The Most Energy- and Cost-Effective Options for Attic Insulation in Older Homes

September 7, 2017

If your attic is uninsulated, you’re simply letting heat and cool air pour out of your house. Attic insulation installation in Petaluma, CA can be a great way to make your home more energy efficient, and once you do it, you’ll notice the results on your energy bill right away.

Perhaps you’re asking, though, “What is the most cost- and energy-effective way to insulate an old attic?”

Here are some of the best options.

Loose-fill spray insulation

This is a great option for old attics, which often have irregular joist spacing (as batts are cut to fit regularly spaced joists). Loose fill is sprayed in, which means it can even work if your attic has existing insulation. The loose fill will be forced into whatever gaps are currently there in your insulation.

Your options for loose fill are:

  • Cellulose: It’s made from recycled paper, and is probably the most common of all loose fill insulation. It can mold if not treated, and also has to be treated to be fire and insect resistant. But it’s an effective, inexpensive option, and excellent at limiting drafts.
  • Fiberglass: It’s made of recycled glass that has been turned into fibers. It’s an excellent and easy-to-install insulator. It has to be put on much thicker than other loose-fill choices, as it settles quite a bit over time.
  • Mineral wool: Made from slag from blast furnaces that have been spun into fibers. It’s naturally fire and insect resistant, but it’s also more expensive than both cellulose and fiberglass.

Batt insulation

If your attic is up to current code standards, batt insulation is a sound choice, as it’s already cut to fit perfectly in between joists and studs, and is easy to roll out and tack on. It’s easy to measure your attic to determine how many batts you’ll need to insulate everything, and easy to return excess batts if you have leftovers after attic insulation installation in Petaluma, CA, meaning you won’t waste money.

Your options for batt insulation are:

  • Cellulose: Has the same benefits of loose-fill cellulose, with the added benefit of being easy to install on your own.
  • Fiberglass: The long-time insulation standard. Fiberglass batts are an affordable way to insulate your attic.
  • Mineral wool: Benefits are the same as with its loose-fill form, but it’s still more expensive than fiberglass and cellulose options.
  • Wool: A really unique form of insulation. It’s 100 percent sustainable and natural, excellent at keeping in heat and cool air and naturally resistant to mold, as it’s very good at releasing moisture. It’s usually more expensive than fiberglass, but an excellent natural alternative.
  • Cotton: Made from recycled denim, cotton is another excellent natural insulation choice. It doesn’t insulate quite as well per inch as wool, but is about on par with fiberglass. It’s more susceptible to mold than wool, and also needs to be treated to be flame resistant.

Spray-foam insulation

This is probably the best insulation option––especially if you’re refitting your attic to be lived in––but requires professionals to install it. It doesn’t need a vapor barrier or any help keeping it from absorbing moisture, and putting up sheetrock over it makes it more effective and safer to use.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for pros to handle your attic insulation installation in Petaluma, CA, give us a call here at Ace Insulation Inc. We install a variety of types of insulation, and can help you insulate or reinsulate your attic to save you money every month on your energy bill.

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