Two Great Reasons to Insulate Your Attic

Two Great Reasons to Insulate Your Attic

Editor's Note: This article has been written by expert Jon Wright who has 33 years experience in roofing - the first of his two points is one that you're possibly already familiar with, but the 2nd point is one you may not have considered before, so I urge you to give the 2nd point serious consideration.

Some homeowners don't pay that much attention to the insulation in their attic, or lack thereof, because of several (wrong) reasons.

First of all, the uninformed homeowner believes that the insulation that was installed when the house was first built should last as long as the house. Next, they don't consider lack of insulation or poor energy efficiency as a problem. Finally, since attic insulation isn't that visible, most homeowners never have even given it any thought.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes in thinking, I've come up with two of the biggest reasons why you should insulate your attic, if it isn't already. Most houses have insulation when they are built, but if your home is more than 10 years old, you should consider adding new insulation.

Here are the two big reasons why you should ensure your attic is insulated sufficiently:

Numero Uno: Energy Efficiency and Lower Energy Bills!

Energy efficiency is one of those things that many people don't notice until the monthly utility bill arrives. Heaters and air conditioners are power hogs, and they use even more power the harder they have to work to keep indoor temperatures at a comfortable level.

heat flow through the home during summer and winter

If your attic is not properly insulated, a lot of the heat from air already regulated by your HVAC will just escape through the ceiling. Conversely, air that is cooled will gain heat from the attic during hot weather. By properly insulating your attic floor and roof rafters, room temperature becomes more consistent and easier to regulate.

Because your HVAC is now using less energy, your energy bills will go down accordingly. As an added bonus, the lighter load on your HVAC unit also extends its service life!

#2 - Protect Your Roof

Believe it or not, insulating your attic also has a significant impact on the condition of your roof. Remember the heat rising to the attic? A large portion of that goes straight to the roof. This can cause a few problems for the roof in ways most homeowners do not expect.

For example, since the roof area has warm air, it becomes an attractive comfy spot for unwanted guests such as mice and other critters. During more humid times of the year, the warm air can also encourage mold and mildew to grow underneath the roof deck.

ice dam on your roof

Winter Blues

Things can get worse during winter if your attic isn't properly insulated. Once snow starts to accumulate on the roof surface, the warm indoor air can cause your roof to warm up just enough to melt the snow directly in contact with it.

The snow that didn't melt traps the water, forming ice dams that can cause damage to your roof. Furthermore, some of the water can flow down the eaves of the roof and re-freeze, forming dangerous icicles.

DIY or Hire a Professional?

Fortunately, keeping your attic insulated isn't that difficult. Fiberglass insulation is available in rolls or batts at most hardware stores and installation is simple enough to be performed as a DIY weekend project. Replacing old worn out insulation or adding more to increase the R-value is something I believe every homeowner should consider doing.

attic insulation

Working in an attic is not easy though, and there are safety concerns. You can easily fall in between the ceiling joists and suffer injuries, and damage the ceiling. It is also a hot and dirty job. Fiberglass insulation really itches when coming in contact with your skin. Protective clothing, gloves, and respirators should be worn.

Considering all those concerns, I would suggest that you hire a reliable insulation contractor to do the job. They can check on the condition of your attic insulation, and offer you other types of attic insulation such as blown or sprayed alternatives.

Insulating your attic may take some effort and cash, but the benefits greatly outweigh its costs.

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