In Canada, heating a home in the winter, and cooling a home in summer can be an expensive proposition – unfortunately, we live in a climate of extremes. And while its true that heating and cooling costs can be moderated by adjusting the thermostat, proper insulation is a much better option, both in terms of cost savings and home comfort. Indeed, properly insulating the attic is one of the most effective ways to keep energy consumption in check and energy costs down. Industry statistics show that a well-insulated attic can save 10 – 50% on energy bills.
For some, an energy audit might be a good first step for insulating the attic. It can show the difference between how the attic insulation is performing today and how it could be improved and enhanced for the future. Quite often, the results of a comprehensive audit are surprising, and the potential for improvement is eye opening. As an example, for the typical homeowner, seasonal utility savings could well pay for the upfront cost of insulating the attic. And along with cost savings, come noticeable improvements to indoor environment and home comfort.
Evaluating the current condition of the attic insulation is essential. You can probably go up, look around, and take a wild guess on the status quo. But a professional will know better – an insulation professional can estimate existing R-Values, and can accurately assess the physical condition of the space. And although a contractor is looking for new business, the reputable company will advise what’s in the best interest of the homeowner. For example, insulation that is compressed, or water-stained, or moldy MUST be replaced – there’s no other way.
Another assessment that is critical for the attic is the prevalence of leaking air – every hole, opening, gap and crack allows for heated air (or cooled air) to escape. It makes the insulation useless, regardless of how much R-Value you install. And the truth is, sealing the attic is no small feat – if it’s a quick fix effort, it will deliver quick fix results. A proper sealing effort, performed by a professional, will deliver the best results – the attic insulation will perform to its potential and the long term energy savings and cost savings will be measurable.
According to industry reports and statistics, insulating the attic is the most important thing when trying to make a home more energy efficient. The right insulation product, along with an expert installation can deliver significant cost savings from one season to the next. Again, a reputable insulation contractor will be able to recommend the right insulating product for the job, and the best installation approach to suit the need. Above all, attic insulation is best left to a professional – someone with extensive product knowledge and installation expertise.
In an ideal situation, the best insulation approach for a space like the attic is a combination of two products: spray foam insulation AND “blown-in” insulation. This is a dual-purpose effort, which SEALS and INSULATES the space at the same time. A good installer will ensure that both products work together properly, and deliver optimum results – in other words, energy and cost savings that are significant throughout the year. And since the attic space is the most critical part of the home to insulate, why not do it right the first time?