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How to Insulate the Attic

Do you need to insulate your attic? It’s no secret that the attic is one of the biggest sources of energy loss and is, therefore, one of the best places in your home to install insulation. But do you know how to insulate this space? You have a couple different options when it comes to attic insulation: thermal and radiant barrier (reflective). What’s the difference and which one should you install?

What Insulation to Use in the Attic

What are the right types of insulation for an attic? Spray foam, batt fiberglass, blown-in fiberglass, loose-fill cellulose and radiant barrier insulation can all be installed.

Blown-In Insulation vs. Radiant Barrier

Blown-in/loose-fill insulation, such as fiberglass and cellulose, is ideal for attics. It works well for attic floors and walls and is an effective solution for helping stop heat transfer. Radiant barrier/reflective (foil) insulation is installed under the roofline, helping homes reflect heat from the sun. It is ideal in hot climates, such as Florida and Texas. Here in Minnesota, thermal insulation like blown-in fiberglass is more effective.

Spray foam and batt fiberglass are other attic insulation options. Batts are ideal for spaces free from obstructions like wiring, ducts, etc. Loose-fill insulation is usually less expensive to install and provides better coverage, able to fill small cracks and gaps.

How to Insulate an Attic

In unfinished attics, you should insulate the access door and between and over floor joists. In finished attic spaces, install insulation:

  • Between studs of knee walls
  • Between studs and rafters of exterior walls and the roof
  • In ceilings with cold spaces above them

If you have ducts in an unconditioned attic, they should also be sealed.

Learn more:

You can visit the websites of the Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR® to learn more about insulating your attic—and the rest of your home.

The Right Amount of Insulation

The right amount of insulation is just as important as the material itself! This depends on how much attic insulation you already have and where you live.

Insulation Climate Zones

Here in the Twin Cities area, we are in zone 6. In uninsulated attics, the target R-value is R49 to R60. For spaces with existing insulation, it’s R38 to R49.

Attic Insulation in Minneapolis & St. Paul

All this information can be helpful to know on the front end, but an insulation company will be able to take care of the entire project, from initial assessment and estimate to final cleanup. If you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Metro Home Insulation is a good name to know! Contact us to get started on your project.

Products We Install

We install blown and batt fiberglass in homes and buildings.


Environmentally friendly and effective, cellulose works well in homes and buildings.

Spray Foam

Our team installs energy-efficient spray foam insulation to keep homes and buildings more comfortable.


Help prevent mold and moisture infiltration in homes you build with our waterproofing services.

Insulation Removal

Metro Home Insulation provides home insulation removal services.

Air Sealing

We include air sealing in our insulation projects to help maximize your energy efficiency.

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