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Is your attic costing you money?

With all things you may be planning for your home attic insulation isn’t at the top of your list, but maybe it should be.

Did You Know?

Insufficient attic insulation can lead to costly problems including:

  • Premature aging of your HVAC (heating and cooling systems)

  • High utility bills

  • Premature aging of your roof

Insulation Saves You Money & Protects Your Investment

Good attic insulation in combination with proper ventilation helps keep your house energy efficient, protects your home against damage, extends the life of your roof, and preserves the lifespan of your HVAC systems. It also helps to keep your living space more comfortable year-round.

Attic Insulation in Summer

Insufficient attic insulation in summer leads to rooms that cool slowly or won’t stay cool. Your air conditioner will need to run longer and more often to maintain comfort levels. This extra burden on your air conditioner will no doubt reduce the life of your cooling system forcing you to prematurely replace the it. Replacement costs range between $6000 and $10,000 depending on the size of your home and the energy efficiency of the unit.

Attic Insulation in Winter

In winter, you have the same problem. With poor insulation you will likely experience uneven distribution of heat, rooms that heat slowly and require you to run your heating system more often and longer to achieve desired room temperatures. This over burdens your heating system and will shorten the lifespan of your system requiring premature replacement. Replacement costs, depending on the size of your home and the efficiency of the units, can cost between $6,000 to $12,000 dollars.

Protecting Your Roof

The combination of insulation, ventilation, and properly sealed air gaps work together to extend the lifespan of your roof. Moisture and mold can deteriorate the structures that support your roof. Ice dams which are caused from an overheated roof in winter, can damage shingles and sheathing. Excessive heat in summer can cause shingles to curl and crack resulting in leaks and other structural damage. Absence of these three important components will dramatically reduce the life expectancy of your roof. A roof replacement can easily cost upward of $15,000 depending on your roof configuration, the size of your roof, and the type of shingles.

Click here to learn more about ice dams:

Utility Bills - Good Attic Insulation Saves You Money Year Round

As you might imagine, running your heating and cooling systems more frequently also leads to higher utility bills. If you are in a tiered utility billing system, without proper insulation, you will hit the high tier pricing more quickly. This means you pay even more for gas or electricity.

Energy Efficiency

Many homeowners today strive to achieve an energy efficient lifestyle. It’s a good goal and attic insulation is key. Poor attic insulation is the antithesis to an energy efficient home and will diminish other efforts to “Go Green”. According to the EPA, proper attic insulation can reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 percent or more depending on the size of your home and R-value of the insulation installed.

A Smart Investment – Attic Insulation Quickly Pays for Itself

In recent years, studies have shown that attic insulation has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) compared to dozens of other home improvements.

Click here to learn more.

How Much Insulation Should You Have?

Insulation slows the transfer of heat by creating resistance. The amount of resistance created by the insulation material is referred to as the R-value. An R-value is the measure of thermal resistance capacity per inch of material. The higher the R-value, the better insulating capacity of the insulation.

Here in the Midwest, the energy code requires a minimum R-value of R-49 for attic insulation, but many homeowners opt for R-60 to increase the energy efficiency of their home.

What Type of Insulation is Best?

Well that is a raging controversy that isn’t likely to end soon. The most frequently used and most cost effective, with the least amount of maintenance is fiberglass.

Fiberglass insulation is sold in two main forms: batt form and loose fill. Insulation batts have a paper backing, for installation between wall studs and floor joists or with no backing, for use in ceilings. Loose fill is mostly used in attics, though it can also be blown into wall cavities.

  • Fiberglass insulation is safe, inexpensive, and effective

  • Fiberglass provides a uniform layer of insulation and does not shrink

  • The plastic backing on fiberglass batts acts as an effective vapor barrier

  • Fiberglass insulation does not burn

  • Most fiberglass insulation uses recycled glass, reducing its ecological footprint Insects do not consume fiberglass insulation

  • Blown fiberglass can insulate an entire attic in a matter of hours when installed by professional blowing equipment

Attic Ventilation

It is very important to assess your attic ventilation. An attic needs proper air circulation created by intake and exhaust vents. Good attic ventilation helps combat moisture, mildew, and mold problems. It can also minimize costly damage from ice dams.

Click here to learn more about proper attic ventilation

Do Not Exhaust Fans or Dryers into The Attic

Finally, make sure any bathroom exhaust fan, dryer exhaust, or kitchen exhaust fans are properly exhausting up through the roof via an insulated duct. Never allow these fan types to exhaust in your attic. The moisture content can collect on surfaces leading to mold problems. Moisture can also settle on insulation diminishing its capacity to properly insulate.

Attic Insulation is a Smart Home Improvement

A properly insulated attic will save you money every month while protecting your investment. It is one investment that helps you to afford more exciting upgrades to your home. The average cost to insulate an attic range between $1,500 and $5,000 based on the size of your attic, how much insulation you currently have and the type or insulation you select.

About the Author: The Attic Experts has been installing attic insulation, ventilation, and addressing attic related issues for over 20 years in the Chicagoland area. The Girka Group works closely with The Attic Experts to be sure our customer's home are properly insulated and ventilated.

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