Attic Insulation: How to Find Out Whether Your Attic Needs New Insulation
Energy Star wants you to rule your attic, so they’re challenging homes in Durham and across America to measure their attic insulation and take all the necessary steps to improve the efficiency of their homes. Over 90% of American homes are under-insulated. Don’t let yours be one of them! Learn more about Energy Star’s latest campaign at https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_homes.nh_showRuleYourAttic.
Attic insulation plays a vital part in keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Poor insulation in this region of the home easily leads to higher utility bills and less comfort all year long. Most attics are under-insulated because builders often use only the minimal amount of insulation. In time, what insulation there is loses some of its insulating value. Here are things to check to determine if you need new attic insulation.
You can see the Floor Joists
Attic insulation should completely cover the joists to prevent heat transfer. Each bare area you see allows heat to transfer out of your home in winter and into your home in summer. If the rest of the insulation looks fine, you can add extra batts to cover the floor joists or have a contractor blow in loose-fill insulation to cover the joists and give your attic insulation and overall boost.
Insulation is Damp or Moldy
Moisture reduces the insulating value of many types of insulation, including fiberglass, cellulose and cotton. In some cases, it is impossible to dry the insulation sufficiently, and it will need to be completely replaced. Any insulation, no matter the type, should be replaced if it has developed a musty odor or visible signs of mold. Before you replace it, make sure you take care of the origin of the moisture problem, which is usually a leaking roof or inadequate attic ventilation.
Insulation is Compressed
Sometimes insulation is improperly installed, which causes it to become compressed. This can affect how well it insulates, because air pockets between the fibers shrink. Insulation is fluffy for a good reason. Animal activity in the attic, such as large rodents, can also be a cause of compressed insulation along with other problems. If sections of insulation appear to be compressed, consider adding new insulation or you will pay more in energy costs.
Current Insulation is Insufficiently Thick
The R-value is just the term for insulation’s ability to insulate. The attic requires the highest R-value of all insulation in the home. It is determined by both thickness and type of insulation. The best R-value for your home’s attic depends on your region. Ask a local contractor about the recommended R-value for your home and then measure the insulation depth with a ruler. If you live in an older home and you have never added new insulation, it is likely you will need to add new attic insulation to bring it up to the recommended rating.
Consider having any new insulation professionally installed. Our licensed contractors know how to insulate your Durham attic safely and efficiently.
Call Green Horizon at (919) 323-8705 to replace or add to your Durham, NC insulation!