Attic Insulation in Utah - Everything You Need to Know

Installing attic insulation is an incredibly effective way to make your home more energy-efficient and save money on utility bills.

However, there are lots of things to consider when applying insulation into your home attic. Whether it’s figuring out how much material you should purchase, or finding the right contractor for the job, there’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to attic insulation, not to mention the state, local, and federal regulations regarding home insulation that needs to be taken into account.

Homeowners in Utah have to pay attention to these components to ensure that they’re getting the best possible insulation for their attic. In this article, we’ll discuss the various elements that Utah residents need to look out for to keep their attics the right temperature all year long.

Utah Attic Insulation Guide

What type of insulation is best for Utah attics?

Depending on which parts of your attic you’re trying to insulate, we recommend two different types of insulation products.

Utah Attic Insulation - Blown in and Reflective Insulation

For most Utah residents, floor insulation is the best choice for attic insulation.

Get a free attic inspection and quote to insulate your attic.

Attic floors are the primary barrier between your attic and the rest of your home. When talking about floor insulation, it’s important to note that there are two different types to choose from: batt insulation, or loose-fill or blown-in insulation.

Roll and batt insulation are perfect if your attic has a large surface area. Batt insulation either comes in a big roll that you can spread across your attic floor, or in smaller pieces that you can combine to cover a large area. They’re usually made out of cellulose or fiberglass, and are generally affordable.

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is cellulose or fiberglass insulation pieces that are broken up and spread around your attic. Installing this type of insulation requires you to break up and “blow” the material using a machine, which is where it gets its name. Blown-in insulation is great for insulating tight areas around your attic, or areas that have already been insulated but need to be topped off.

Utah homeowners should also consider installing reflective insulation to increase the performance of traditional systems. These types of insulation products can help stop radiant heat transfer, reflecting it back to its source. This helps keep homes in Utah warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and further decreases reliance on heating and cooling equipment.

Because Utah has the largest average home size in the United States, homeowners with bigger homes and subsequently larger attics should invest in insulation. However, regardless of the size of your attic, you’re bound to have some tight spots that batt insulation just can’t get to. In these instances, we recommend using blown-in insulation.

How much attic insulation do you need in Utah?

To calculate how much insulation your attic is going to need, measure the length times the width of either your entire attic or the specific area you want insulated to get the square footage. If you’re using blown-in insulation, you’ll need to fill up the insulation to a specific height. Reference the back of the insulation package to find the recommended height based on your R-value.

What is R-value?

The R-value is the measurement of thermal resistance, or how much the insulation can resist heat flow. Basically, the higher the R-value, the better your insulation is at keeping warm air in or out of your attic.

How much insulation you need depends on where you live in the U.S. Because there’s variation in climate throughout North America, the R-value you’ll need to reference is going to change based on location.

R-Value based on location

Currently, there are 8 different climate zones throughout the U.S. The Department of Energy has several different R-value recommendations for attics, basements, and other walls. Unfortunately, the climate zones are designated purely based on location and don’t incorporate state lines. As such, Utah is in the middle of three different climate zones.

Utah Attic Insulation - R-Value Map

Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich, Summit, Uintah, and Wasatch Counties are all in Climate Zone 6. The recommended floor R-value for these areas is 30.

Beaver, Davis, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Juab, Kane Millard, Piute, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Utah, Wayne, and Weber Counties are in Climate Zone 5, with the recommended floor R-value being 30 as well.

Washington County is the lone county in Climate Zone 3, with a recommended floor R-value of 19.

As such, finding the proper square footage and R-value are the two most important components for figuring out how much insulation you need to purchase. If you’re unsure about the exact amount you’ll need, you can either use online R-value calculators or call a contractor for a quote.

How much does attic insulation cost in Utah?

Now that you’ve figured out what types of insulation you need and how much you’ll need to satisfy requirements, it’s almost time to get started. But first, you’ll need to calculate how much all of this will cost.

Get a free attic inspection and quote to insulate your attic.

On average, attic insulation can range between $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot depending on the size of your attic and the materials you choose to insulate it with. There are, however, other costs to consider such as labor.

Contractors generally charge about $70 per hour to complete this procedure, and how long they’ll need will depend on both the size of your attic and whether there are any obstructions in their way. You should also hire an electrician to check if there are any junction boxes or cables that can be disrupted by insulation. They usually charge about $85 an hour.

In Utah, the average cost of installing attic insulation doesn’t vary too much. With that being said, it’s important to research how much the procedure will cost in your specific location. Every house is different, and your city might have very different code regulations from the town right over. Check your local building codes for things like R-value and vapor barrier requirements.

If you need reliable estimates to gauge your attic insulation budget, Manta has a database that tracks the average cost for each city in Utah. It’s worth noting, however, that Manta does not incorporate labor costs, inspection fees, or permit expenses in their estimates, as those are data that are purely dependent on location.

Before contacting a professional to install attic insulation, ask yourself these questions about the overall state of your attic:

  • Is your attic air sealed?
  • Do you need to fix your ductwork to prevent moisture buildup?
  • Does your attic have good ventilation? Does everything that’s being ventilated into your attic have a way out?
  • Do you have mold in your attic? Do you need to contact a professional to remove any mold?

Contractors will have a much easier time installing attic insulation if you have all of those bases covered. If not, they’ll have to work around those obstructions and likely take more time, costing you more money.

Are there any attic insulation incentives for Utah residents?

Utah residents can claim state-approved rebates to help offset the cost of installing insulation and other related services, as the state considers this a step toward greater energy efficiency. The program applies to costs related to insulating attics, air-sealing, and duct ventilation.

A ThermWise approved contractor must be in charge of installation, meaning the rebate does not apply if you install it yourself or contract a non-approved provider.

You’ll be accommodated up to $0.25 for each square foot of attic insulation that you install, and if you’re air-sealing the attic prior to insulation, you can receive $100 and an additional $0.20 per square foot as well.

For more information on this weatherization rebate program, please visit ThermWise.com.

How to hire a Utah attic insulation contractor

Now that you’ve figured out how much insulation you’ll need and how much this is all going to cost, it’s time to find the right contractor who can handle the process.

An insulation contractor can properly inspect your attic and outline the necessary steps you’ll need to take to get it all done. They can advise you about what type of insulation you’ll need, their requisite R-value, and all the other components we’ve discussed so far in this article.

However, we understand how hard it is to pick the right contractor when almost every single company claims that they’re the best in your area. For this reason, we’ve come up with a few key things to look for when picking your contractor.

Make sure they’re thorough

If a contractor comes by your house for an inspection and they perform various diagnostic tests, look through every corner of your attic, and give you a thorough explanation of what they saw, that’s an indication of their experience and reliability. Beware of contractors who take a quick peek in your attic and simply suggest putting in a few inches of insulation. They should be initiating conversations about your attic’s insulation and ventilation issues while providing detailed steps on how to move forward.

Check their reviews

Going online and looking through their services and offers is a great way to see if a contractor is legit. If they provide lifetime warranties, that means they’re confident in their work to the point where they’re willing to follow up with you to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. See what others are saying about a contractor. If reviews are generally positive, that’s a sign of a reliable contractor.

Get a free attic inspection and quote to insulate your attic.

Attic insulation is anything but simple, but Utah residents will greatly benefit from doing the proper research and spending their money on the right services and products. A properly insulated attic translates into a much more comfortable and energy-efficient home, and big savings on your utility bills down the line.