If you’re like most people your home energy bills can become outrageous during the summer and winter months. Sources such as the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) state that around 90% of U.S. homes have inadequate insulation. Most people don’t ever consider their attic insulation when it comes to lowering your monthly bills but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 49% of your home’s energy expenses are spent on heating and cooling. So if you’ve ever asked the question, “why is my electric bill so high” then it may be time to think about upgrading your attic insulation. Not only will a properly insulated attic save you money, it is also a great way to maintain comfort, give rest to your HVAC system, and an energy efficient home is better for the environment. If the temperatures of the rooms in your house vary greatly and your energy bill skyrockets certain months of the year then it may be time to get an attic inspection from a professional. Let’s look at some of the ways upgrading your attic insulation can benefit you.
Attic Insulation and How It Works
The purpose of any insulation is to slow and stop the transfer of heat. No matter the type of insulation you choose ( fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, etc.), and application method ( loose-fill/blown-in insulation, rolled batts, etc.), the concept is the same; insulation works by trapping air in tiny pockets to slow the transfer of heat in your home in the summer or out in the winter. Insulation’s ability to slow heats movement is rated by its R-value which is a measure of how well a material can resist heat per inch of depth. The higher the R-value of a material the better it resists thermal movement, and the deeper the material is, multiplying that number. For example; Cellulose insulation has the highest R-value of any blown-in insulation at an average around 3.5 per inch of insulation. An attic would only need about 12 inches of cellulose insulation to reach an R-value in the 40s, more than enough insulation for most areas. You can check what R-value is best for your area with this chart.
Energy Savings and Home Value
Getting an attic retrofit will save you on your monthly energy bills as well as add value to your home. With most insulation projects costing around $2000 on average; it is an inexpensive way to start saving monthly, add longevity to your home and HVAC system, and command a higher market value.
- Monthly Energy Savings: Even just a top off of existing insulation can start to save you around 10-15% on your energy costs and may only cost around $1000 for the improvement. A complete upfit that includes old insulation removal, air sealing of any gaps and cracks in the ceiling, and adding new insulation to the appropriate R-value for your area; can come with a higher price tag but can save you up to 35% or more in energy costs.
- Increased Home Value: Properly Insulating your attic can provide many benefits to the longevity of your home’s structural integrity, plumbing, and mechanical systems. In the winter, hot air rising from inside your home to your attic can cause moisture to accumulate on the underside of the roof which will create mold. Having a well insulated, ventilated attic, and air sealed attic will eliminate this problem and maintain clean air inside your home as well as increase the life expectancy of your roof. This will also help keep plumbing pipes from bursting in cold weather and will reduce the amount of time your HVAC system runs in extreme temperature months.
Rebates and Tax Credits
Whenever you do an energy efficiency upgrade on your home it is always a good idea to look into any kind of rebates and/or tax credits. This is a great way to reduce the cost of installation and receive tax breaks. These programs are always changing so ask a tax professional or your home improvement contractor.
So is upgrading the insulation in your home worth it? Absolutely! With a great return on investment and the benefit of a more comfortable and energy-efficient home, for most homeowners, it is well worth it. Home Shield Insulating is dedicated to helping you put together a plan to extend the life of your home, reduce stress on your home working systems, and save you money on your home’s heating and cooling costs.