Many Australian houses have an attic space between the roof and the ceiling. Whether you use yours for storage or are planning to renovate it into a living space, you might be wondering what kind of insulation is best for an attic.
Insulating your attic is a smart move that will improve comfort inside your home, reduce your energy consumption and help you save on your power bill year round. Read on to find out what the best type of insulation for your attic is!
Why Invest in Insulation for Your Attic?
Without insulation, temperatures inside a home will fluctuate uncomfortably. It can be difficult to effectively heat or cool an under-insulated home, which drives up electricity costs.
The biggest area of heat loss and heat gain is through the roof. Insulating your attic could dramatically improve temperature regulation inside your home, leading to savings on your power bill.
If you are planning on turning your attic space into a livable area, it’s even more important to insulate the attic. Without proper insulation, temperatures can get uncomfortably hot in the attic space, especially in hot climates.
Special types of acoustic insulation will also help improve sound quality inside your attic as well as rooms below.
What’s the Difference Between Ceiling Insulation Vs Attic Insulation?
Ceiling insulation is installed over the ceiling plasterboard and it’s essential in every home, not just if you’re planning an attic conversion.
Attic insulation is installed between the roof rafters, underneath the roof sarking. It’s purpose is to regulate temperatures inside the attic space so they are comfortable and safe for living purposes.
If you are simply trying to improve the insulation of your home rather than convert your attic into a liveable space, insulation costs and calculations are much easier. For attic conversions, it’s best to seek professional advice about your specific project.
Read more about HOW TO WORK OUT THE COST OF ADDING INSULATION TO YOUR ATTIC.
What Kind of Insulation for the Attic Is the Best?
There are a number of options when it comes to insulating your attic space. The best choice depends on a number of factors including what you plan on using your attic space for, the climate of where you live and your budget.
Check out the best attic insulation products below to get started. For project-specific advice, reach out to the team at Pricewise Insulation.
Glasswool Insulation Batts
Glasswool (also known as fibreglass insulation) is one of the most affordable and popular insulation materials. It is made mostly from recycled glass materials and sand. The raw materials are melted together and then spun into very fine fibres.
Glasswool is a highly effective thermal insulator which works by trapping billions of tiny air pockets between its fibres. These air pockets break up the flow of heat, reducing the amount of heat loss and gain in your attic space.
Glasswool products were once notorious for their itchiness, but modern products have achieved a much softer texture. Brands like Knauf Earthwool use special technology to spin longer fibres and the result is a glasswool product with all of the thermal benefits and hardly any of the itchiness.
Some of our most popular glasswool products for attic applications include:
Polyester Insulation Batts
Polyester insulation is a more premium product compared to glasswool because it contains no breathable particles. This makes it a good choice if people with asthma or allergies will be using the attic space.
Polyester is made predominantly from recycled plastic materials such as plastic bottles, bags and packaging. The fibres are non-irritant, non-toxic and non-allergenic and don’t contain any harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde.
Polyester insulation batts are effective at reducing heat loss and gain in the attic. They work essentially the same way as glasswool batts, trapping millions of tiny air pockets which break up the pathway of heat.
Our most popular polyester insulation batts are:
Acoustic Insulation Batts
If you live under a flight path or experience strong winds and heavy rains throughout the year, you might consider installing acoustic insulation batts in your attic.
Acoustic insulation batts have all the benefits that thermal insulation offers and they will also reduce the amount of unwanted sound entering your home.
Acoustic insulation is highly recommended if you are planning on converting your attic into a livable space. The noise from things like footsteps and appliances in the attic can easily travel to the living spaces below if the ceiling is not properly sound proofed.
Acoustic batts are thicker and more dense than thermal batts. This density helps absorb sound waves, greatly reducing the amount of noise that travels between rooms of your home.
Our most popular acoustic insulation batts for livable attic spaces include:
- Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield Ceiling Batts
- Fletcher Pink Soundbreak Insulation Batts
- Bradford SoundScreen Acoustic Insulation Batts
- Bradford Polymax Acoustic Insulation Batts
Whether you use your attic for storage, are planning to convert it into a living space or don’t do anything with it, it’s important to protect your roof from radiant heat from the sun. Without adequate insulation, your attic space will get very hot and this heat can transfer to the rest of your home.
The best way to protect your home from radiant heat from the sun is by installing reflective insulation under the roofing material.
Reflective insulation is made with a thin foil layer which reflects radiant heat away from your home, helping keep it at a more comfortable temperature. This is crucial if you want your attic to be livable and it will also help lower your cooling costs.
Popular reflective insulation products we supply at Pricewise Insulation include:
Loose Fill and Spray Foam Insulation
We don’t typically recommend loose fill and spray foam insulation at Pricewise Insulation as it has a number of disadvantages compared to insulation batts.
Read more about expanding foam vs insulation batts.
What R-value Insulation Do You Need for Your Attic?
If you want to maximise temperature regulation and energy efficiency, we recommend investing in the highest R-Value attic insulation that your budget allows for provided that there is enough space in your roof for the install method.
R-Value indicates how much insulation power the product has. The higher the R-Value, the more effective the product will be at resisting heat flow and keeping your home at a comfortable temperature year round.
Keep in mind that there may be building guidelines regarding minimum R-Values for the region you live in.
Read more: What does R-Value mean?
How to Install Insulation in Your Attic
You can hire a professional insulation installer or do it yourself if you have the right equipment and understand what’s involved.
Attic insulation can be installed in new homes during the renovation phase and it can be retrofitted in older homes. Avoid installing attic insulation during the hottest part of the day as the roof area can get very hot.
Read more about HOW TO INSTALL INSULATION IN YOUR ATTIC.
Need Help Finding the Best Kind of Insulation for Your Attic?
At Pricewise Insulation, we have a wide range of quality and affordable insulation solutions for attics in Australian homes.
If you need advice about choosing the best kind of insulation for your attic, get in touch with our team of specialists and we can help you find the ideal products for your needs.