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Is Your Attic Properly Insulated?

Is Your Attic Properly Insulated?

Feb 14, 2013

Probably not. Approximately 80% of homes are not properly insulated, resulting in energy loss. During the warmer months, proper insulation is important to keep the heat from coming into the living area. In the winter, insulation provides a blanket for your home. In the event of snow, if your attic is properly insulated, snow will melt slower and more evenly, preventing the formation of ice dams.

How can you tell if your attic has enough insulation? If your insulation is level with or below the floor joists, you need more insulation. If you are unable to see the floor joists because the insulation is covering them, then you probably have enough insulation. When insulating your attic, it is important that it is evenly distributed. Make sure the eaves of the attic are covered – not just the middle. Pay particular attention to wet or damp areas to make sure there is not a roof leak or that the insulation may be causing condensation. Any mold or rotted wood is an indication of a moisture problem that should be addressed immediately.

If you are considering adding additional insulation, it is not necessary to use the same type of insulation that you currently have. You can add loose fill on top of fiberglass, batts or blankets. An ideal time to install more insulation is when you are having your roof replaced. Done properly, there should be a minimum amount of debris as the insulation will be blown in before the roof is installed.

A professional installer will be able to locate air leaks and advise you on how to eliminate drafts. While you may feel drafts around windows and doors, the real loss of energy in most homes is in the attic and basement. It is not uncommon for a home to feel comfortably warm, but when you open a closet door or go into the attic or basement, you can feel cold air coming in. Those leaks should be identified and sealed before blowing in additional insulation.

Those are the leaks that are driving the cost of your energy bills up. Your house is uncomfortable, and you are paying for heat that has done a disappearing act before your know it. The object of heating your home is just that – using energy properly to make your home comfortable — rather than having it sucked out through the leaks in your home.

Even assuming that your attic has been properly insulated, it is a good idea to seal attic and basement leaks to get the maximum benefit of the insulation for a more comfortable home. There have been major improvements of insulation over the years, and a professional installer can educate you on the pros and cons of each product that is available.

Until next time!

– Patrick Readyhough

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