Your attic’s insulation is important for several reasons. Simply put, it keeps your home at a comfortable temperature, saving you money and keeping your roof in good shape. It’s important that you insulate your attic properly and that you keep it maintained.
If you need to remove insulation from the attic, have it installed, or simply have it inspected, contact an attic insulation specialist. A professional can provide you with recommendations and a plan of action.
Here’s why you shouldn’t take your attic’s insulation for granted:
Having good insulation increases your home’s energy efficiency because it preserves the temperature indoors. In the winter, it stops the warm air in your home from escaping through the ceiling, so you don’t waste energy heating the house. In the summer, it does the opposite and blocks the outside heat from penetrating the home. This means that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard, lowering your energy bills.
Attic insulation helps keep a stable temperature indoors, so you can be more comfortable. You can set the thermostat to a temperature you want, and it will stay. Like a blanket, the insulation above will stop the air indoors from escaping, so you can enjoy your heating and air conditioning properly.
Insulation reduces the amount of warm air that rises into the attic, which helps prevent condensation. Condensation occurs when warm and cold air collide, so if heat rises into the attic, where it is cold, water droplets will form. These water droplets will cause mold throughout the walls of the home, which is a serious health hazard and structural issue.
Attic insulation also stops the roof from getting too hot, so the shingles last longer. If there is too much heat, snow will melt and form ice dams, which can break the gutters and cause flooding.
Air Quality and Soundproofing
The insulation in your attic helps shield your home from pollutants such as dirt, dust, and allergens, so you can breathe better. It also reduces the echo in your home because it absorbs soundwaves. Attic insulation is thick and plush, so it prevents noises from reverberating in the attic.
When Attic Insulation Needs Replacing
Attic insulation can last for 100 years, but it depends on the type you have. Blown-in cellulose, for example, is a modern solution that lasts for roughly 20 years. Several factors affect its lifespan, however, such as water damage, animal invasions, and hazards.
If you’re experiencing any of the following indicators, contact an attic insulation specialist for an inspection. You may need to replace your insulation.
You’re paying too much in utilities
Utility bills are a pain. Heating and cooling may account for up to 70% of your bill, so if you suspect that you’re paying too much, your insulation may be inefficient. Poor insulation lets warm air escape through the ceiling, wasting energy and costing you more. In the summer, it forces your air conditioning to work a lot harder than it has to.
Your HVAC system is unreliable
Are you having trouble keeping a consistent temperature throughout the house? Does the temperature swing back and forth? Cold spots, drafts, and swinging temperatures may indicate a problem with your attic’s insulation.
Your insulation is outdated
Homes used to be insulated with asbestos, which has been proven to cause lung cancer. Over 50 countries have banned its use since the 1970s, but it is still present in many older homes today. Standards change, and safer, more efficient types of insulation continue to emerge.
You’ve had wildlife removed
Birds, squirrels, and raccoons like to nest in attics because they’re comfortable. The problem with these pests is that they leave feces and urine behind them, contaminating the air you breathe and compromising your insulation. If you’ve had pests removed from the attic, you probably need to fix parts of the insulation.
The insulation is damaged or worn out
Insulation that is damp, moldy, dirty, flat, or crusty should be replaced. Damaged insulation does not work properly, and it may be a health hazard. If you know the type of insulation you have, look up its lifespan and what it should look like when it is in good condition.
You’ve had insulation removed
If you’ve had your insulation removed for renovations or any other reason, you should replace it immediately. The longer you wait, the more you will pay in utility bills. Insulation is important for indoor comfort, air quality, and home maintenance.
Types of Insulation
So, which type of insulation is best? It all depends on your situation. Each type of insulation has its list of pros and cons. Ultimately, you want a long-lasting insulation with a high R-value. An attic insulation specialist can explain every option to you and provide you with recommendations.
Batt fiberglass is very easy to install. Simply grab a few rolls from the hardware store and roll them out to insulate the attic. It’s also fairly cheap, so it works well in a pinch. The downside, however, is that fiberglass insulation has a low R-value. This means that it does not insulate as well as other types.
Alternatively, you can get loose-fill fiberglass, which must be blown-in by a professional. Thanks to its increased surface area, it works better than batt insulation, and it can fill irregularly shaped areas. Unfortunately, fiberglass insulation will sag over time, and it is susceptible to leakages, reducing its R-value.
Cellulose insulation is flame retardant and made of recycled materials. Moreover, it has fewer health hazards and a higher R-value than loose-fill fiberglass, so it’s a popular option for homeowners. The only real downside to this insulation is that its installation costs more. Only a professional can install this material because it must be blown-in, and it creates a lot of dust.
This insulation is said to last forever, and it offers a very high R-value. It can fit anywhere and provides an excellent moisture barrier. Note that spray foam is expensive and requires professional installation because it can only be installed with a spray foam gun. Installation is not easy and requires training.