Blown Attic Insulation vs Batt Insulation

Both Blown Insulation and Batt Insulation have pro’s and con’s to them.  Are you going to do the install yourself or are you going to hire a professional?  If you are planning on doing it yourself, Blown Insulation is the easiest way to go.  You can rent the blowing machine from your local hardware store, and get the machine rental for free if you buy so many bags of insulation, but they make their money selling you the insulation.  You will also need gloves, eye protection and a mask.  You will also need a second person helping to feed the bags of insulation into the machine as you are in the attic spreading the insulation.  Before you begin, inspect the attic for any voids or holes (common air leaks) in the floor leading to the house an seal them with a can of foam sealer.  The Blown Insulation is shot out through a hose that is connected to the blowing machine.  The insulation comes out quickly and at a length of about 5-7 feet.  The advantage of using Blown Insulation in your attic compared to batt insulation is that you are able to get the insulation fibers into all the nooks and crannies.

Batt Insulation can leave gaps and areas that you cannot reach due to crawl space restrictions, but can be easy to install if you have plenty of attic space to move around in  Each roll covers about 33 per square foot. If you are going to use batt insulation, I would recommend using Owens Corning R-30 Batt Insulation. We always purchase online because it is cheaper than buying from the major home improvement stores and it gets shipped directly to us. A disadvantage to using Blown Attic Insulation is that some areas might be taller (provide more  R-value protection) in some places and shorter in others.  With Batt Insulation, the batts are all the same thickness and provide a uniform R-value.  Time spent adding Blown Insulation in the attic can be 2-3 hours (depending on size of attic and crawl space.  Batt Insulation can be more expensive because it takes longer to install, but you can easily do yourself and save some money.  Batts (or Rolled Insulation) come in rolls or square section and are installed directly on the attic floor and they are placed between the ceiling joints of your house. Batts are rectangular pieces 4-8 feet in size and are manually placed one by one, until the floor of your attic gets covered completely. Maybe the most important advantage that rolled-in insulation has over blown-in insulation is the fact that it is easy to remove should you decide in the future that additional work must be done in your attic.

What Does Insulation Do?

Insulation basically stops heat from getting into your house in the summer and helps heat from escaping in winter.  The insulation absorbs the heat and slows its movement in the house. Insulation does not completely block the transfer of heat, it simply slows it down.  Radiant Barrier can help stop the heat from getting into your attic. How well a particular insulation material works is based on its R-value. A material with a higher R-value will be a better insulator than a material with a lower value.  Higher R-value insulation will be able to prevent more heat transfer into the house or building. Check with Energy Star to see the R-value minimums for your area of the country.  Here in San Antonio, Texas, our minimum is R-30 for attics and R-12 for exterior walls.