The Benefits of Ceiling Insulation
September 16, 2015
Experts in the industry agree that ceiling insulation is a cost-effective measure in ensuring energy efficiency. It will reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, and it will demonstrably improve indoor comfort, providing balanced temperatures throughout the house. Ceiling insulation, when properly chosen, and professionally installed, can provide annual cost savings on utilities that will make the project investment well worthwhile. Like any home improvement project, ceiling insulation requires proper management. And the priorities are straightforward: making sure that the space is fully sealed; choosing the right R-Value levels for the purpose; making certain that the insulation is expertly installed; ensuring that coverage is consistent and complete; and assuring appropriate ventilation. Clearly, ceiling insulation should be viewed as a system with various components. The attic floor covering a flat ceiling is one of the easiest parts of a building "envelope" to insulate. It's accessible, level and uniform. But ceiling insulation may also include cathedral ceilings, which will present some installation challenges. Either way, proper ventilation in the attic must be guaranteed so that air circulates and moisture is controlled. For ceiling insulation to perform at its maximum, ventilation needs to be part of the installation. Today, there are numerous products and installations used in ceiling insulation. Each has upsides and downsides, and each has a relative price tag. Somewhat conventionally, loose-fill insulation or fiberglass batts have been used in the attic. Here again, the basics of air leakage are common to all ceiling insulation efforts (especially for dropped ceilings). And the most important is to seal wiring, plumbing, light fixtures, and ventilating fans. The truth is, most insulation products do not stop airflow. This is particularly critical when it comes to ceiling insulation, because the attic is the worst place for air leakage. That's why many contractors are choosing to install polyurethane spray foam insulation. As ceiling insulation, it uniformly envelops the ceiling, roof and attic. It's the ultimate sealer, and will fully blanket crossbeams and roof joists; electrical and plumbing; and all of ductwork. For ceiling insulation projects, spray foam has proven to be a multi-purpose application. It creates an airtight space, it provides an effective vapor barrier, and it ensures the highest R-Value of any comparable insulation product. Spray foam insulation accommodates all of the concerns of ceiling insulation, and although the installation is somewhat more costly than other products, the long-term benefits, and the annual utility savings are well worthwhile. Contractors with extensive experience in ceiling insulation often offer a "hybrid" install for a more cost effective approach. The "hybrid" install combines spray foam insulation along with "blown-in" insulation. Both products work together and deliver excellent results. And beyond the cost effective approach, the main requisites of ceiling insulation are addressed: the space is airtight; moisture is controlled; and insulation potential is optimized. At the end of the day, a professional approach to ceiling insulation can guarantee home comfort, energy conservation, and lower utility bills throughout the year.