Installing a Radiant Barrier in the Attic | Alternative Method to Insulate the Attic

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To insulate an attic the conventional way in Cleveland, you need to air seal it from the conditioned space, seal and insulate existing air ducts, and line the attic floor with blown-in insulation. All of this is to be done according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s recommended R-Values for attic insulation in the region, which in Ohio is between R-49 and R-60. That method establishes the attic floor as thermal boundary of the building envelope.

The problem with this method is that the attic remains unconditioned, therefore temperatures change drastically as the seasons change. The attic is very cold when it is cold outside, and on hot summer days it can reach temperatures as high as 140 degrees! If you have uninsulated air ducts running through such a hostile environment, the air that you paid to heat and cool is loosing or gaining temperature as it passes through the attic and is released into the rest of your home.

An alternative way to insulate the attic, is to make the attic a part of the conditioned space in your home. That means making the attic as cool as possible during summertime and as warm as possible during wintertime.

To accomplish this, Dr. Energy Saver of Cleveland recommends the SuperAttic System. In this approach, a high R-Value, 4-inch thick, and foil lined rigid foam insulation board, called SilverGlo, is fastened to the underside of the roof, leaving the soffit and ridge vents unobstructed so that the roof can be vented.

The SilverGlo boards are then taped and sealed to prevent air leakage. This process establishes the underside of the roof as the thermal boundary of the house. The insulation will prevent heat conduction in or out of the attic. The radiant barrier on both sides of the SilverGlo will reflect heat back to the outside on hot days, and to the inside on cold days.

An attic insulated with the SuperAttic System has a temperature very similar to the temperature of the living areas of your home. You can use it for storage, and the air ducts in the attic are now running through a conditioned space which conserves temperature. As a result, your home will be much easier to cool and heat.

To learn more about the SuperAttic System or to schedule your free attic evaluation in Cleveland, Ohio, visit our website or give us a call!

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