Energy Attic's Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

All About Radiant Barrier

Radiant Barrier is unlike mass insulation which only slows down or resists heat transfer. RB reflects heat. Heat always goes cold by natural law – the problem is how to keep the heat in in the winter and how to keep it out in the summer. There are three ways in which heat goes from warm spaces to cold spaces: CONDUCTION is direct heat flow through a solid object such as a wall or a ceiling. CONVECTION is heat movement through air, occurring when air is warmed. The warm air expands, becoming less dense and rising. RADIATION is the movement of heat rays across air spaces from one warm object to a cooler object. The heat we feel from a wood stove or a quartz space heater is radiant heat. ALL OBJECTS AND BODIES GIVE OFF RADIANT HEAT. Even the insulation in your attic gives off radiant heat to the cold attic space in the winter, and to the living space in the summer. Regular insulation won’t stop radiant heat loss. Radiant heat must be REFLECTED with a radiant barrier. Read more.

All About Insulation

Insulation comes in a few different shapes and sizes. Insulation can be blown in as a loose filled product, it can be placed in the wall or attic using “batts” or prefabricated strips or rolls of insulation, it can be attached using different types of fasteners as a ridged board or panel, and it can be sprayed using a wet spray or paint/foam base chemical. Different types of material include fiberglass, cellulose, rock-wool, denim, rolled fiberglass batts, spray foam, vermiculite, and a few other rare types that aren’t used much. Insulation has changed a lot over the years, excluding harmful materials like formaldehyde and asbestos, and becoming more air quality conscious and friendly for the environment.

The Department of Energy recommends an R-38 for our “southern climate”, but many energy
efficient homes in our area install up to R-60. It’s best to inspect your entire attic to make an
assessment on recommended insulation levels and also make a good decision for a quick return
on investment. Read more.

Cellulose is a dense, recycled-paper type material. It will settle over time. You can spray it with boric acid, or various insecticide, but it can be dusty, break down over time, and lose value. Fiberglass is a much lighter material, is dust free, won’t settle, and is much more conducive to better indoor air quality. Our blown in fiberglass products are formaldehyde free. We do not recommend using cellulose insulation in your attic.
No, but is helpful in remediating a pest infestation, cleaning up air quality and removing dust and other harmful materials that might affect air quality in a living space. In most cases, it is not detrimental to add new insulation on top of old, but it is most likely beneficial and could help improve indoor air quality. Learn more.

We do offer spray foam services, but more than likely your home was NOT designed for spray foam. Spray foam does perform better than fiberglass in most cases, but should not be considered as an “apples to apples” product. Spray foam changes the entire dynamic of your home’s energy “envelope” and should be considered as a complete redesign. Also, the spray foam conversation changes greatly between foam on the rafters of your attic, or foam in the walls of your house.

If your home was designed to breathe and exhaust, we have a strategic system for the majority of retrofit installs that considers the original home design, and is in most cases more cost efficient than spray foam.

Open-cell spray foam is most used in the attic for residential settings. It’s more cost efficient than closed-cell, and more appropriate against wood structures. Closed-cell foam is most used with metal structures, is more expensive per square inch, and is more conducive to humid or moist environments like crawl spaces. If your home was designed to breathe and exhaust, we have a strategic system for the majority of retrofit installs that considers the original home design, and is in most cases more cost efficient than spray foam.
Spray foam is a two-part mixture of chemicals that expand rapidly and solidify to fill a cavity or void, completely and permanently, adhering to wood, metal, concrete, and other materials. Spray foam when applied properly by professionals is very effective because it offers both an air seal, and an insulation R-value (resistance to heat). Spray foam slows the transfer of heat or conditioned air. Learn more.
Yes. We require in most cases your home be vacant for 2-24 hours during a spray foam install.

All About Ventilation

A balance between intake and exhaust is important. Analyze how many soffit or gable vents you have to ensure you have enough air coming into your attic to supply a powered roof vent, or generate movement with a turbine.

If you have enough supply/intake, we do not feel that you can have too much exhaust. Solar powered roof vents are efficient, and can dramatically lower your attic temperature when paired with proper soffit or gable vent supply. Read more.

Ridge vents are passive, and must be calculated to ensure you have enough ridge to actually support this type of system (A lot of North Texas homes do not have a lot of ridge!). Ridge vents must be properly cut and installed to ensure they will be effective. Like any other roof vent, you must have adequate supply (soffit or gable vent)…and that supply should coincide with the roof vent system.
If you have enough supply (soffit or gable vent), it’s actually very difficult to create an air pressure that would pull from your home’s air conditioning before it pulls from your attic air intake. It is really important to consider your recess can lighting, attic pull down access, bathroom vents etc. are all properly sealed to prevent your roof ventilation system from drawing air from the wrong places.

All About Indoor Air Quality

Your home is constantly circulating air – all of which is trying to make it back through your ac system/filter. Most filters are not equipped to capture the harmful particles that float through your home air. Even if your air filter could catch the small particulates, in most cases those particles are not large enough to even make it to the filter. Harmful particulates like the flu virus float through your home’s air and can cause airborne illness. Read more

If you have flexible ductwork, there is a risk of tearing or ripping it from the inside if you aren’t careful when trying to clean it. If your ducts are over 10 years old, most likely they will need to be replaced as ductwork can become brittle and risky to move after that age. We do find that replacing ductwork has both a positive air quality and energy efficiency impact. Find a company with a great reputation that will take great care while cleaning your ductwork, if replacing them is not in the budget. Learn more about ductwork.
Dust in your home is circulated through your ac system, which accumulates inside the plenum and ductwork. If you see dark spots in or around your registers/vents, it’s probably because the inside if your ductwork is filthy. In some cases, it can actually be mold or mildew which can grow if your ductwork or ac system in the attic is not properly insulated. Learn more about duct leakage.
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