When it comes to insulating your attic—a prime point for heated air to escape in the winter time unless the area is well-insulated—loose fill is a popular choice. But what are your options for loose fill materials, and how do you know which might be best suited for your home and needs?
Here are a few of the most common materials used in loose fill insulation, along with their characteristics. We’ve listed the R-value for each of them. Remember that the R-value describes how efficient the insulation is by assigning a value to its ability to resist heat and protect against heated air passing through its protective barrier. The higher the R-value, the better the job the insulation will do of keeping heated air from passing through.
- Fiberglass: With an R-value of 2.2 to 2.7 per inch, fiberglass is most often made from recycled glass that is spun into fibers. It is lightweight, which makes it easy to work with, but it also tends to settle more than other materials, so you need to be careful that you use enough of it to get the level of insulation you are looking for.
- Cellulose: With an R-value of 3.8 to 3.8 per inch, cellulose is the most widely used material for loose fill insulation. It’s made from recycled paper, so it’s environmentally friendly, but can be prone to rot or mold if moisture seeps in.
- Mineral Wool: With an R-value of 3.0 to 3.3 per inch, mineral wool is often more expensive than fiberglass or cellulose, but because it’s made from spinning molten glass or slag into fibers, it is naturally resistant to fire—a highly desirable characteristic in attic insulation.
All three of these materials can be used to effectively insulate your attic and keep your home comfortable and secure all year long. Which one is best for you will depend on what type of insulation already exists there, what condition it is in, and other factors including the type of home, temperature and weather conditions, and financial considerations.
With this information to guide your conversation, consult a trusted roofing professional today about making sure your attic’s insulation is doing the best job possible for you and your family.