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Attic Insulation

Adding attic insulation is a simple, cost-effective way to improve comfort and save money on utility bills. Having adequate attic insulation can actually cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. 

One quick way to determine if you need more insulation in your attic is to look across the span of your attic. If your insulation is just level with or below your wooden floor joists (i.e., you can easily see your joists), you should add more. If you cannot see any of the floor joists because the insulation is well above them, you probably have enough and adding more may not be cost-effective. It is important that the insulation be evenly distributed with no low spots; sometimes there is more than enough insulation in the middle of the attic and very little along the eaves.

How Much Should I Add?

According to EnergyStar.gov, insulation levels are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The recommended Maryland R Value for attics is R-49 or about 14 inches, depending on insulation type.

Add the Right Kind of Insulation

When adding additional insulation, you do not have to use the same type of insulation that currently exists in your attic. You can add loose fill on top of fiberglass batts or blankets, and vice-versa. If you use fiberglass over loose fill, make sure the fiberglass batt has no paper or foil backing; it needs to be “unfaced.” If you choose to add loose fill, it would be wise to hire a professional, as the application requires the use of a blowing machine and the proper personal protection equipment.

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