Tips on Increasing Attic Insulation Efficiency

Attic insulation efficiency can be your best friend when it comes to lower heating and cooling bills year-round. Plus, when your home is more energy-efficient, you lower your carbon footprint, reduce energy use, and help to improve the environment.

It’s even more crucial in older homes to stay on top of attic insulation efficiency as the house continues to age. 

SoDak Insulation and Attic Restoration is your go-to source for attic insulation efficiency, especially if you’re preparing your home for the real estate market, or if your home has a few decades of memories under its belt.

Visit our website today for a complete description of our services, and a free inspection report.

attic insulation efficiency

How Efficient is Your Insulation?

If your home went up before the 1970’s energy crisis, it’s likely your original insulation could use an update. 

Attic insulation efficiency uses a R-scale to measure effectiveness and quality. Homes built in the 1970’s or before typically show an R-11  or lower rating. Current insulation standards on newer homes require an R-38 or higher rating, depending on region and climate.

It’s a good idea to take a peek into your attic space and make several observations:

  • Note the condition of the current insulation. Are there bare patches or between the joists? Do you notice any evidence of pests like bats, mice, raccoons, or other critters? You’ll need a plan to clean up existing messes like bat guano before updating or adding to your insulation.
  • What type of insulation do you have? Grey material in small clusters is probably mineralized wool. You may also have insulation batting–the kind that comes in a large roll you cut to fit between your ceiling joists. You might also notice loose, clumpy material piled between your joists. This blown insulation comes in a variety of materials like fiberglass, or cellulose.
  • Discover whether there is a vapor barrier to guard against insulation water damage from condensation. This layer (if it exists in your home) should face the inside walls if you live in a cold, northern client like we do in South Dakota. The barrier should face the outside walls and roof if you live in a hotter, southern climate.
  • Look for the level of insulation present. If you can see your joists in any area, additional insulation will help you improve your energy efficiency. If the insulation covers all the joists generously (by a couple of inches), and is clean and dry, you may not increase your attic insulation efficiency with more product.

Check the Rest of Your Home to Ensure Attic Insulation Efficiency

Before replacing your attic insulation, check out other visible areas of your home. If you notice water stains on the ceilings or walls in your house (especially the second floor), that could indicate you do not have an effective vapor barrier in place.

On the outside of your house, if there are clear signs of critter break-ins, you may need to completely remove your installation, clean up pest messes, and ensure there are no entry points for future unwanted visitors.

Inspecting your house for these warning signs can help you address underlying issues before investing in new insulation. After all, you want the money you spend on attic insulation efficiency to keep earning you energy dividends, rather than merely band-aid-ing more significant problems.

attic insulation efficiency

Attic Insulation Efficiency is Simple to Upgrade

Here’s some good news: as long as your existing insulation is clean and dry, installing new insulation can be a snap with the right professional help. 

In many homes, you may not have to remove your existing insulation to add a new product. Especially if you choose a blown-in option, your installer may be able to increase your R-values significantly by blowing in new fiber to supplement what’s already there.

Check with a professional insulation installer to find out if you can safely cover old insulation with a new product.

You have several insulation options from which to choose in most cases:

  • Spray insulation, like Green Fiber: This material is made of cellulose, and installed with a blower. It’s fast and neat to install, and can increase your insulation R-value up to 60. Bonus: you may also notice improved noise reduction in your home with this type of insulation. Though a vapor barrier is always a good idea, if this insulation is packed to a density of 2.6 lbs/cubic foot, you may not need one.
  • Fiberglass batting: Though easy to cut and place in your attic, this type of insulation has several disadvantages, including low efficiency performance and a high instance of installation mistakes. Vapor management may also be challenging with this type of insulation.
  • Loose-fill fiberglass spray: Though easy to install, the fill thickness can settle over time, and drop your R-value by as much as 50%. You’ll also need a vapor barrier for this type of insulation.
  • Spray foam: There are several different types of spray foam. For attics, a polyurethane-based foam is the most common type. This material does not require a vapor barrier, but boasts a much higher cost than other insulation types. Further, it must have a protective wall of sheetrock or plaster to be safe from fire.

The Savings Add Up Quickly

With proper insulation in your attic, you could save up to $600.00 per year in heating and cooling costs. With current installation and materials costs, you’ll recoup your investment in just a few seasons, not to mention the additional benefits to the environment that add up in the long haul.

Enlist a Pro’s Help with SoDak Insulation and Attic Restoration

Our professional, experienced team has seen every sort of attic situation. We’ll provide a clear and transparent estimate for insulation clean-up, and efficiency-boosting products.

We are proud of our regional service and local history of helping our neighbors stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We install the most reliable products so you can save money, feel comfortable, and be confident in your home year-round.

Call us today for a no-obligation inspection of your attic. We’re here to help you achieve the highest efficiency of your home or business, with friendly service for every customer we meet.

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