Choosing the right type of attic insulation for your home depends on so many location-related factors. In a single state, there can be as many as five distinct climate zones! So how do you know which type of attic insulation is the best for your property?
A professional energy audit is often a great place to start. A professional energy auditor will assess your home’s internal ecosystem to evaluate its energy efficiency, which will cover the 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.
With a higher R-value, you get better insulation and a more energy-efficient home. The exact location of your home will also be a factor in determining the best R-value for your attic insulation.
For example, in some states, temperature differences between its northern and southern areas are the most significant during winter. Hence, homes in the northern parts need a bit higher R-values than those in the south.
Another factor to consider is the presence of excess moisture in the attic insulation. This moisture is often due to tiny leaks in the roof, appliances that have no proper venting, and dripping pipes. These can pull down the insulation’s R-value and lead to the proliferation of mold and mildew, both threats to health.
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.
Around 15 to 20 percent of a home’s monthly expenses are incurred from heating water. Furthermore, insulating the water pipes will keep them from bursting or freezing during the coldest of winters. It’s easy to see how your home can enjoy several long-term benefits just by installing proper attic insulation. To name a few, it can improve indoor air quality in your home, maintain comfortable indoor temperature, and of course, reduce your energy costs.
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 might also look into a more environment-friendly approach to insulation, like using recycled materials or cotton.
In any case, make sure you hire the right professionals for the job. There are many options out there, but they are not all the same. But if you do your research, you can choose smart and easy.