How to Measure Attic For Insulation

Insulating your attic is an ideal way to cut energy costs and create a safer living space in your home. However, to ensure an effective insulation installation it is vital that you understand how to measure your attic properly for insulation installation and follow any Department of Energy recommendations for your region.

Measure the Length

Homeowners with existing insulation in their attics may already possess significant layers. By utilizing a tape measure or ruler, it’s easy to ascertain its depth; this information will allow you to know whether or not it meets the recommended levels for your area.

Your attic insulation’s R-value can be determined by its average depth. Colder climates typically need higher R-value insulation.

Once you know your depth measurement, multiply it by the length and width of your attic to get its square footage. This can help you determine how much insulation – either blown-in or bagged – will need to be added for desired levels of insulation in your home. Insulation bags typically feature charts on their packaging that indicate how many square feet each bag covers; then simply divide this total area by that number indicated on each bag to find your total attic square footage.

Measure the Width

Homeowners often need to decide how much insulation to add to their attic, which requires making an educated guess based on the law of diminishing returns – beyond a certain point adding more insulation may not produce energy-saving results.

Step two is to measure the width of your attic using a tape measure, by taking measurements from one joist bottom. This will give an idea of how much room there is available.

If your insulation comes in batt form, each package should include a chart showing how many square feet it covers; this can help you estimate how many bags of insulation will be necessary. Blown-in insulation such as Greenfiber’s SANCTUARY(r) insulation comes with specific cubic foot coverage numbers for each bag purchased simply divide this figure by your climate zone’s R-value to calculate how many bags are necessary to achieve that level.

Measure the Height

Homeowners may use a calculator, measuring tape, and ladder or step stool to take accurate measurements. If they plan on re-insulating their walls, they’ll need to calculate each wall’s area by multiplying its height and width before subtracting windows and doors in order to get its footprint or square footage.

Homeowners will first need to locate the point on a joist near their attic entrance where their current insulation ends, using a tape measure in between joists to

carefully record its length. As part of their attic inspection process, homeowners should determine the current R-value to establish how much additional insulation may be necessary to reach their desired R-value level; the climate zone dictates this need. Greenfiber suggests installing attic insulation between R-38 and R-49, which can be achieved with 11 to 14 inches of blown cellulose insulation. To calculate how many bags of cellulose insulation they need for this depth of coverage in their climate zone, divide their desired R-value figure with its equivalent per inch value on insulation manufacturer packaging.

Measure the Depth

The depth of insulation is an integral factor of the R-value. The more insulation there is, the better it is at resisting heat flow. You can measure its depth using either a ruler or tape measure in any home with loose-fill, rolled foam, or spray foam insulation.

Mark where your ruler hits, repeating this step at various spots across your attic floor joists. Accurate measurements are essential when planning any project; using precise measurements helps determine your current R-value and allows for easier planning of future endeavors.

Low attic insulation levels can be costly in hot climates. Poorly insulated homes waste energy and make your living experience less comfortable during both summer and winter seasons. By taking the time to measure the depth of your attic insulation, you can ensure your home meets the R-value recommendations for your region and qualify for Home Insulation Rebate Program rebates more easily.

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