When it comes to choosing the right type of attic insulation, considerations vary, depending on location. In some areas of the country, you can have as many as five distinct climate zones! So how do you know which type of attic insulation is the best for your property?
A good way to begin is usually with a professional energy audit. A professional energy auditor will look into your home’s internal ecosystem your to check how energy-efficient it is, including your current attic insulation. The auditor will then decide if you have to add more insulation or actually replace the whole thing.
Again, depending on the state you’re in, the U.S. Department of Energy will recommend the R-value that works best for your attic insulation. The R-value measures thermal resistance, or simply the amount of insulation that can impede heat flow.
The higher the R-value, the more efficient insulation is, leading to greater energy efficiency in the home. The exact location of your home will also be a factor in determining the best R-value for your attic insulation.
In certain states, for example, the temperature variations between its northern and southern regions are the widest in winter. Hence, homes in the northern parts need a bit higher R-values than those in the south.
Another factor that must be looked into is whether the attic insulation has excessive moisture. This moisture is often due to tiny leaks in the roof, appliances that have no proper venting, and dripping pipes. These can reduce the R-value of the insulation, giving rise to mold and mildew growth, which can be hazardous.
By wrapping the water heater and pipes with insulation, a home’s energy efficiency also substantially improves, especially if the heater or some stretches of the pipes are in colder sections of the property (for example, the attic or the basement.
About 15 to 20 percent of a home’s monthly energy costs come from heating water. Moreover, when the water pipes are insulated, they can be prevented from freezing or bursting during the coldest months. It’s easy to see how your home can enjoy several long-term benefits just by installing proper attic insulation. In general, it will reduce your energy bills, make indoor temperature more comfortable any time of the year, and improve indoor air quality.
From a larger perspective, proper attic insulation will minimize your home’s carbon footprint since you will now be using less energy for your heating and cooling needs. You may also consider environment-friendly insulation options, like those produced from cotton or recycled materials.
In any case, make sure you hire the right professionals for the job. There are many out there, but not all are created equal. Research goes a long, long way when deciding which one to choose.