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How Attic Insulation Can Help You Save on Heating and Cooling Costs

Attic insulation is a critical component of any energy-efficient home. It helps to regulate temperature and humidity levels, reduces energy consumption, and can help to extend the lifespan of your roof. Properly insulating your attic can also save you money on energy bills and increase the overall value of your home. If you have not yet insulated your attic, or need to upgrade the quality of insulation, it is strongly recommended that you consider doing so to improve your home’s energy efficiency, longevity, and overall comfort.

What is Attic Insulation?

Attic insulation is a layer of insulating material that is added to the attic of a home to help regulate temperature and improve energy efficiency. The insulation material may be made of fibreglass, cellulose, foam, or other materials that prevent heat transfer.

There are three main types of insulation: 

Roll-on Insulation

Roll-on insulation is typically made of fibreglass or mineral wool. It comes in rolls that are quick and easy to install between joists or studs. It’s the most economical option of the three main types and while it provides good thermal protection it can be prone to air gaps if not installed correctly. 

Blown-in Insulation

Blown-in insulation is usually made of cellulose or fibreglass and is installed using a machine that blows the insulation into the attic space. It provides good thermal protection and is resistant to moisture and pests. 

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is made of polyurethane foam that is sprayed onto surfaces as a liquid and then expands to fill all potential gaps and cavities. As a more premium option, it provides superior thermal production and helps to reduce air leaks. It provides an air barrier, which makes it an excellent option for Canadian climates. This type of insulation lasts much longer than typical insulation.

Signs That Your Attic Insulation Needs To Be Replaced

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to get your insulation replaced as soon as possible to ensure the proper functioning of your home’s insulation system:

  • High Energy Bills: If your energy bills have been consistently increasing, it could be a sign that your insulation is not performing well and needs to be replaced.
  • Uneven Temperature: If you notice that some rooms in your home are significantly warmer or colder than others, it could be an indication that your insulation is not evenly distributed or has deteriorated.
  • Pest Infestation: If your attic insulation is infested with pests such as rodents or insects, it can significantly reduce its effectiveness and warrant a replacement.
  • Visible Damage: If your insulation is visibly damaged, such as being compressed, wet or mouldy, it is likely time to replace it as it is no longer functioning properly.
  • Age of Insulation: If your insulation is more than 10-15 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it, as it may no longer be effective.
  • Air Drafts: If you feel drafts of air coming through the attic, it could indicate that there are gaps or air leaks in the insulation that need to be addressed.
  • Ice Dams: If your roof has ice dams, it could indicate that your insulation is not preventing heat from escaping through the roof and causing the snow on the roof to melt and then freeze, forming ice dams.
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Attic insulation might be the last thing that you’re thinking about when it comes to potential upgrades to your home, but there are plenty of benefits to having a properly insulated attic. 

Benefits of Properly Insulated Attic

Attic insulation might be the last thing that you’re thinking about when it comes to potential upgrades to your home, but there are plenty of benefits to having a properly insulated attic. 

  • First, it helps to reduce energy consumption by preventing heat loss or gain through the roof, which can significantly impact energy bills. When insulation is properly installed, it creates a thermal barrier that prevents heat from escaping during the winter and entering during the summer. This means that heating and cooling systems do not have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, which results in lower energy bills. In fact, experts say that properly insulated attics, basements, and crawl spaces can help homeowners save 15-20% on heating and cooling costs! 
  • Second, it helps to improve indoor comfort by regulating temperature and humidity levels. A comfortable home temperature can help you sleep better and longer. Plus, humidity levels are important to maintaining respiratory function and decreasing allergy conditions.
  • Third, it can help to extend the lifespan of your roof by preventing ice dams and moisture buildup, which can lead to roof damage.
  • Fourth, it can make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Energy efficiency is more and more important in today’s real estate market. Energy-efficient features can make your listing stand out among others on the market.

Tips For Homeowners

As a homeowner, there are several things you can do to ensure that your attic insulation is working efficiently.

  • Don’t wait. Check for any signs that your attic insulation needs to be replaced sooner, rather than later. The sooner your attic is sealed up tight, the quicker you’ll benefit from the savings. Plus, issues with your attic insulation could also lead to moisture and water damage issues, which, if left, can become incredibly expensive to fix.
  • Have an energy assessment before you do anything. The Canadian Government is offering plenty of grants and rebates for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. But in order to qualify you need to have an official Energuide Assessment done BEFORE any upgrades or changes are made.
  • Apply for rebates. The Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+) is offering a rebate of up to $10,000 for energy upgrades to homes.

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