If you use fiberglass over loose fill, make sure the fiberglass batt has no paper or foil backing; it needs to be "unfaced. Skip to main content. Homepage Header Search box Search. Energy Savings at Home Advice, tools, resources and inspiration to help you save energy. Do I Have Enough?
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How Much Should I Add? 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.
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Many attics today are insulated with either fiberglass batts, which have an R-value of approximately 3. The math is simple, if you have five inches of fiberglass batt insulation then you have around an R The R-values range from R38 to R49 in most of the country. You can click here to enter your zip code to see what R-value is best for your house.
In the average American home, adding insulation to the attic can take a novice do-it-yourselfer one day. If you can operate a utility knife you can do it. The tricky part is getting all of those big bundles of insulation home. There will be a chart on the packaging explaining how much area that bundle will cover. Follow their chart based on your desired R-value and the square footage of your attic.
What kind you need is a different matter. Blown-in cellulose is recycled newsprint that has been fire treated and fiberglass batts are made of thin fibers of glass that trap the air. There are pros and cons to both methods. A hopper is placed outside and a long hose is run up into the attic. The person outside loads the hopper with the cellulose insulation and the person upstairs shoots it into the attic, to the desired thickness over the existing insulation.
Fiberglass batts come in large rolls and are rolled out perpendicular to the floor joists over top of the existing insulation. It is cut by simply compressing it with a straight edge and scoring it with a utility knife. So, how much could you save by installing loft or attic insulation in your home?
How to insulate a loft or roof: install insulation and save on heating
This uSwitch guide makes it easy to find out how to insulate your roof and save money on your energy bills. Your options for roof insulation will depend on the type of roof you have. Pitched sloping roofs are more straightforward and there are more options to choose from, while flat roofs and dormer roofs are more of a challenge to insulate. If you have a typical house with a sloping roof, or have the top flat in a block and are responsible for the loft space and roof above, you can either choose to have a warm loft or a cold loft:.
A warm loft is where you insulate immediately under the roof, which means your loft space is warm as well. A cold loft is where you insulate immediately above the ceiling of the top storey, so no heat from your home gets into your loft. Cost-wise, there are a range of options available for roof insulation, some of which are relatively inexpensive.
Some can be achieved with little DIY experience, while others require more do-it-yourself expertise. Some roof insulation options require specialist equipment and need to be carried out by a professional. Energy-efficiency grants are currently available for cold loft roof insulation.
Warm roof solutions are generally more expensive , but they can provide a greater level of heat retention. Also, you can more easily use the loft to store temperature-sensitive items, as a 'cold roof' can get very hot in the summer.
The simplest and cheapest loft insulation solution is the classic cold loft option. This involves insulating between and over the wooden joists immediately above the ceiling of your top floor. This is generally the only grant-funded option, although it is also fairly easy to do as a DIY project. It could also be the perfect opportunity to sort through the items you're storing to see if you still need them. The recommended depth of blanket style insulation glass or mineral wool for a loft is to mm. If you already have insulation, but it was put in some time ago, it is worth checking the depth, as only a few years ago the recommended depth of insulation was mm, and before that it was as low as mm.
If you do have existing roof insulation, the first thing to do is to check the depth. If there is only 25mm of insulating material, then this is likely to date back to the s, as this type of insulation was subsidised then. In fact, any insulation that is less then mm is likely to be old and is worth disposing of; it is also difficult to top-up older insulation to the recommended depth as modern insulation is sold in standard depths of mm and mm.
Loft or roof insulation
Most typically, especially where insulation has been put in since the s, this will fill the approximately mm depth of the joists, and this is easy to top-up. The commonly available, low cost and subsidised products tend to come in either mm depth, to go between the joists, and mm to be laid at right angles over and across the joists, to take the depth up to the recommended mm. If you are having your insulation installed professionally or under a grant, there are a number of additional tasks that are normally carried out. If you are doing a DIY installation, you mustn't ignore them.
Remember to cover the pipes with pipe insulation. Your loft will be colder due to the insulation keeping the warmth in the floors below, so you're more likely to get burst pipes in freezing weather. Insulation should go up the side and over any tanks , or special tank insulation can be used, but you mustn't insulate under any tanks, as without some heat flowing up from below, these are also likely to freeze.
If your tank is in a raised position at least 10cms above the uppermost layer of insulation then you can insulate the underside of the tank. If there are electric cables in the loft, try to leave these exposed so they can remain cool. If there is enough slack, they can be gently raised and the insulation put underneath. In practice, lighting cables are unlikely to be a problem, especially if you use low energy lightbulbs. Shower cables are most likely to need attention, although the fire risk is fairly minimal as showers tend to only be used for short periods.
If you see any cables or junction boxes that appear to be in a poor state, you will need to get an electrician to put them right, anyway. If you have recessed halogen lights in a room below the loft, they must be protected before they are covered in insulation. Halogen lights give off a lot of heat that is concentrated in a small area, and they pose a serious fire risk if insulation is placed directly against them. Protective cylindrically shaped fire protectors, which are called loft caps or loft covers, are available and it is essential to invest in these before you install your insulation.
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