Can I add more insulation to my attic?

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Milt R. of Boston, MA wrote:

Itchy, I'm Baffled!

I plan on adding more insulation in my attic. A friend told me to make sure I have baffles installed. Can you tell me a little about baffles and how they're installed?

Baffles, sometimes called vent chutes or rafter vents are used to keep air flowing through the attic. There primary purpose is to keep insulation from clogging the lower ventilation. Attic ventilation is necessary to prevent moisture build up that can potentially cause rotting.

There are two popular types of baffles. One is made of cardboard and the other is constructed of foam. These are prefabricated and usually come in widths of 16" or 24". They are designed to fit over the vented area at the wall plate and extend up the rafter.

If your ceiling hasn't been dry walled, installing baffles is a breeze. Simply get on a ladder, and staple them on top of the wall plate and up the truss or rafter about every 4". Make sure there...

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By Rosie Romero Special for The Republic | azcentral.com Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:10 PM

Is the water running from your kitchen faucet hot enough to boil an egg, or just to wilt the lettuce for your Caesar salad? Are you risking heatstroke when you visit that Death Valley location you refer to as your garage? Is your attic so hot that you wonder why your roof isn’t on fire?

It’s the season when Arizona residents start worrying about how to cool down the house without cranking up the air-conditoner more often. Everybody is searching for some magic device to reduce the temperature indoors so that their utility bills will be lower and their comfort level will be higher. A lot of those schemes involve plans for more insulation. But before you start blowing dollar bills into the attic, here is the scoop on what can help and what can’t:

If I just add more insulation to my attic, will my house get cooler? Maybe it will if you have an older home built before standards for...

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Adding extra insulation to the top of your house is one of the easiest and most affordable ways you can reduce the amount of energy your household consumes and help keep your utility bills in check. However, if you’ve never paid much attention to your attic insulation or if you’ve just purchased a new home, you may be uncertain whether you have enough insulation or whether it would benefit you to add more. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to tell how much insulation you need.

How Much Attic Insulation Do I Need?

The best thing to do? Talk to professionals! But a good rule of thumb is that you want your insulation to more than cover the cross beams in your attic. Insulation should be installed in knee walls, floors and more.

Below are just a few ways to tell if you need more attic insulation in your Sacramento area home:

You can see gaps in the corners and along the perimeter of the attic. If you see space uncovered space around the outer edges of...
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bob322 wrote:

Interesting! Here's what I've been seeing: http://www.buildings.com/ArticleDetails/tabid/3321/ArticleID/6061/Default.aspx

I've seen a similar graph in many different places. I'm all for insulating the heck out of everything, but this inidcates that the incremental benefit of going over R-20 is minimal. I would rather spend the money on additional energy saving measures that would have more effect.If you step back and just look at the data, it looks to me that blindlin adding R-value at the expense of other measures is counterproductive. I know it seems to go against most of what's in the press, but it sure looks that way to me!

Ya know ---- I had prepared quite a lengthy responce to your theory but decided there's no need to ---- afterall , I'm just some guy posting on a forum over the internet.

However, the article you provided isn't a reliable source to draw your conclusion upon ---- in my opinion.

The one thing I get from reading...

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Are you curious about whether the insulation in your home is working as effectively as it should? Do you know when the insulation in your home was installed? Homeowners often ask these types of questions about their insulation: Does it need to be replaced entirely? Should I simply add more insulation to what I already have? Is it okay to leave it as it is now? Read on to learn what to consider when determining whether and how to update your insulation.

Since heat rises to the top of your house, the attic is a critical area in which to have good insulation. Fortunately, the attic is also one of the easiest places to add more insulation if you need to. Other important areas include inside walls, under floors, and around ductwork and water pipes. Today, we will talk most specifically about the insulation in your attic space.

Do I need to add more insulation?

According to Energy Star, there is a simple way to determine whether your attic insulation is adequate....

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[Summary]Installed R-60 insulation in attic... now using AC more than before I had R60 blown into my 1000sqft attic where there was previously only about R11. Baffles were installed in almost every roof rafter. Air sealing of attic floor was performed. This i

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Installed R-60 insulation in attic... now using AC more than before

I had R60 blown into my 1000sqft attic where there was previously only about R11. Baffles were installed in almost every roof rafter. Air sealing of attic floor was performed. This is a low pitch asphalt shingled hip roof over the whole house.

Adding Attic Insulation | ENERGY STAR

Inside the DIY Guide

Getting Started

Locating Air Leaks

Sealing Air Leaks: Attic

Sealing Air Leaks: Basement

Sealing Air Ducts

Adding Attic Insulation

About Attic Ventilation

Download the DIY Guide
(2MB)

Now that you've air-sealed your attic...

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Key Considerations:
The attic, along with the basement or crawlspace, is one of the first places you should be looking for improving your envelope. It may be tempting to look at windows first because you feel the drafts there but a tight attic floor will usually return more in savings and comfort than new windows.

In the winter, warm air will migrate to the higher parts of your house because warm air is less dense than cold air. This is caused by natural convection, also called the stack effect. This means that on average, there is a higher difference in temperature across your ceiling than across your walls. In the summer, the average temperature difference across your ceilings is also higher than across your walls because radiant energy from the sun has a more direct line of sight to your roof than most of your walls. When you have a higher difference in temperature that you have to maintain then you need more R-value to do it. Simply put, attics always need more...

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Gale Tedhams: Hi! I am Gale Tedhams with Owens Corning and I am going to show you how to insulate your attic. Homes and buildings are the number one user of energy in the United States, today and it's estimated that over 80 million homes are under-insulated. A well insulated home can save up to 20% an energy for heating and cooling and can make the house more comfortable.

Today, I am going to show you one of the most common areas of your home that might be under-insulated, your attic. How easy it is to determine, if you have enough insulation or need more. We will look insulation options that are available to you, the tools you'll need, and how to install the insulation.

We are going to use two different products. We are going to show you how to install Batt Insulation and we are also going to install Blown-In Fiberglass Insulation. Finally, we will show you how to top-off the project by insulating your attic stairway entrance using an attic stairway...

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It’s a dirty, dark, and dingy job, but it’s also the easiest and cheapest way to save mega money on your energy bills. Adding insulation to your attic and making the attic hatch airtight with weather stripping can reduce your year round energy use from 20 to 60 percent, saving you hundreds a year. Now that’s some serious cash in the attic!

If your attic is anything like mine was, you’re probably losing expensive winter warmth and summer cooling through that seemingly innocuous square hole in your ceiling.

To stop your attic from draining your wallet, try these three easy methods to seal in LOTS of savings. These easy do-it-yourself home improvement projects cost under $100 dollars together, take only a few hours, and could save you thousands over the years you own your home. Sounds like a good investment to me. Smile.

1. Insulate Your Attic Hatch with Weather Stripping

Pick up some simple weather stripping at your local hardware store for around $5 and...

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Poorly insulated attics allow expensive heated or cooled air to escape your home, wasting both money and energy. By adding insulation to your attic, you'll not only reduce your monthly utility bills, but also enjoy improved energy efficiency and greater comfort throughout the year. By reducing energy consumption, attic insulation also protects the environment from pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Best of all, insulation is relatively easy to install, and the average attic can be completed over the course of a weekend. When the time comes to sell your home, a well-insulated attic is a plus.

Calculate Insulation Needs

Measure how much insulation you already have. Check the depth using a tape measure.

Multiply the number of inches of insulation by the R-value per inch. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fibgerglass batts have an R-value of 3.2 per inch, while loose fill fiberglass measure R-2.5 per inch. Rockwool offers R-2.8, while cellulose...

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Recommended Products

The following products are recommended for use in attics. Add items to your list, and you’ll be able to view, print or email your checklist when you’re done.

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Installation Tips

Installation Instructions

When adding a second layer of insulation in the attic, unfaced should always be used so that moisture is not trapped inside the insulation.

Temporary flooring should be laid across the joists to provide some footing, and a temporary work light should be installed. Lay the insulation blanket at the outer edge of the attic space and work toward the center. This allows for more headroom in the center of the space, where cutting and fitting can be done. It's also a good idea not to get...
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