Maintaining your attic insulation is one of the essential things you can do to keep your energy costs as low. Recent studies have shown that a home with well-maintained attic insulation can save anywhere from 30 – 40 percent on their heating and cooling costs. In fact, the average home owner spends 50-70 percent of their energy costs on heating and cooling alone. Attic insulation helps to keep your home warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months by controlling the airflow within the home. It can also prevent hot and cold air from transferring through your roof and outside temperatures. This helps to maintain a constant temperature in the home and minimizes the strain and energy consumption of your furnace and air conditioner. This in turn translates to significant cost savings, and not comfortable in-home temperatures.
Although, technically insulation can last almost forever. Deciding whether to replace your attic insulation is not about the age. The real question you should be asking is, “When should I replace the attic insulation in my house?”, or “How often does the insulation in my attic need to be changed?”, or even, “How can I tell if the insulation in my attic needs to be replaced?” If you notice, I did not include the question, “Do I need insulation in my house?” I think the answer to that question for many reasons is probably a YES!
There are a few common types of insulation and materials used for each. Each have their benefits and limitations. Some of the common insulation application types include the following:
- Rolls – Rolls of insulation are generally made with fiberglass fibers. They are cut to standard spacing requirements of beams and can be cut to custom fit oblong areas. This type insulation can even be treated with flame resistant chemicals which can help contain or slow progress of a fire.
- Blown-in insulation – These are generally either loose fiberglass fibers or pellets. This is a great option for old or non-standard homes that require custom insulation solutions. This type of insulation is also a good idea for filling cracks and gaps in the original insulation.
It is best to consult a professional to assess your environment, atmospheric factors and lifestyle to determine the right insulation solution for you. Contact us for a free evaluation and consultation at no obligation to you.
Determining if you need to replace the insulation in your attic is dependent on a few factors and age is generally not one of them. The most common reasons to replace the insulation include the following:
If your insulation looks thin or stamped down. It is common for insulation to settle or compact over the years. Insulation loses strength and effectiveness as it loses it’s “fluffiness”. good news is, it may not be necessary to replace the insulation, instead it may just need another layer added on top of the existing insulation. Mold or Mildew damage can be a big reason to replace the insulation.
Mold or mildew damage is generally caused by a leak in the roof or a pipe leak. Once the leak is fixed, depending on the extend of the damages, it may be necessary to remove and replace the affected areas or replace it all.
Insulation looks decayed or frayed. In some cases of really old insulation, it can begin to decay or fray. In this case, a professional evaluation and perhaps a full replacement may be necessary.
Exposed floor or gaps. If you can visibly see gaps or exposed areas where the floor of the attic is visible, it is likely that you may need some supplemental insulation added to the existing. This will cover the gaps and prevent energy loss through the exposed gaps. Compliance with modern insulation regulations. Older insulation may not comply with modern insulation compliance standards.
Compliance standards differ depending on your state and even your county. Be sure to check for the compliance regulations in your area. In Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Metro area, there are thickness/depth regulations as well as material rating requirements. It is common for homeowners to consult with us to bring their home into compliance for their insulation.