When it comes to choosing the right type of attic insulation, considerations vary, depending on location. In certain states, you can have as many as five distinct climate zones! So how do you decide which type of attic insulation suits your home perfectly?
In most cases, a professional energy audit is a good way to begin. A professional energy auditor will look into your home’s internal ecosystem your to check how energy-efficient it is, including your current attic insulation. Then the auditor will decide whether you need to add more insulation or get a new one entirely.
Again, depending on the state you’re in, the U.S. Department of Energy will recommend the R-value that works best for your attic insulation. The R-value measures thermal resistance, or simply the amount of insulation that can impede heat flow.
The higher the R-value, the better the insulation capacity and the greater a home’s energy efficiency will be. Your home’s exact location will as well have a role in determining the most suitable R-value for your attic insulation.
For example, in some states, temperature differences between its northern and southern areas are the most significant during winter. Thus, homes located north of the state need a little higher R-values compared to homes in the south.
Another factor to consider is the presence of excess moisture in the attic insulation. This moisture is often due to tiny leaks in the roof, appliances that have no proper venting, and dripping pipes. These can pull down the insulation’s R-value and lead to the proliferation of mold and mildew, both threats to health.
Wrapping a home’s water heater and pipes with insulation can make a huge difference as well in terms of energy bills, particularly if the temperature in the heater area is low, or if the pipes pass through an unheated basement or attic.
Around 15 to 20 percent of a home’s monthly expenses are incurred from heating water. Moreover, when the water pipes are insulated, they can be prevented from freezing or bursting during the coldest months. It’s not hard to understand how good attic insulation can offer several long-term benefits for your home. To name a few, it can improve indoor air quality in your home, maintain comfortable indoor temperature, and of course, reduce your energy costs.
From a wider perspective, because your energy consumption from heating and cooling will now be reduced, your home’s carbon footprint will also be minimized. Sometimes, there are earth-friendly insulation options available, such as those made from cotton or recycled materials.
In any case, make sure you hire the right professionals for the job. There are many out there, but not all are created equal. Research goes a long, long way when deciding which one to choose.