Best Attic Insulation of 2021 (Pricing & Features)
Check out this side-by-side look for the best insulation for attic or crawl spaces. Each product has something to offer, so there’s an option for everyone.
|Reolink Eco||Ring||Enster||HeimVision||Maxsa||Soliom||Argus 2||CTVISION||Funxwe||Lynx|
|Best For||Image quality||Integration||Customer service||Easy set-up||Versatility||Two-way talk||Smart home||Remote control||Reliability||Overcast days|
|Motion Range||30 ft||15 ft||30 ft||30 ft||15 ft||15 ft||25 ft||30 ft||17 ft||30 ft|
|Storage||64 GB||64 GB||32GB||64 GB||16 GB||64 GB||64 GB||64 GB||16 GB||64 GB|
|Warranty||2 yrs||1 yr||1 yr||1 yr||1 yr||1 yr||1 yr||1 yr||2 yrs||1 yr|
|Weight||2.4 lbs||2 lbs||15.2 oz||1.1 lbs||3.5 lbs||9.9 oz||2.6 lbs||1.3 lbs||6.4 lbs||8.3 lbs|
The Importance of R-Value
It’s hard to talk about the best insulation for an attic without discussing R-value. According to the Department of Energy, this is a measurement of the substance’s resistance to heat flow.
- The higher the number, the more effective the insulation is
- Most attics require a figure between R-30 and R-49
- Homes in colder climates should opt for something closer to R-60
Here’s how to do the math. Consider that someone wants R-48 protection, and they’re using a material with an R-value of three per inch. They would need 16 inches of insulation because 48 divided by 3 is 16. Several factors determine the overall heat-effectiveness of foam or cotton or fiberglass.
- Type (cellulose, cotton, etc.)
- Installation method
For example, blown-in cellulose has an R-figure of 3.2 to 3.7 per inch. If a person uses a 3½” piece, the number jumps to 11.2 to 12.9. An attic in Florida requires an R-figure between 30 and 38, but this would be higher for someone in the northern part of the country.
It’s easy to see that there are lots of things to consider before going out and buying some insulation. The ideal R-value for attic insulation will vary depending on where someone lives, the shielding substance they use, and how they install it.
Attic Insulation Types
Since there are different styles of homes in locations scattered around the country, there isn’t one best way to insulate an attic. What works for one person may not be great for another.
So, take a look at these attic insulation options to get a feel for what would be optimal.
This is recycled and ground-up paper. Manufacturers add boric acid to the mix to help protect the attic from insects. Individuals can find cellulose at home improvement stores.
People can install this themselves, rent a spray blower from the store, or call a professional. To make it the best insulation for an attic, experts add a bit of water to the cellulose to increase the protective properties.
- R-rating of 3.2 to 3.8 per inch
- Adds an element of fire resistance
- High density
- Excess moisture can cause it to rot or grow mold
- Good against frost
- Higher R-rating
- Dusty set-up
- Susceptible to mold
Oddly enough, insulating cotton comes from recycled blue jeans. That’s why people may see dark blue packages of it at the home improvement store. This is a nice option for lots of households and attics for several reasons.
First of all, this is great for keeping the heat in. The packages come ready to unroll and install, and everything is easy to cut. Also, even though it’s recycled, it requires more energy to make.
- The average rating is R-3.7 per inch or higher
- There aren’t any installation dangers like toxic gases to worry about
- It can be pricier than something like cellulose
- Fits well around pipes and cables
- Easy to install
- Fits well around pipes
- Good R-value
- No toxic chemicals
- A bit more expensive
- Higher energy output
This is the most common attic insulation that people will see in home improvement stores. Fiberglass is easy to find, and it’s one of the most affordable options.
As the name suggests, this is made of recycled glass that someone melted and spun.
- Some varieties are made of sand
- R-rating is between 2.2 and 2.7 per inch
- It’s quite thin, so homeowners need to put down a lot of it if they want a cozy attic
- Easy to install
- Not hard to find
- Requires a lot of layers for proper protection
- Very thin
When considering foam, remember that there are two distinct options: open-cell and closed-cell. The former is about 1/2 pound thick while the latter is about 2 pounds. Unlike some materials, some foam does a satisfactory job of fitting into tight corners.
People can easily poke through open-cell foam, but the closed-cell variety provides a couple of inches of moisture barrier.
This will work hard to keep air from flowing in or out, protecting the attic from airborne pests and threats. It could potentially bend over and expose toxic spray before setting.
- R-ratings are R-3.6 and R-6.5 per inch
- Impermeable to water and typically contains a mold-resistant polymer
- Doesn’t settle and it lasts for years
- Can fold over on itself if people don’t install it properly
- Locks out sound
- Higher R-rating
- Packs into tight corners
- Resistant to water and mold
- More expensive
- Potentially toxic off-gassing
New mineral wool contains fibers from rock or recycled slag. In other words, it’s blast furnace residue. As such, the best insulation for the attic and blocking out sound.
These days, more houses are turning to mineral wool for its convenience and potentially life-saving qualities. Also, individuals must be careful about inhaling this substance in the home.
- R-figure is 3.0 to 3.3 per inch
- The price tag is significantly more than other options on this list
- During the set-up process, the material can emit harmful and disease-causing particles
- Decent R-rating
- Higher density
- Impermeable to water
- Super fire-resistant
- Can be harmful during installation
For those wondering about the ideal way to insulate an attic, here are some tips. Below are the most common ways that people protect their attics and homes.
This material consists of large interwoven pieces. When most people buy batts, they are either getting fiberglass or cotton. The primary difference here is preference since both have about the same insulating properties.
However, consider that batts don’t provide the best insulation for an attic because the pieces don’t necessarily fill up all the empty spaces. Those voids and gaps can lead to a colder, draftier house.
Plus, individuals must be sure that they cut the material properly to fill in all the crevices. If there are wires in the way, that’s another obstacle to get over.
Protecting attics with blown-in materials may be more useful in the long run. Compared to batts, this option is the best insulation for an attic with crevices and small spaces. Blown-in types include cellulose and fiberglass. Both are small enough to fit in a spray hose, too.
Depending on the material, there are advantages and downsides. The good news is that their R-values are about the same, 3to4 per inch.
Finally, spray foam comes in two options: open cell and closed cell. While it does cost more than blown-in materials, the result is easier home use and work around poor HVAC and air duct placement.
Does Attic Insulation Make a Big Difference?
Yes. Anyone who has been in an attic in the middle of winter or summer knows this to be true.
- In the warmer weather, the place is stifling, and it’s hard to breathe.
- In the colder months, it is freezing, and there is a draft from the wind.
With the proper materials, individuals can control the temperature and moisture levels and save money on utility bills while they’re at it.
Is Insulating Your Attic Worth It?
Yes, most people would agree that the initial costs involved with insulating an attic easily cancel themselves out. Within just a few months, they start to see lower numbers on their utility bills.
Plus, it feels good knowing that they are making the most out of their property and not wasting energy.
What is the Ideal Insulation For an Attic?
Everyone has their unique opinion on this. Some people love using blown-in foam, while others may prefer batts of mineral wool. Other individuals might have another material that they always turn to.
Rather than focusing on what someone says is better, consider a few different factors.
- Material type
- Installation process
How Many Inches of Insulation Should Be In My Attic?
This depends on the property and the materials involved. Keep in mind that most people are under-insulating their properties. A good place to start is looking at the Department of Energy’s recommendations.
According to this organization, individuals in warmer climates should have around 13 inches of insulating material. Those in colder environments should have, even more, about 16 to 18 inches.
Is Rolled Insulation Better Than Blown?
There’s not a 100% right or wrong answer here, but it helps to consider what the experts say. Blown-in materials leave very few gaps, which is great for maximizing effectiveness and thermal sustainability.
Some people prefer batts because they’re easier to install, and therefore, more folks are willing to utilize them. However, they can’t get into nooks and crannies the way blown-in fiberglass and cellulose can.
Can I Put New Insulation On Top of Old?
This is a good question. Many experts say that it’s okay to add new insulating materials on top of the old. The only caveat here is if the older layer is wet, in which case adding something on top is not a good idea.
When it comes to putting on a newer layer, try to use batts or rolled materials.
How Long Does Blown-In Insulation Last?
Blown-in cellulose and fiberglass tend to stand up for a long time. Plus, the boric acid in the material can repel insects and vermin, which prolongs its lifespan even further.
A potential downside is that after a while, the substances can become compressed or settle to the bottom. This can create pockets of thermal heat, which defeats the purpose of insulating the space.
Don't Delay on Insulating a Property
It’s always a good idea to insulate a crawl space or wall. Even if things seem confusing at first, there are plenty of resources (like this one) to help. Plus, the variety of materials and installation methods apply to any property and budget.
The greatest part of all is that this can save money in the long run. Have you recently insulated an attic, or did you consider it? Let us know about your approach in the comments below.