If your energy bills are higher than usual but there hasn’t been a usage increase, and you think your home doesn’t have enough insulation, consider the attic. As one of the most significant sources of energy loss in a home, the attic is an important area to insulate.
How do you add more attic insulation and increase your home’s energy efficiency?
Increase Attic Insulation & Home Energy Efficiency
When you need to re-insulate your attic, it’s best to turn to the professionals. One quick way to check is by poking your head up into the attic (if you have access). If your insulation is just level with or below your floor joists (if you can easily see your joists), you probably need more.
Once you determine this, call a local company — Gold Star Insulation is a good name to know if you’re in the Sacramento area! Professionals will assess your space and:
- Tell you how much insulation you need
- Determine the best material(s) to use
- Let you know if the current insulation should be removed
- Recommend other energy-saving solutions (air sealing, energy audit, etc.)
Before insulating, it’s best to take care of air leaks and roof repairs. In some cases, new insulation can be added to existing layers, but sometimes removal and replacement is necessary.
Generally, the recommended R-values/level for most attics is R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on several factors (insulation type, style and size of attic, etc.). But keep in mind that this may not necessarily be applicable to your specific space.
You don’t have to use the same type of insulation that’s currently 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 must be unfaced.
It’s recommended that the second layer be applied across the joists and all batts be installed so there are no gaps between them. Radiant barriers are also recommended for attics of homes in warmer climates (like here in Sacramento).
In unfinished attic spaces, it’s recommended to insulate:
- Between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below
- Attic access door
- Between the studs of knee walls
- Between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and the roof
- Ceilings with cold spaces above
Insulation Installation in the Sacramento Area
Do you need to install more attic insulation? Call Gold Star Insulation. We offer a variety of materials and can help you determine the right solutions for your space.
Contact us today for a free quote and to get started on your project!
Frequently Asked Questions About Adding Insulation
Do I need more insulation?
Are your energy bills higher than they used to be even though you aren’t using more electricity? Your home may not have enough insulation to be energy-efficient. One of the most significant sources of energy loss in any home is the attic, so it’s the first place to check if you suspect your home needs more insulation.
How can I tell if my attic needs more insulation?
If you have access to your attic, check if your insulation is level with your floor joists or below them. Insulation levels that low indicate you probably need more attic insulation.
At this point, you should call a professional Sacramento insulation company like Gold Star Insulation. You’ll need skilled experts who can thoroughly assess your space to:
- Figure out how much insulation you need
- Determine the ideal material(s) to use
- Tell you if the current insulation needs to be removed
- Recommend other solutions to increase your home’s energy efficiency, such as air sealing or an energy audit
What other repairs help with energy efficiency besides insulation?
Insulation isn’t the only thing that affects energy efficiency in your home, and insulation can’t do its job right if you have air leaks and a roof that needs to be repaired. An energy audit can test the energy flow throughout your home to determine where you’re suffering energy loss and how to fix it.
Sealing any gaps that allow energy to escape and insulating your home to contain your HVAC systems’ heating and cooling will produce noticeable energy savings on your power bill.
Does my new insulation have to be the same as my old insulation?
Your new insulation does not have to be the same as what is currently in your attic. Loose-fill can be piled on top of fiberglass, and vice-versa, although fiberglass over loose-fill will need to be unfaced, meaning no paper or foil backing.
In some cases, old insulation can stay in place while new insulation is added. However, insulation that’s moldy, damp, fire-damaged or made of unhealthy materials will need to be removed and replaced.
Attics in warmer climates like Sacramento should also have radiant barriers. These help keep your home cooler by reflecting, rather than absorbing, sunlight.
What kind of insulation does an unfinished attic need compared to a finished one?
If you have an unfinished attic, it’s recommended that you insulate the attic access door and between and over the floor joists to seal off the living spaces below.
If your attic is finished, you need insulation between the studs of knee walls, between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and the roof and in ceilings with cold spaces above.
Learn more about insulation and energy efficiency at the Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR® and the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.
Where can I find expert insulation installation in the Sacramento area?
If you need more attic insulation installed in your home, Gold Star Insulation can help. We can determine the right solutions for your space and provide an expert installation using the materials that will work best for your needs.