Attic Insulation: Choosing the Best Type
LESLIE: Calling in from Utah we’ve got Fred who wants to talk insulation. What can we do for you?
FRED: Yes, I’m interested in what type of attic insulation would be the best: fiberglass; blown-in insulation; or foam – (INAUDIBLE) foam.
LESLIE: Alright. Do you have anything in there now?
FRED: I’ve got some blown-in insulation on the – and when they did it they got it down into the soffits …
FRED: … and kind of plugged them up.
TOM: Yeah. That’s a problem (chuckling) because, as you know, the soffits need to be free-flowing so that you get proper ventilation to the attic space. If you already have blown-in insulation right now, I would tell you to probably add additional blown-in insulation; making sure to keep the soffits free-flowing. Because the way attic ventilation – if it’s working properly – the way it should flow is air should be pushed into the soffits, go up under the roof sheathing and exit at a ridge vent. Do you have a ridge vent here too, Fred?
FRED: I don’t …
TOM: Down the peak?
FRED: I’ve got some of those turbo fans.
TOM: Yeah, that’s not the best kind of ventilation system to have. Those are not very effective; those turbo fans. So I would recommend that if you want to improve your ventilation, which is one step closer to having good insulation because if you ventilate properly that means your insulation stays dry. If it’s not ventilated properly the insulation gets damp and if it’s damp …
LESLIE: And then it doesn’t work.
TOM: … it doesn’t work properly. That’s right. Two percent dampness loses one third of the r value of the insulation. So what we suggest you do is first get the soffits cleaned out. Do that from the inside. Do that from the outside. Do it any way you can. Add additional insulation so you end up with a good 12 to 15 inches and then add a ridge vent. And when you do that your house is going to be properly ventilated and properly insulated and that’s going to save you money in the winter and in the summer.
FRED: Appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Fred. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.