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Attic Insulation Help: Should I go for batt or blown?
Fiberglass blankets which are either blown in or batt are used for attic insulation. Both have its benefits. The important thing is how they would fit your abilities and budget. Read on to know a few points that you have to consider.
Blown-in installation requires a professional. However, if you are a do-it-yourself man, then be prepared to spend hours in your attic. Blown-in fiberglass insulation is seamless and traps and maintains small air pockets in order to insulate. To achieve the same results with fiberglass, you need to be patient and detail-oriented. If you do not have the extra budget for a professional, then go batt.
R-factor is the measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. Basically, you want a material with a higher R-factor. In this area, batt insulation has a slight edge. It can offer an R-factor of 3.1-4.2 or even higher per inch of material. In comparison, blown-in fiberglass only has an R-factor of 2.3-2.8 per inch of material. Remember though that blown-in fiberglass thickness may vary depending on attic space. Thus, R-values may not be constant.
Based on current rates, an upgrade of R-19 to R-49 on a 1,500 square foot attic is $600 or $.40 per square foot. Meanwhile, batt would cost .$45 per square foot. If this is the case, then you could consider having the installation done by professionals. But if you could find fiberglass batts at a big discount, then you can do the job yourself.
Take note that prices may vary based on your climate zone. Call your retail outlet to be sure.
Some Notes on Fiberglass batt insulation
- wear gloves, long sleeves, goggles and a respirator
- be careful in installing batts around roof framing members
- install new batts at a 90 degree angle to the old ones
- locate and close dark dirty spots
- place foam and cardboard baffles between roof rafters for air to pass through
- avoid covering recessed light fixtures
Remember to call your local electrical inspector for do-it-yourself installations. Keep these tips in mind and you will have the attic insulation you need.