Attics are the place in your home that tends to get the coldest in the winter and the hottest in the summer. With this in mind, most people are well aware that their home’s attic needs to be insulated to some degree. However, many of those same people likely could not tell you why. After all, your attic is not a place where people tend to hang out often and is typically used for storage. To give you more insight into how insulation works, the types, and proper installation, you will have a much more in-depth understanding of the importance of attic insulation for keeping your home comfortable and energy-efficient.
What Insulation Does for Your Home
Insulation’s primary purpose is to limit heat transfer from the inside of your home to the outside. This includes preventing both conditioned air in your living quarters from escaping to the attic and limiting unconditioned air from entering your home. Proper installation of your insulation is paramount to ensuring maximal efficiency, ultimately saving you money. Failure to do so can result in significant loss of heat, poor energy performance, and can even attract mice into your home.
Most Common Type – Batt Insulation
If you have the most common insulation type in the majority of developed nations, batt insulation, then compression is a serious concern in an attic. Do not place boxes full of your old stuff on the insulation, compressing it can reduce its efficiency by up to 50%. Batt insulation works by trapping air in pockets, and when you compress the insulation, you reduce the air pockets, leaving them less effective.
Insulation for Filling in Voids
Voids are areas that are missing insulation and letting warm escape. This can happen around recessed lighting fixtures, electrical outlets, or improper cuts to insulation. Even a seemingly small void ratio of 4% in a single batt can cause a 50% reduction in insulation effectiveness, leading to the warming of your attic. Regardless of your heating source, whether it be oil, gas, or even wood, you are burning far more than you need to if the warmth it is producing is passing right through your ceiling. The costs add up over time, not just in your fuel, but also in your heating system since it has to work much harder than it would with a properly insulated attic.
Moisture is another enemy of your attic insulation and has a similar effect to compression. In this case, your air pockets are filled with water, leaving no room for the air to be trapped. Moisture also invites mold, which is a significant health hazard for you and your pets. With proper attic insulation and quality awareness, you can reduce this detrimental probability or catch it early on before it becomes more severe.
Yes, you may not use your attic as living space, but making sure it is insulated is something every homeowner should do. Having a well-insulated attic is paramount to having a comfortable, safe, energy-efficient home. If there are any concerns about poor attic insulation, call a professional roofing company to do an inspection. The cost of resolving insulation issues will likely be less than the fallout described in this article.