Most homeowners wouldn’t put this at the top of the list, but one of the best opportunities to reduce home energy costs is in your attic. With considerable longterm savings in mind, there’s no reason homeowners shouldn’t be looking at their attic to ensure every inch is as energy efficient as possible.
Insulation: Examine your attic to find the amount of insulation ideal for the space. Today, more than 100 million U.S. homes are under insulated and not meeting the standard R-38 Department of Energy building code requirements. The ‘R’ in R-value stands for resistance to heat flow – the higher the R-value, the more energy efficient the insulation is. If you are one of those millions of homeowner who may have inadequate insulation, it may be costing you thousands of dollars in energy loss each year. Here are some things to keep in mind when inspecting your attic.
Loose Fill: Attics with narrow joists or lots of obstructions need loose fill insulation. Loose fill easily covers existing insulation if you need to add more at any time, and provides excellent coverage for small areas and tight corners. Typically, every one inch of loose fill insulation is R3 – meaning you’ll need 12 inches of loose fill to meet the R-38 requirement.
Batt: Conversely, homes with standard joists are easily insulated with blanket or batt insulation, which comes in rolls. Batt insulation is usually made of fiberglass, cotton or wool, so you may want to have a professional lay the insulation for you if you don’t have proper safety gear. Wool insulation doubles as an excellent moisture barrier because it naturally repels water and is non-irritating to use. Your standard roll of batt insulation will provide an R-value between R-2.9 and R-3.8 per inch of thickness - meaning you’ll want anywhere between 10 to 13 inches of batt insulation.
Solar Eclipse + Blown-In: Your best bet is Power Home Remodeling Group’s Solar Eclipse and blown in insulation, which works in any type of attic space and features state-of-the-art reflective insulation that will make your attic the most energy efficient and cost-effective it has ever been. Power also provides a lifetime R-value guarantee, which means that for as long as you own the home, we’ll refill your attic with insulation if it ever drops below your purchased R-value.
Ventilation: Once you’ve settled on the right insulation, it is important to consider the ventilation of your attic or else it may be detrimental to the integrity of your insulation, roof decking and shingles. In regards to your attic, consider proper ventilation as the other half of the energy efficiency equation.
Benefits of Attic Ventilation: Properly ventilating your attic will prevent moisture build up when hot air cools and condenses. Without this, the condensed air allows moisture to form, which can cause mold and mildew to grow. This can erode your insulation, rendering it effectively useless. This same process can lead to extensive damage in your roof decking and shingles as well.
Methods of Attic Ventilation: Although attic fans may be beneficial, the most common form of ventilation now comes from rafter and soffit vents. Soffit vents lie under the eaves of the house and provide a way for cooler air to get into the attic and regulate it as necessary. This is only half the battle when preparing your home, as you’ll need to provide an escape within your roofing system for this circulating air.
This may seem counterintuitive, but an attic that is too warm during the winter, can allow ice dams to form and pile around the eaves of a home. To solve the intake and exhaust issue, Power uses a patented PowerVent intake system in addition to the GAF Snow Country Exhaust Ridge vent for proper intake and exhaust ventilation.
If you think your home could benefit from an upgrade to your roofing system or attic insulation, you can schedule a free home estimate with one of Power’s remodeling consultants to discuss how our products and services can provide professional solutions to your needs.
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