Summary – Properly insulating the attic is essential for preventing thermal loss and energy wastage.
Homes lose most of the heating or cooling energy through the attic. Indeed, lack of proper insulation in the attic can cause cold air to get into the house during winter and warm air during the summer. In either case, the HVAC systems have to work harder to heat or cool the house, thus leading to excessive energy usage. To add to this, dangerous ice dams can form on the roof as well.
Insulating the attic is therefore considered the best means for keeping a lid on those atrociously-high energy bills! The trick is to have enough insulation either on the rafters above or floor joists below. It should be done in such a way that the rafters or joists are not visible at all. This will seal off the living spaces below. Simultaneously, insulating the attic door and sealing all air leaks is also imperative.
There are different types of insulation products – such as loose-fill, fiberglass rolls, batts, rigid foam, spray on, etc. While the latter ones are more expensive (and more effective too with higher R values), the cheaper batts and loose-fill are mostly preferred for sealing the attic spaces.
Energy wastage becomes a thing of the past as the attic energy efficient insulation stabilizes the indoor temperature of the house, thus effectively controlling the heating/cooling needs as well! In fact, according to the Department of Energy estimates, a properly insulated attic can reduce 10%-50% of the energy consumption!