So you’ve decided that you need to insulate your home. Great! But how much attic insulation do you need to use? Insulating your home requires a specialist who is an expert in the field, who has studied and knows exactly what your home requires. While attic insulation is standard practice for homes, each home is unique and requires a custom-fit solution. It is very difficult to over-insulate an attic if it is properly assessed. Most homes will be sufficient with solely insulating attic insulation. However, other homes may require an attic dehumidifier, as well to ensure a constant humidity temperature and prevent overheating. The r-value for insulation also plays a great role in the functionality of your attic insulation. Depending on the region of a home, a certain r-value of insulation is required by law. However, it is not a bad thing to utilize a higher r-value of insulation in certain circumstances. You have options on the types of attic insulation you wish to install, as well. Our team of experts is here to serve you and assist you make a specialized plan for your home. Give us a call today.
Why Insulate A Home?
Attic insulation is one of the most beneficial and financially wise investments you can make in your home. Immediately upon installation, attic insulation increases the value of your home, increases its efficiency, ensures the safety of your air quality, and saves you anywhere between 25-40% on your energy bills every month. A home that suffers from air leakage can lose anywhere between 25-40% of the energy expended by your HVAC to heat or cool your home. What a waste! The more a home is insulated, the greater protection it has against the elements and air seepage in and out of the home. This will ensure that you are paying to actually cool or heat your home; not simply heat or cool the outdoors. Adding attic insulation to a home comes with a plethora of benefits. A home that has one (or more) types of attic insulation will enjoy:
When air sealing is ensured and the air is forced to pass through attic insulation, it is much more difficult for hot air to enter and exit your home. As such, your HVAC does not have to work so hard to heat or cool your home, preserving energy and lowering your energy costs.
Healthy, Allergen-Free Air
The air in your attic is not limited to the attic; the air circulates throughout your entire home. As such, if your attic is humid, or has falling or damp insulation, unfortunately, you are breathing this moldy, unhealthy air, as well. An attic that is properly insulated with the right type of attic insulation of the correct r-value will ensure that the air you are breathing is clean and safe.
A home lacking air sealing and attic insulation, especially those in the southern states such as Charlotte, NC, will inevitably endure hot and humid summers and therefore hot and humid attic spaces. This does not mean the inside of your home needs to suffer, as well. Mold and mildew thrive in warm, humid environments, such as your attic. As such, it is imperative that you secure your space with attic insulation and the right type of attic insulation to ensure that it is protected against intruding humidity.
We have discussed not only attic insulation but also another installation process called air sealing. An attic that has holes or openings to the out-of-doors is not ideal. Hot air rises and seeks to escape to cooler climates. In the summer, therefore, hot air will seep through the holes in your attic and attempt to enter your home to reach cooler air, overworking your HVAC and increasing the base temperature of your home. In the winter, the hot air you pay to blow into your home will rise and seek to escape through the attic openings into the outdoors. Year-round, you are fighting against hot air escaping or entering your home. To combat this, we would highly recommend air sealing. Combining attic insulation with air sealing is a deadly combination. Between those two, your home will be equipped to maximize your home’s efficiency and ensure it is protected against the elements. You could even add an attic dehumidifier if you have an exceptionally large space to ensure that the relative humidity of the space maintains a constant percentage under 50%. Above 50% humidity, mold can grow. As such, it is essential to ensure that this does not occur.
How Much Is Too Much?
So how much is too much? Depending on where you live, there is a specific r-value of insulation minimum that is required to ensure that your home is properly protected.
You can check out the geographic map for the r-value of insulation, should you desire! For example, an attic space built in a wood-constructed home in Southern California is located in Zone 3. Zone 3 homes are recommended an r-value of insulation between 25 and 38. Therefore, if this resident insulated their home with attic insulation of an r-value of insulation of 30, that would be optimum. However, if he decided to insulation with an r-value of insulation anywhere above 38, that would be unnecessary and excessive. Why wouldn’t he want to insulate with an r-value of insulation over 38? Let’s discuss it!
Bad Return on Investment
A Return on Investment is a means of determining the efficiency or benefit of an investment. In this context, the ROI is the relationship between the attic insulation installed (initial investment) and the lifetime energy savings. Following the Southern California example, installing attic insulation with an r-value of insulation over 38 is a bad return on investment. If you want to further increase the investment value of your home and make it, even more, energy efficient, we would recommend installing an attic dehumidifier or radiant barrier. An attic dehumidifier turns on only if the humidity levels fall beneath a safe percentage. They are very energy efficient and ensure the constant temperature of your home. Radiant barriers block heat from your roof, before your attic insulation even has to begin working. This will reduce the amount of heat that enters your home, minimizing the work of your HVAC and thus reducing your energy bills.
One concern about adding attic insulation into attic spaces is the limited amount of ventilation the home is able to have. Attics need to be ventilated in order for air to circulate. If you have excessive amounts of r-value of insulation or types of insulation installed in your attic, you could be affecting its ability to properly ventilate. Air vents that are blocked from ventilation can lead to poor energy efficiency, mold, and humidity buildup (leading to mold growth), and excess moisture.
Proper Attic Insulation Yields More Efficient Results
While it is important to ensure that your home is properly secured with attic insulation, it is prudent to insulate only what needs to be. The importance is not so much over-insulating but ensuring that the attic insulation that is being installed is being done correctly. Our team of experts will ensure that your attic insulation is not only the right type for your home but installed with perfection. Attic insulation that is properly installed in the home will be able to block any air gaps between the attic insulation and the pre-existing walls or floors. The attic insulation will slow down the heat transfer, as it will make it more difficult for hot air to escape and enter your home. This will minimize the humidity and moisture in the space, thus ensuring that your HVAC is not overworked. An attic dehumidifier would also be an excellent addition to help maintain the relative humidity in the space. It turns on only when needed; ensuring that your energy bills remain low. There are different types of attic insulation for you to choose between to maximize efficiency and find the best fit for your space. Our specialists are here to help you analyze your home and create a custom plan. A space with properly installed attic insulation will remain dry and clean, keeping the air entering and circulating in your home safe and mold-free and your energy costs down.
So Now What?
Now that we understand the importance of a properly insulated home with the right type and r-value of attic insulation, give us a call! We will be happy to offer you a free inspection to take a close look at your home and make a plan with you on how to best fit your budget and your home’s needs. Attic insulation is an essential asset to your home and can ensure not only your home’s health but also its longevity. An attic dehumidifier is an added plus to your space. Give us a call today. We’d love to chat about types of insulation with you and allow you to pick our brains on what would be the best fit for your home!