You probably already know that heat rises. What you may not know is that heat rises to your home’s attic. If left unchecked and improperly insulated, your attic could cause a tremendous heat loss and lead to an overall inefficient attic space – ultimately costing you more money each month on your energy bills.
If you have a newer home, say a house built in the last ten years, your attic might still have the proper insulation to prevent this from happening. However, an older home is at a significant risk of wasting energy – and your money – due to poor insulation.
What should you do?
As a homeowner, it’s essential to understand different types of attic insulation and how they can affect your monthly budget’s bottom line.
These aspects include:
- Identifying the “R-value” of your current insulation.
- Checking for leaks and determining if air sealing is needed.
- Improving insulation around your attic entryway.
- Contacting a professional to help identify other attic improvements.
What do R-values have to do with insulation?
When discussing attic insulation with a home service professional, you might hear them talk about the material’s R-value. The R-value measures how well building insulation prevents the flow of heat out of the home.
If the insulation has a greater R-value, then it’s more likely to prevent the escape of heat through your attic space. Homes built before 1970 tend to have R-values of 11 or less, which is a far cry from today’s standards (38 or higher).
Do you know the R-value of your attic’s insulation? There are mathematical calculations you can do to determine your R-value, but if you’re having trouble identifying this element, it’s best to contact a professional.
Does your home need air sealing?
Improved insulation isn’t enough to combat heat loss if there are other unchecked cracks and crevices through which warm air can escape, or cold air can enter.
If you see dust and particles throughout your home, chances are your ceiling is improperly sealed. Not only can sealing impact your home through additional costs associated with a loss of heat, but it can also lead to poor indoor air quality.
Have you recently updated any lighting fixtures or done any duct or pipework through your home? If so, you may need to invest in some caulk or sealant to help prevent air leaks.
Don’t overlook your attic’s entryway
Attic entryways are as unique as individual homes, but they all share one common element: homeowners should properly insulate them, as well. Commonly, attic entrances are not as well-insulated as the attics themselves.
Regardless, there are many ways that you can improve the efficiency of your attic entryway, such as adding weatherstripping or adding an attic door cover.
No matter how big or small your attic entryway might be, it’s worth a second look.
When to contact a professional for attic improvements
Every homeowner has a different set of skills. Some people consider attic improvements as an easily-tackled weekend DIY project. Others worry about working with fiberglass or walking around the planks in your attic.
If you don’t have time to spare (or are unsure of what you’d need to do the job effectively), consider hiring someone skilled at attic insulations, repairs, and improvements.
An HVAC professional near you would be happy to talk through the process of how to improve your attic’s efficiency, thus, saving you money every fall and winter when it’s (finally) time to turn on the heat.