A home with a properly insulated ceiling will be warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather. Nearly half of the heat that is lost in a home is lost through the ceiling, and a properly insulated ceiling prevents the heat of the sun from penetrating your home in the summer. Adding ceiling insulation is an economical way to make your home more comfortable and lower your utility bills.
There are a variety of types of ceiling insulation available. You can choose loose fill insulation, which is poured or blown into the attic, or batt insulation, which is rolled into place. Loose fill insulation requires that you first go into your attic and cover all fans, vents or recessed lighting that may be in the ceiling. Once you have taken the time to cover these areas, loose fill insulation is easy to install. It makes a good choice for ceiling insulation if the roof of your attic is low or your attic contains many cross beams or other obstructions that would make working in the attic difficult.
Batt insulation typically comes with a vapor barrier attached, which will prevent moisture from building up in the attic. Installing the insulation is simply a matter of rolling it out in the attic. You can go around any vents or fans without the need to use baffles as you do with loose insulation.
Ceiling insulation is a good way to lower your utility costs, but it is important not to install too much insulation. Insulation can be heavy, and any time that you add additional weight to your roof you should be aware of the potential impact on your home. Before installing ceiling insulation, look carefully at the support materials. The joists should be firm, with no cracks in the boards or between boards. If your attic is finished, the floor should be firmly attached to the joists, with no hint of separation. If you are concerned that your attic is not in a condition to hold the additional weight of ceiling insulation, consult with an experienced contractor.
If you determine that your attic can withstand the weight, you are ready to insulate. A properly insulated ceiling is a straightforward home maintenance task, and one that is easily completed by the homeowner. Wear protective gear, including eye goggles, gloves and a respirator. Insulation can be irritating if it comes in contact with your skin or is breathed in. Microscopic fiberglass fibers can enter the skin and cause irritation that is worse than any splinter. Installing the insulation is a simple process, but it is helpful to have someone to help. Your helper can hand tools and insulation up to the attic, saving you countless trips, and will be there if you should fall or need help in some way.