Texas is hot and summer energy bills can be outrageous. Here is how to pick the best type of attic insulation for your Texas home.
Research shows that approximately 90 percent of single-family homes in America do not have sufficient insulation. It is an alarming figure since a poorly-insulated home is an energy hog and the loss of conditioned air makes it an uncomfortable place to work and live.
By installing insulation, you can avoid paying extra on cooling and heating due to energy loss and possibly cut your energy bills by half. Insulation has also been shown to pay itself off in 3-5 years. Keep Mother Nature out and your paid cool and warm air in.
Let's start with your attic. What is the best attic insulation and when should you install attic insulation? The most suitable time to insulate your attic is during the construction phase, a major renovation, and the moment your energy bills are unusually high or a family member has recurring respiratory issues.
How about the best attic insulation for the Texas climate? Let's go over the types of attic insulation and see which one is the right fit for your Texan home and attic.
Different types of attic insulation work better for different tasks. As you carefully weigh each of these options to determine the best insulation for Texas homes, carefully consider the attic insulation cost, the shape & size of your attic area, and the material's R-value.
R-value refers to the material's ability to resist the transfer of heat. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation reduces energy loss.
There is cellulose insulation and reflective insulation such as radiant barriers, but the top pick types of insulation in Texas are batt insulation, blown-in insulation, and spray foam insulation.
Manufacturers typically construct batts with fiberglass, which is essentially recycled glass and reinforced plastic. Fiberglass batts are the most common, but batts made of plastic fibers, sheep's wool, mineral wool, and cotton are also available.
Batt insulation fits into the standard width between attic rafters, making it perhaps a DIY-friendly and inexpensive project. Traditional fiberglass batts have R-values between R-2.9 and R-3.8 per inch of thickness, while high-performance or medium-density and high-density fiberglass batts have R-3.7 and R-4.3 per inch of thickness.
Cost: Batt fiberglass insulation costs $1,000 to $2,400. The average cost per square foot is between $0.30 to $1.50.
Another type of fiberglass attic insulation is blown-in insulation, blow-in, or loose-fill insulation. Certified attic specialists apply loose-fill fiberglass to cracks, crevices, and attic floors using an insulation blower. Because of this, loose-fill insulation is considered one of the best types of insulation for attics and walls.
Manufacturers can also make loose-fill insulation with cellulose or recycled cardboard and newspapers, but fiberglass is preferred these days as cellulose is more predisposed to dust and lint accumulation and fiberglass is less of a fire hazard. For loose-fill insulation, R-values range from R-2.2 for fiberglass up to R-3.8.
Cost: Blown-in insulation costs between $944 and $2,138. Loose-fill runs from $1 to $1.50 per square foot.
Hailed as the more expensive insulation and one of the best types of attic insulation, spray foam insulation adequately seals gaps and leaks in hard-to-reach and irregularly-shaped spaces. Certified attic specialists use a spray foam gun to apply spray foam insulation. They also either use an open-cell or closed-cell foam.
Closed-cell foam has the highest R-value of any insulation, around R-6.2 per inch, but it can be expensive. Open-cell foam values are around R-3.7 per inch of thickness.
Cost: The average cost of professionally installing spray foam is $1,317 to $3,888.
You've looked at the DIY-friendly batt insulation, the eco-friendly blown-in insulation, and the high-performing spray-foam insulation. What is the best attic insulation for your home?
It boils down to the square feet of your attic, your needs, preferences, where you're going to apply it, and the application method you can accommodate.
Fiberglass batts are the least performing but take the slightest effort to install. Loose-fill insulation is more prevalent among newly-constructed homes, and you will need a respirator as fiberglass is a lung and skin irritant. Spray foam provides the perfect air barrier but is costly and not for the DIYer.
Regardless of the attic insulation in Texas you choose, the golden rule is to have at least an R-38 value or 14-inches thick insulation. Consult with a pro attic specialist for the proper attic insulation for your home. They'll be able to recommend the most energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and least prone to water damage insulation material for your attic, basement, or crawl spaces. Water damage can cause mold and mildew and can make family members sick.
For the best insulation in Texas, contact Superior Attic for a free estimate, no-obligation attic inspection, and instant quote.