Are you curious about whether the insulation in your home is working as effectively as it should? Do you know when the insulation in your home was installed? Homeowners often ask these types of questions about their insulation: Does it need to be replaced entirely? Should I simply add more insulation to what I already have? Is it okay to leave it as it is now? Read on to learn what to consider when determining whether and how to update your insulation.
Since heat rises to the top of your house, the attic is a critical area in which to have good insulation. Fortunately, the attic is also one of the easiest places to add more insulation if you need to. Other important areas include inside walls, under floors, and around ductwork and water pipes. Today, we will talk most specifically about the insulation in your attic space.
Do I need to add more insulation?
According to Energy Star, there is a simple way to determine whether your attic insulation is adequate. Take a look in the attic to see how thick the insulation is. If it is level with or below the floor joists, you should probably add more insulation. If the joists are well covered and you can’t see them beneath the insulation, adding more may be unnecessary and a waste of money.
Also check to see if the insulation is spread evenly throughout the attic. There should not be any gaps or low spots. A lot of insulation around the main, center area of the attic and less around the edges and along the eaves is a common problem. If the insulation is evenly distributed and the joists are fully covered, you probably have enough. If you cannot tell whether your insulation is sufficient, contact Hedrick Construction to inspect your attic for you and give you a professional evaluation.
How much insulation needs to be added?
To determine how much insulation you need to add, first you need to understand the concept of R-value. R-value is the measure of a material's ability to resist heat flow. The higher this number, the more resistance to heat flow your insulation has and the better it will perform. Energy Star recommends an R-value of R-38, which is equivalent to 10-14 inches of insulation. Thickness in inches varies depending on the type of insulation you have.
Does my insulation need to be replaced?
When inspecting your insulation to decide whether to replace it, first determine what type of insulation you have, and measure its thickness. Then you will need to figure out its R-value, which you can do by using the calculation from the chart on the Department of Energy's Insulation Fact Sheet.
What type of insulation should I add to my attic?
When adding more insulation to your attic, it is not necessary to install exactly same type as you currently have. For example, if you currently have fiberglass batts or rolls in your attic, you could add fiberglass loose fill over the top or vice versa. (Be sure to check with a professional before installing loose-fill insulation on your own.)
Hedrick Construction recommends Owens Corning glass fiber insulation. Installing insulation can be done quickly and easily with a blowing machine. There are numerous advantages to blown-in insulation: it has a very high R-value, provides air-infiltration control, and settles very little over time. It is also naturally fire resistant, moisture resistant, and non-corrosive. Aside from all of these great benefits, it is made of environmentally friendly, renewable, and abundant materials: recycled glass and sand.
If you are interested in insulation services in Huxley, Ankeny, or surrounding areas, contact us anytime. Many local and government utility companies offer cash-back awards for those who qualify for certain home energy efficiency standards. Check to see whether and how you can qualify for any of these rebates or incentives!