Of all the improvements that a homeowner can make to their property, attic insulation stands out as one of the most cost-effective, yet least utilized options. In a 2015 report by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, they estimate that around 90% of U.S. homes are under-insulated.
The amount of energy lost to poor insulation costs Americans tens of millions of dollars per year, yet most of us remain completely unaware of all that cash evaporating through our rooftops.
Investing in your attic brings a whole host of added benefits which at first glance you might not expect. In this article, we run through five key points that’ll leave you wondering why you haven’t made the leap already.
Save on Energy Bills
A mistake which many people make is thinking that attic insulation only saves you money for four months out of every twelve. While retaining expensive heat during the winter is certainly the most desirable outcome, attic insulation also keeps cool air from escaping your house throughout the summer.
This means both your central heating and air conditioning costs will be slashed. No matter the time of year, you can expect a considerable improvement on your monthly statements.
How much you save varies depending on the size of the house, shape of your attic, the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, and the local climate. Some homeowners who had no insulation at all report a 50% reduction in their energy bills after investing in attic insulation.
In most cases, you can expect immediate savings of several hundred dollars per year. At an average cost of only $1,356, quickly recouping the investment from bills alone is not difficult to imagine.
Improve House Value
In more and more places across the U.S., homeowners are being asked to provide a Home Energy Audit when placing their house on the market. This is so that potential buyers can see for themselves how well the heating system in the property performs.
Homes with poor energy performance could turn away buyers who worry about being unable to afford expensive bills. The serious damage that can occur as a result of under-insulation may also dissuade them even if your property is currently in good condition.
Insulating your attic goes a long way to improving energy performance, and calms the fears of potential buyers should you decide to take your house to market.
In their annual “Cost vs. Value” report for 2017, Remodeler Magazine found that fiberglass attic insulation improves house value by 108% of the cost of installation. So even before that first energy bill, an insulated attic is capable of turning you a tidy profit.
Create More Liveable Space
An expensive extension may seem the obvious choice when looking to add useful square footage to your property. Obvious, but ill-advised. There’s simply no need when insulating and renovating the attic can provide just as much value at a fraction of the price.
Depending on which kind of insulation you opt for – over-ceiling or under-roof – warm space in your house can be restricted to just the established living area or extended into the attic itself.
It is admittedly a lot cheaper and easier to install over-ceiling insulation into the floor of the attic and leave it uninhabited. However, insulating directly under the roof opens up new opportunities to convert this area into prime living space.
Do you really need all that room to store Christmas decorations and old furniture? For many, the prospect of an extra bedroom may be too great to pass up.
Protect from the Intrusion of Nature
Attic insulation doesn’t just keep heat and coolness in throughout the year. By sealing the gaps which birds, bats, and small mammals use to colonize your home, it keeps all those unwanted pests outside where they belong.
Moisture damage can cause rot, dampness, and the nightmare of endless repairs in uninsulated attics. This tends to happen one of two ways; either as warm air rises into the attic and forms condensation on cold surfaces, or in the winter as snow melts and refreezes at different points on the roof, creating ice dams which leak water through the roof covering.
Introducing insulation solves these issues by regulating temperature throughout the entire space. This ensures condensation cannot take place, and equally that snow will melt off the roof in a uniform manner.
As insurance against natural damages, attic insulation has the potential to protect you from huge expenditure further on down the line.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Not only cost-effective but eco-friendly, installing insulation in your home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Your lower energy bills have a direct, knock-on effect on the levels of energy production at the power plants which supply you. Reduced demand translates to lower fuel consumption at these plants and therefore fewer carbon emissions.
A study published in 2016 by researchers from Boston University and The University of North Carolina, suggested that improved insulation could have tremendous environmental and economic benefits for the U.S. as a whole. By matching the insulation standards of the International Energy Conservation Code in all households, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 80 million tons per year. This would also save $11 billion per year in health and climate related expenditure.
Insulating your attic is an excellent way to contribute to the environment without having to change your habits, while also reaping all those financial rewards at the same time.