An Introduction to Attic Insulation for Arizona Homeowners
Between the chilly desert nights and the searing daytime sunshine, Arizona homes face some formidable thermal control issues. If you’re having trouble keeping your home comfortable without spiking your utility bill, you may need to add insulation to your attic. The good news is that modern construction technologies give you more insulation options than you ever knew existed; the bad news is that all those options can cause understandable puzzlement. Here are some key considerations to help you select the most effective insulation for your Arizona attic.
Insulation Forms and Materials
Attic insulation can take any of numerous forms, the two most common of which are blown-in and batted insulation. Blown-in insulation makes use of a blower that fires chunks of spun material into tight spaces. However, it can also cover large areas, potentially making it the only form of insulation your attic needs. In batted insulation, panels of insulating cloth called batts can cover large, precise areas on attic walls. This form is often supplemented with blown-in insulation sprayed into the smaller or more awkward areas. Spray foam can also be blown into tiny cracks and crevices, boosting energy efficiency. In yet another kind of insulation called radiant barrier insulation, panels of reflective material bounce thermal energy away from the attic interior.
Both batted insulation and blown-in insulation may consist of materials such as cotton, cellulose, and fiberglass. Of these materials, fiberglass is often the preferred choice for its ability to cover areas evenly and without settling. Spray foam insulation is made of polyurethane plastic. Radiant barrier insulation features an outer sheet of metallic foil glued to a backing board.
The Question of R-Value
In addition to choosing the right kind of insulation for your attic, you must also consider how much R-value you need to add to whatever you’ve currently got. R-value is an industry standard measure for a material’s thermal resistance. Recommendations are generally based on the regional climate zone. The Phoenix area sits within Zone 2. For Zone 2 homes, an attic with no insulation should receive insulation with a total R-value between 30 and 60. An attic with three to four inches of existing insulation should receive additional insulation with a R-value of 25 to 38.
When adding new insulation, some of your choices may be limited by the nature of the existing insulation — unless you decide to rip that insulation out entirely and start over. For instance, if your attic already has batted insulation, placing another layer of batting over it may leave air gaps between layers, affecting performance.
Now that you know a few of the factors involved in choosing attic insulation in Arizona, get the rest of the story from the experienced experts at King Insulation. We can tell you exactly how much insulation you need, point you toward the ideal products for your needs, and perform top-quality installations.