Our Ohio homes are our castles. We defend them against pests (and door-to-door salespeople) and against Mother Nature. Attic insulation is one excellent weapon against nature’s continuous onslaught. Proper attic insulation, correctly installed, will keep you comfortable, save you money, and improve the performance of your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
Your walls are insulated to keep the cold out in winter and the cool air in during summer. The same is true of your attic.
Attic insulation effectiveness balances the right information, a one-time investment, and expert installation.
Attic insulation is more effective than wall insulation at keeping heated, properly humidified air inside the living space during cold months. Why? Heat rises because it is less dense than cold air, which settles. During winter, your home is constantly fighting a battle against physics to keep toasty warm inside air in your occupied rooms.
The proper amount of attic insulation is your front-line defense against losing heat, and energy, through your roof.
In summer, heat travels by conduction from stuffy, hot outside air into your cooled, treated inside air. Attic insulation can again prevent this heat transfer, preserving the cool comfort of your home. Your family will live more comfortably, in healthier air, when you have the right amount of attic insulation.
We have all heard the cliche about Dads bellowing against “heating the whole outdoors” when windows or doors are left open. Attic insulation helps you to slam the door shut on escaping money through your roof. Sure, keeping the front door open in winter is unwise, but so is an under-insulated attic.
In summer, too, attic insulation locks in the cool comfort that makes your Michigan home so enjoyable.
When your home maintains a comfortable, narrow temperature and humidity range, your HVAC systems have less work to do. That means fewer repairs, shorter running times, and years of added life to expensive machinery. A one-time investment in attic insulation can keep energy and HVAC costs down for years and years.
Is More Better?
According to federal Energy Star guidelines, the proper attic insulation for our climate is R60. If you already have a few inches of insulation, adding R38 to R49 insulation helps prevent heat transfer.
After a point, though, adding more insulation is not cost-effective. What you spend on adding too much insulation may not be recovered in energy savings for a decade or longer.
Most homeowners naturally ask, “Will more attic insulation help?” Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can see your attic joists, you do not have enough attic insulation.
If you have fiberglass insulation batts rolled out between joists, and blown-in, fluffy insulation piled on top of that, you have enough insulation.
Replace or supplement your attic insulation if it is:
- Degraded or chewed by pests
Be careful in selecting additional insulation, too. Simply rolling out more batts does not help, since most attics have nooks, crannies, and niches where batts cannot reach.
Blown-in insulation will help with those troublesome spots…if it is properly and expertly installed. A trained technician can examine your existing insulation and help you decide if it needs to be removed and replaced, or if more insulation can be added on top.
The R-value of insulation refers to its thermal resistance, its ability to keep heat from moving from place to place. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation works. So, a thin wisp of R13 in the attic does very little to prevent heat in summer moving in, or heat in winter moving out.
If the federal recommendation is R60, then you can save yourself plenty of money on energy bills and HVAC repairs by having a minimum of R60 installed. This can be any combination of batts and blown-in insulation. Blown-in insulation, however, is superior to fiberglass rolls for several reasons:
- Blown-in insulation reaches all the crooks and crevices of your attic
- Blown-in insulation can be added to a precise level, piled high as needed without fear of settling
- Blown-in insulation has additional noise dampening qualities that help keep your Michigan home more peaceful and serene
- Blown-in insulation acts as a second vapor barrier, preventing water infiltration, mold, and mildew
So how much attic insulation is too much? Let your professional insulation contractor help you with that calculation. You cannot simply look at most insulation and accurately measure its R-value. A trained technician can estimate your insulation needs and existing R values by inspecting the attic.
A good contractor will encourage you to have the proper amount, without too much, since extra attic insulation can stifle ventilation, waste money on labor and materials, and offer minimal payback. For flawless installation of attic insulation, contact us at Allstate Exteriors today!