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Insulating your attic may not sound like the most luxurious or timeworthy home project. But its benefits can be luxurious and worth the time indeed: more comfort for you and your family, more money in your pocket at month-end, and better home safety long term. In this post, learn about attic insulation and how it works for both heating and cooling. Also learn about the benefits of insulating your attic.
Known Cost Savings From Insulating Your Attic
If you struggle and scratch your head each month wondering why your energy bills are so high, your attic may be the culprit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save anywhere from 10 to 50 percent on your energy bills just by insulating your attic properly—whether you are running your air conditioner or your heater.
These savings reach the high end during weather extremes and when energy costs skyrocket. You may not be able to control what energy costs, but you can control how much of it you consume with better attic insulation.
How Insulation and Your HVAC System Work Together
Your HVAC system—the method through which your home stays cool or warm depending on the season—relies in part on insulation to do its job effectively. Without adequate insulation, warm or cool air coming from your HVAC system will escape the house in any number of ways.
In cold weather, an un-insulated attic means all that warm heated air coming from your furnace or heater is rising and leaving through the attic. So in essence, you are paying to heat the outdoors!
In warm weather, your insulated attic will hold the cool air from your air conditioning inside your home in a similar fashion.
What You Will Invest in an Attic Insulation Project
While some people may choose to insulate their attic themselves, for most it makes more sense both time- and cost-wise to hire a professional to do this task.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Often, you will need to have your attic assessed to see if it is air-sealed first.
- You will need to find out what type of insulation (if any) your attic already has and what the best type of insulation is for your climate and area code.
- Unless you have significant DIY home repair expertise, you may find your "first-timer" mistakes cost you MORE than just hiring a pro to do the job right the first time.
In general, you may spend anywhere from $600 to $1,500 to insulate your attic, depending on how large your attic is, what is already there, what type of insulation you choose, and where you decide to place it. But the good news is, you will begin realizing the cost savings immediately, as your energy expenses plummet each month.
What You Stand to Save Post-Insulation Project
The goal of insulating your attic, of course, is to feel more comfortable and to save money on monthly energy expenses. Your level of savings will directly correspond to your home attic insulation project.
The more complete your assessment—how air-sealed your attic is, which is the right type of insulation for your climate and area code, what the best method is for putting in the new insulation, and what the right thickness is for the results you desire—the more you will save.
As well, you will save more in energy costs if you are not relying on your attic alone to do all of the insulation heavy lifting for your home. A well-insulated home and attic is the key to the lowest energy costs overall.
According to US News & World Report, sealing air leaks and heating ducts and insulating your attic are three of the top five home improvements that will save you the most money in home-related expenses long term.
The Safety Benefits of Home Attic Insulation
There are many unsung home safety benefits that come with attic insulation. In the energy audit that precedes most attic insulation jobs, your home is assessed for air leaks, duct sealing, insulation gaps, ventilation/air circulation, HVAC/air furnace operation, and other important checks that can also highlight safety issues. If you have safety issues brewing in your attic, your home insulation project will highlight and fix these issues before they can manifest.
Attic Insulation: Why It Is Worth It
Even a complex attic insulation project will typically take only two days at most to complete. In those two days, you will receive the benefit of a pro's expertise in ensuring your home and attic is insulated safely and effectively long term. This will increase your home's resale value when it comes time to sell and keep your family cool (and warm) and safe for the balance of the time you live there.
In all of these ways and more, insulating your attic is one of those home improvement projects that is a win-win in every way.