Increasing attic insulation is very important for energy conservation and in helping to maintain a warm and comfortable home. The attic space helps prevent heat loss from the home in the colder months and to help keep the home cooler in the summer months. Insulation is a material that has millions of very tiny air pockets that trap heat. Most older homes have too little insulation. Modern homes are more likely to have adequate amounts of attic insulation. Insulation is rated using a measure called and R-value. In simple terms the more air pockets per square inch the higher the r-value of the insulation material.

The most common insulating material is fiberglass batt. These batts are manufactured in lengths of 8 feet. This type of insulation has a paper backing that aids in the blocking of moisture. If the insulation absorbs moisture the R-values will be reduced. To be most effective the insulation should not be compressed. The thicker the insulation the higher the R-value.

To increase the R-value in an existing attic the insulation can be doubled up. Bring the level of the insulation up to the level of the top of the floor joists. If the attic has a floor you may be able to raise the floor to provide more space for additional batts of insulation. To accomplish this the existing flooring has to be removed and then new joists have to be attached across the older ones using 2X2 wood members. Insulation batts then can be installed and the sections of the floor can be replaced.
The fiberglass batts can be easily cut with a pair of scissors or utility knife. It help to compress the insulation with a 2×4 then use the edge of the wood member as a guide. Cut the insulation along the vapor barrier. Tuck the material in between the attic floor joists and allow for four inches of clearance around high hat light fixtures and vents.
When working with fiberglass insulation you must wear protective clothing because the fibers are known to irritate lungs, skin and eyes. Always wear heavy work gloves and a long sleeve shirt and pants. Were a pair of goggles and a respirator suitable for the application of fiberglass insulation. Always wash after installing insulation in order to remove irritating fibers.
Insulating the attic ceiling is not recommended. Although done often this application can trap moisture behind the insulation and rot out the roof sheeting and can contribute to mold and mildew growth. This under the roof application can also lesson the life expectancy of the roof covering because it traps heat against the underside of the roof. Only insulate under the roof if the attic space is going to be finished. Install a vapor barrier and a separation between the insulation and the underside of the roof so moisture will not become trapped against the under side of the roof.
Insulation should not cover areas of attic ventilation such as soffit vents, roof vents, and gable vents. Air circulation is very important in the attic in order to help keep things dry and warm in the winter and cooler in the summer months.