Heating and cooling account for over half of all energy consumed in the average U.S. home. Therefore, an improperly insulated attic could be draining your pockets as heat rises. It is good to take steps to avoid heat loss, protect the environment and save you big bucks.
It has been reported on this year’s Cost vs. Value report that hiring a contractor to put down attic installation will cost about $1,343. But, the good news is you will see a 107.7 percent ROI if you choose to refinance or sell your home. An added perk, this wise move may earn you a 10 percent federal tax credit worth up to $500.
This all depends on the R-value needed. This is a measure of how well installation material can resist heat flow. Colder areas require higher R-value and hotter areas, lower. Review the guidelines posted by ENERGY STAR to determine the recommendations for your home. Remember, different materials have varying R-values.
With this important information, you will also need to determine how much insulation to buy. Take measurements of the length and width of the attic. Once that is done, gather the rest of the materials, such as metal flashing, weather stripping, and silicone caulk.
Create a plan, gather all the tools and supplies and make sure your work area is well lit. Wear proper protective gear, as insulation can be hard on the lungs and irritate the skin. Work gloves, safety goggles, a face mask, knee pads and lightweight coveralls are highly recommended.
Seal Air Leaks: The EPA recommends either you or a professional service provider seals air leaks before insulating your attic. Air sealing your attic provides many benefits including a reduction in heating and cooling costs, enhanced durability, more comfort and healthier indoor air quality. The two most effective air sealing methods are caulking and weather stripping. Both will offer a fast return on investment.
Loose Fill Insulation: You don’t have to stick with the same insulation that is currently placed in your attic. Loose fill can be used added on top of blankets or fiberglass batts. For loose-fill insulation it might be best to leave it in the hands of a professional, since handling this material requires specialized techniques and equipment.
Batt Insulation: Fiberglass rolls work well as a DIY project. The difficulty level is easy to moderate. This type of insulation does require layering, but it fits easily within most joists.
Regardless of your material of choice, when installing attic installation near soffit vents or recessed lights use wire mesh or sheet to form a barrier. Insulation does not mix with these fixtures. However, some types of recessed lights are made to come in contact with insulation. No barrier is required in those cases. Be sure to check the fixture documentation before installing insulation.
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