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Why You Should Get New Insulation in Your Attic

Man in sweater adjusting room temperature with electronic thermostat at home

Are you overspending on heating and cooling your home?  If your attic is poorly insulated (as many are), the answer is almost certainly “Yes.”

How much might you be overspending?  Energy Star says you can save up to 20% with improvements in insulation.

Many benefits come along with energy savings.  Our customers often joyfully report that after we installed new attic insulation for them, they don’t use the thermostat nearly as much and their homes are warmer.

How insulation works

Hot always wants to move to cold.  So if you turn up the thermostat while it’s cold outside, the newly generated warmth always tries to migrate to the cool outside.  Vice versa is also true: when it’s hot outside and cool inside, the heat from outside will move inside.

Temperature loss comes in two main ways: movement of air and heat transfer through solids.  Movement of air is like if you open a window and the air just leaves the premises.  The indoor temperature goes with it, and your room quickly adopts similar temperature to the outside.  Homes are constructed to be enveloped in air barrier so you can avoid this and condition your living space to your liking.

The slower form of temperature change is when air movement is blocked but heat still transfers through solid material.  When a solid material blocks air from leaving, temperature can still change by heat diffusing through the solid material. To achieve and maintain desired temperatures, a material that resists this thermal transfer is needed between inside and outside.

Most materials (like wood joists or siding) do have some small ability to resist thermal transfer, but they pale in comparison to that of insulation.  The technical term associated with thermal transfer, “r-value”, means the capacity for a given material to resist heat transfer.  You’ll see terms like “r-19” or “r-38”.  The greater the r-value number, the greater the temperature difference between two surfaces needed for sustained thermal transfer, meaning that when you want to maintain the desired temperature, a bigger number is better.

As there are diminishing returns beyond a point, there is a recommended optimal r-value for each region.  New homes are usually constructed with these recommendations in play, but older ones were not.  R-49 is the standard for attic insulation.

Why get new attic insulation

By increasing older insulation levels (typically around r-19) to the optimal standard of r-49, you could find yourself regulating the thermostat less.  Your home could keep cooler during the hot days and warmer during the cold days.  Room to room temperatures may equalize more because inconsistencies in your existing attic insulation would be adjusted for.  And you could find your monthly energy bill decline.

CertainTeed TrueComfort attic insulation

Installing new attic insulation during a re-roof is the perfect time because it saves on labor and doesn’t require technicians getting inside your home.  Entering the attic through the roof is significantly better for everybody.

CertainTeed TrueComfort fiberglass insulation is:

  • Non-itching to the touch
  • Noncombustible
  • Not a food source for rodents
  • Manufactured with no formaldehyde


If you think you’re spending too much time managing the thermostat, you’re probably right.  Adding new insulation over the top of existing attic insulation can provide significant improvement in home comfort.  It can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 20%, and provide you with more consistent, sustained indoor temperatures.

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