What's In Your Attic?


To the average homeowner, the attic is not someplace they visit all that often. In fact, it’s usually an out-of-sight, out-of-mind place which is packed with boxes of holiday decorations or suitcases for the family vacation. When we do visit our attics, our attention is usually focused on getting what it is we’re there for without stepping through the ceiling on accident. Because we mostly want to get in and out, we may never actually notice one of the more important aspects of the attic: the insulation.

Believe it or not, attic insulation plays an immensely important role when it comes to heating and cooling your home. Having good insulation can help you save money, live more comfortably, and even help avoid potential breakdowns with your furnace or air conditioner. Poor insulation can lead to a lot of extra money out of your pocket, plus a home that always seems to be hot uncomfortable in summer as well as cold and drafty in winter.

Recommended Attic Insulation

Did you know, the U.S. Department of Energy has recommended an appropriate amount of insulation for optimizing your home’s heating and cooling needs? They have split the U.S. into four different climate zones and recommended specific R-value ranges for each one. An R-value is a way of quantifying insulation levels in terms of its ability to retain heat. Here in South Louisiana, the recommended R-value is R30 to R60, which means that the insulation in your attic should be between 10.5 and 19.75 inches thick in order to reach this value.

Seem like a lot? Well there’s a reason for that: insulation settles and degrades over time. Most homeowners don’t realize that their attic insulation settles over time, causing it to break down, which diminishes its effectiveness. Old, broken down insulation allows heat to travel into or escape from the home via the ceiling and walls. This unwanted heat exchange causes your HVAC system to work longer and harder than it should, increasing those already-high energy bills.

Do I Need More Insulation?

The secret to what makes insulation work is the millions upon millions of tiny little air pockets created by the fibrous material that composes these giant, thick blankets you see in your attic. This material alone is pretty useless when it comes to transferring heat, but forcing the heat to go through hundreds or even thousands of layers of it effectively stops the transfer of heat and keeps your attic and your home separated properly. Usually, the thicker the insulation the more air pockets there are giving you a higher R rating.

An easy way to see if you need to add insulation to your attic is to look at the ceiling joists (The exposed wooden beams which support the sheetrock or drywall which comprises the ceiling in your home and the floor in your attic). If you can see them easily, then you need to add insulation. If you have any areas where ceiling drywall is exposed, you need to add insulation as well. As a DIY project, adding insulation can be time consuming, tedious, and difficult. You should also consider the hazardous material you will be working with and the safety precautions necessary to safely do the job.

However, that’s why the professional technicians from Bitter Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. are here! When you call our office, our technicians can come directly to you and give you an estimate for your insulation needs. In a matter of an hour or two, our installation specialist can blow a thick blanket of loose insulation across the floor of the attic. Just adding a few inches of insulation to your attic floor can be an easy and affordable way to dramatically lower your energy bills.

Let us show you how affordable adding insulation can be and just how much you could save by doing it! Call Bitter Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at (225) 500-2035 today.