The SuperAttic system is proprietary to Dr. Energy Saver (company website). They aim to add insulation to your rafters instead of the attic floor. Since most people install flooring for additional storage space in the attic, here is a video highlighting the system:
Lets review some of what they state on the website.
Combines Insulation, Radiant Barrier & Air Sealing
The system uses SilverGlo rigid foam insulation panels to insulate and seal the attic. The insulation goes under the rafters, and if you have a gable roof, it would also go inside the gable’s ends.
It creates a continuous insulation layer that does not allow thermal bridging (where a material like a wall stud transfers energy from outside to inside). This insulation layer is also sealed to create an air barrier.
Lastly, the insulation acts as a radiant barrier with the help of foil facing.
Another benefit of the SuperAttic system is that it still provides roof venting while it seals the attic. The air barrier is on the interior, and the rafter cavity is vented from the eaves to the ridge. This helps prevent ice damming in cold climates.
First off, let’s state that no single review will be correct for every home. Your location, home design, roof/attic framing, etc., will determine the right approach for your situation. Having an energy audit done by a trained professional can help guide you for your specific house and needs.
The main question to ask if you’re thinking about this system:
- What R-value will the insulation be, and how thick will it be? This is important because you want to make sure your insulation meets building code standards. Dr. Energy will most likely know this and adjust the project to meet the requirements.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes attic space is limited and very thick foam on the interior could limit headroom.
Faulty Attic Designs
Improving attic insulation and air sealing in homes is a great idea. Although, the example homes for this system have some flawed designs, to begin with:
- Attic floors, lights, hatches, framing, etc. should be air sealed
- Insulation should be blown-in to current code minimum or most of the design and budget allows (R-60 using blown-in cellulose is often favored for this application for easy installation, low-cost and high performance)
- Unconditioned attics should not have mechanicals in them
- Attics should not be used for storage
- Flooring should not be installed (only a catwalk to get any venting, bathroom fans, etc.)
- Proper venting with usually a 2″ minimum space in the rafters that blocks insulation from wind washing
Unfortunately, a large portion of the U.S. housing stocks attics do not fit this description- and this isn’t the fault of Dr. Energy Saver. Blame the home builders and energy codes.
One negative by moving the insulation and air sealing to the roof rafters, you are increasing the amount of space you will be heating and cooling. Although, this may be required if your mechanicals are in the attic and you need extra storage space. In which case, the SuperAttic system could be an excellent system for you.
Keep an eye on humidity levels in the attic after sealing. You might need to add some ventilation.
It looks like the system uses GPS foam insulation with foil facing. Other insulation panels are available that use similar materials, and you could create your own design.
In reality… no one wants to be climbing around in an attic and doing insulation and air sealing. So hiring a contractor is what most people do, and you want to make sure it’s done correctly.
Again, we can’t tell you if the SuperAttic system is suitable for you since we don’t have all the details. But, if installed properly with the correct R-value, the system seems like it would work and would be a massive upgrade to the normal poor-performing attics that are all too common. Especially if you have mechanicals in the attic, and attic storage is a high priority.
No idea about the cost. You would need to call a Dr. Energy Saver franchise and talk to them. Natureofhome.com has no affiliation.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.