Updated: May 3
Hollywood has mostly mild to hot climates, probably requiring its residents to install air conditioning systems for climate control and comfortable living. This can lead to high energy costs that can be controlled with proper attention to the right equipment and insulation of the home.
Attics are normally used to store your goods and belongings that you do not use daily, and also to form a ceiling over the rooms being used. They also act to protect the roof heat from coming into the home. The space between the roof and the attic floor can get heated, and this can affect the rooms below. You can always dissipate this heat with proper ventilation and venting, but even so the difference in temperatures between the attic and the space below can be quite a lot and this can affect your air conditioning and cause it to work extra hard. The attic can do the job better if it is properly insulated. Proper insulation of attics and air sealing can reduce energy costs by as much as 15 percent.Insulation can also add to the soundproofing of your home.
Before you go in for insulation of the attic, it is necessary to properly evaluate the condition of the attic and the roof over it. All leaks in the attic must be sealed so that no air can be transferred from the inside and outside. This helps in maintaining the required temperature in the house. Heat typically rises in a home and warms the attic and the space between the roof and the attic. The heat from the roof is added to this and this can combine to heat up the rooms below and reduce the effectiveness of any air conditioning. To prevent this, it will also be prudent to see that the attic ventilation is working properly and if necessary must be augmented by arranging for more vents or higher capacity exhaust fans.
Insulating the attic needs such insulation to be laid on the floor as well as the underside of the roof. This can also help in reducing the heat inside the attic, and make your ventilation system function better. How much insulation will you need in Hollywood? R-value for California (that is where Hollywood is) suggested by the US Department of Energy is R30. Insulating materials have different R- values per inch and this enables you to calculate the thickness value of the insulation you need.
There is a wide variety of insulating material available and the ones suggested for warmer climates, like that in Hollywood, are spray foam insulation, loose fill insulation, reflective insulation, radiant barrier insulation, and rolled batt insulation that is the one most commonly used. Your choice of insulation must depend on the thickness that you will require, the space available in your attic, and the budget that you have.
Spray foam insulation has a high R value and fills in every nook and crack in the floor or the roof and can also seal air leaks. It expands as it is applied. Loose fill insulation is blown into attics with huge machines and requires installation by professionals with the right equipment. Reflective insulation is best coupled with bulk insulation and has aluminum foil attached to a paper base. Radiant barrier insulation reflects heat and is often a second layer of defense. The most commonly used batt insulation comes in rolls. You may require quite a thickness, even in Hollywood, and that can take up a lot of space in your attic. It is a type of insulation that is easy to install and ideal for DIYers. Materials used in this insulation are fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool. Special care needs to be taken to have proper insulation around the access doors or pull downstairs that give you access to attics.
Once you have decided to insulate your attic, you will probably not be able to use its storage space, because of the thickness of the insulation taking up space, and the fact that you cannot put loads over it without affecting its insulating properties. Find other ways to store your things, like having shelves on walls or hooks from the ceiling to hold things.