface temperature.