Do I have enough attic insulation?
It’s a question we all ask ourselves at one time or another. Whether it’s in the winter when you notice a room in your house is colder than the others or in the summer when you hear your HVAC unit constantly running and the answer is easy to find.
Go up into your attic and take a look around. Can you see the rafters or joists of your home? If you have adequately blown-in attic insulation you should not see the rafters of your home. Attic insulation is generally measured in R-values. R-value measures insulation’s resistance to heat flow. It can also be referred to as “thermal resistance.” The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Don’t forget that R-values are determined by material type, thickness, and installed weight per square foot, not by thickness alone.
For blown-in attic insulation, the typical measurements are:
- R30: 12” Thickness
- R38: 15” Thickness
- R49: 19” Thickness
- R60: 23” Thickness
Is your insulation in tip-top shape?
This one may be obvious, but if your insulation is crumbly, outdated, and wouldn’t meet today’s building codes, you’ll need to replace it. If you know that the insulation is old, don’t take matters into your own hands. Consult with professionals. The reason is simple—sometimes it’s best not to disturb older insulation, as it may contain toxic chemicals like asbestos. In these cases, professionals will apply new insulation over the existing insulation or If it’s safe to remove, let the experts remove it properly to eliminate any danger.
Have you noticed any unwanted pests in your home?
If you spot any mice droppings or other indicators that pests have infiltrated your home, this could seriously compromise the integrity of your building’s structure. It’s best to remove your insulation and have it replaced with new in these situations. A professional installer can advise you on what your best option would be.
Have you noticed any moisture in odd places?
If you detect moisture in your attic, or there’s water coming through your ceiling, you’re likely to have insulation problems. When the cold temperature of the outside meets the warmth in your home, it creates a buildup of moisture where the two temperatures comingle. Keep this from happening by keeping the warm air in your home sealed into your home and the cold air in your attic contained in the attic space. You can help this along further by adding attic door tents and other accessories.
No matter what your situation may be, a healthy home is a comfortable home. Keeping your attic insulation at inadequate levels will result in more consistent temperatures and a more hospitable environment for your friends and family.
It is advisable to seal and insulate your home’s ducts if they are located in an unconditioned area. Building a new home? Place ducts in the conditioned space to avoid the energy losses associated with most duct systems.