As a homeowner, you want to install insulation where it will do the most good. This involves choosing between insulating your ceiling or your attic. While this might seem like two different ways to perform the same function, insulating your ceiling is very different from insulating your attic.
Insulating your ceiling differs from insulating your attic in that you’re bringing that layer of insulation closer to your living space. It involves insulating the space between your attic floor and the ceiling in your living spaces. Since heat rises, having that layer of insulation closer will help you conserve more energy.
This method of insulating your home involves using loose-fill or batt insulation that covers your ceiling material. Even though this usually means giving up that extra attic storage space, many homeowners choose to pull up the wood planks that make up their attic flooring. This provides more room for insulation.
Since insulation is not water-resistant, insulating your ceiling will give you better protection for your money. The insulation in your ceiling is less likely to suffer damage from unidentified leaks. When a roof leak develops, you’ll find it more easily, which means you can have it repaired sooner.
There are some situations where insulating your ceiling may not be feasible or cost-effective. For instance, your home might have cathedral ceilings or ceilings that provide the underlying base for your roofing materials. In that case, you might not have the barrier that forms an attic floor.
Alternatively, you might already have plans to use your attic as an extra living space. Before you consider remodeling that part of your home, make sure to add a layer of attic insulation. Your insulation contractor can install rolls of fiberglass insulation, spray foam, or rigid foam insulation boards.
You might also want to insulate your attic if your HVAC ducts run through this part of your home. The insulation will keep your ducts from becoming damaged due to extreme temperatures. Duct leaks will be less common in a well-insulated attic.
Whenever possible, homeowners prefer having ceiling insulation installed in their homes. This method of insulating a house provides a number of different benefits, such as those listed below.
You can give your AC unit a break by insulating your ceiling. This barrier slows the transfer of heat. In addition to helping you retain heat in your home during the winter, the insulation will slow the progression of heat in the summer. Your living space will stay cooler and maintain a consistent temperature for longer.
The insulation installed over your ceiling will form a vapor barrier to prevent condensation from collecting on your attic walls. In addition to reducing your risks of water damage, mold growth will be less likely. Ask your installation contractor if your home would benefit from a vapor barrier.
When you insulate your attic, you will have that extra space that your HVAC system will have to heat or cool. However, insulating your ceiling means you’ll only be treating the air in the living spaces you actually use. This can lower your energy usage by up to 40%, depending on the size of your home.
While you can certainly insulate your ceiling and your attic, choosing one or the other may be more cost-effective. If you find the option you choose is inefficient, you can always add more insulation later. Taking it one step at a time will help you insulate your home for the lowest possible cost.