Fall is in full swing, and with it comes cooler weather. It’s a beautiful time of year, but as you switch from air conditioning to heating up the house, you might notice that your energy bills increase. This may be due to poor attic insulation.
If your home isn’t well insulated, that energy spent on warming up the house is wasted. Your HVAC system is constantly making up for lost warmth, driving up your bill. Depending on where you live, your HVAC system may account for as much as 70% of your home energy bill. That’s a lot of money! Attic insulation helps preserve the temperature inside the house so that you don’t have to waste anything. It saves you money, and it’s better for the environment.
How it works
Warm air rises and moves from hot to cold, so it moves from the interior of the house to the cool attic above. As insulation cushions the floor of the attic, it blocks the warmth from escaping through the ceiling. In the summer, the attic’s insulation does the opposite: it prevents the heat outside from penetrating the house. With a well insulated attic, your HVAC system doesn’t have to fight this exchange, so it costs less to operate.
Insulating the home decreases your monthly energy bills and helps prevent damage to the roof and attic, which saves you even more money in the long run. Letting the heat enter the attic creates condensation, which moistens the insulation and creates mold. A hot attic will also damage the shingles and melt the snow on the roof, which makes ice dams. Ice dams risk breaking the gutters and causing flooding.
When to Replace Your Insulation
It maybe time to top up or replace your attic insulation if it is damaged or outdated. Look for the following signs and consider hiring a contractor to improve your situation. It may cost you a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of your attic, but the expenditure will pay off within a few years. Proper insulation will also save you the trouble of having to repair the attic or the roof.
Pests and Wildlife
Birds, mice, squirrels, and raccoons that have nested in the attic leave a ton of damage. They crush and dirty the insulation, rendering it useless. Feces cause mold that will spread throughout the attic. If you’ve had any critters removed from your attic, have the area inspected immediately.
Insulation that has gotten wet does not work properly. This is because water has filled in the pockets of air within the insulation, which then loses its ability to slow the transfer of heat. If you can take a look at your attic, see if the insulation is damp. If it is, it should be replaced immediately.
Swinging Temperatures and Drafts
If you’ve noticed that some parts of the home are colder than others, your insulation may be spotty or damaged. Replacing or topping up your insulation will fill in the gaps and get rid of drafts, which will save you money.
Soaring Energy Bills
Do you feel like your HVAC system is unreliable? Do you suspect that your bills are a little too expensive? You’re probably not imagining things. Energy bills that increase wildly after turning on your HVAC system are likely due to poor insulation.