The importance of attic insulation
The attic is an important interface between the living space and the building exterior. In summer heat from the sun called Solar heat gain causes the roof temperature to rise dramatically and this heat passes down into the attic space by conduction and radiation. A typical attic can reach temperatures of 140F and the objective is to stop the heat reaching the living space. In the winter we want to stop the cold outside air from reaching the living space. Attics are usually ventilated to allow hot air to escape and also to keep the attic dry.
Insulation is for summer as well as winter
Most of the densely populated areas in South Florida are in warmer climate zones which tend to have warm or hot, dry summers with a little rain. The humidity is low throughout the year but especially in summer. People tend to use electricity to power AC systems for summer cooling and natural gas for winter heat, and because gas is a much cheaper form of energy than electricity the highest energy cost is typically in summer months.
Loose-fill insulation is generally made out of small bits of fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool. These small particles can conform to any space without disturbing the structure or fixtures. It must be applied using an insulation blowing machine. This type of attic insulation is best used in attics with irregular joist spacing, attics that have a lot of obstructions that you have to get around, and attics that have existing insulation which needs to be topped off. It is also great for low clearance attics in which you do not have a lot of room to maneuver. Open blow applications are typically used for attic spaces. Closed cavity applications are used for inside walls or covering attic floors. There is generally a settling that occurs with loose-fill attic insulation.
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